The annual festival, which is organized by Reston Community Center, will not be rescheduled. With a tropical storm projected to make landfall in the mid-Atlantic, high winds, cool temperatures and heavy rain are expected from around 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday morning.
“With artists, vendors, community organizations, and event staff and volunteers coming from various areas affected by this tropical storm, organizers do not want to put people at risk of injury in trying to reach or attend the festival,” RCC said in a statement. “People are urged to stay off the roads on Saturday. This annual event is cherished by the community, and event planners appreciate everyone’s understanding that people’s safety is their highest priority.”
RCC said it was thankful to Reston Town Center Association and host BXP for their help in coordinating the event. Reston Association also provided support.
This year would have been the organization’s largest festival to date, with additional performance stages and strategic partnerships with national organizations.
“The partnership among these civic, nonprofit and business organizations allowed for the most ambitious Reston Multicultural Festival plan ever. All partners are looking forward to 2024 and doing it again under sunnier skies,” the organization wrote.
A Darden and Friends concert will still take place as scheduled at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) in the Pavilion at Reston Town Center, according to RCC.
The Reston Multicultural Festival will return to Reston Town Center on Sept. 23 with expanded entertainment options.
The festival — which is organized by Reston Community Center, the Reston Town Center Association and Boston Properties (BXP) — will have three stages instead of its usual one. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a lineup of entertainment and activities.
“Due to an expanded entertainment lineup and more participating artisans, our cohost, BXP generously extended us the opportunity to enlarge the Festival footprint up Market Street to the Pavilion providing for more performance space,” Lorna Clarke, RCC’s communications director, said.
Beverly Cosham, who chairs RCC’s Board of Governors, said that the festival has embodied the spirit of Reston for more than 20 years.
“Our diversity is our greatest strength,” Cosham said. “We present the Reston Multicultural Festival each year to share the incredible sights, sounds and joyful energy of people who come from all over the world to be here. Bob Simon established Reston as a place where everyone could feel a sense of belonging and discovery.
The festival is also made possible by a partnership with the National Council of Traditional Arts (NCTA). This year’s lineup will feature multiple National Endowment of Arts Heritage fellows. The program recognizes individuals in folk and traditional art.
A breakdown of the fellows is below.
Roen Hufford, Kapa Maker, 2023 NEA National Heritage Fellow
Of Native Hawaiian descent, Roen Halley Kahalewai McDonald Hufford carries on the tradition of ka hana kapa (making bark-cloth) and is a leading figure in the reclamation of this nearly lost art.
The Legendary Ingramettes, Gospel Artists, 2022 NEA National Heritage Fellow
The Legendary Ingramettes are widely considered Richmond’s “First Family of Gospel,” uplifting audiences for over six decades while becoming beloved cultural icons in the community.
Wayne Henderson, Luthier, 1995 NEA National Heritage Fellow
Mouth of Wilson, Virginia
Henderson was born, raised and still lives in Rugby, near the North Carolina border. He has taken first place 13 times at the Galax Fiddlers’ Convention guitar competition.
Tsering Wangmo Satho, Tibetan Opera Singer and Dancer, 2022 NEA National Heritage Fellow
Tsering Wangmo Satho was born in a refugee settlement in southern India in 1967. Her elders served as living examples of their traditions and language. Satho trained at the Tibetan Institute of the Arts (TIPA), founded by the Dalai Lama. TIPA serves as a critical response to the threats to Tibetan culture.
More than 20 performances will light up the Park, Market Street and Pavilion stages. The festival will also feature more than 30 arts and crafts vendors with from around the world.
The complete schedule is available online.
Reston Town Square Park (11900 Market Street) and Reston Station (1901 Reston Metro Plaza) will soon come to life with summer entertainment organized by the Reston Community Center.
RCC has organized six series this year, varying from jazz ensembles to family picnics. Some events will feature pop-up treats in other neighborhoods.
“Reston knows it’s summer when the sounds of great music can be heard in our beautiful plazas,” RCC Board Chair Beverly Cosham said. “RCC brings people together to dance, socialize, visit an outdoor restaurant, or share a picnic basket. It’s a Reston tradition we keep expanding and look forward to every year.”
The first concert — a jazz show from singer Darden Purcell — will usher in Memorial Day weekend at Reston Town Square Park tomorrow (Friday).
A complete breakdown of the events is available below:
Take a Break
Thursdays, June 1 – August 31
Beginning with Don’t Back Down, a Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tribute band, the Take a Break concerts fill the plaza atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. Other performers include Texas Chainsaw Horns, Loudoun Jazz Ensemble, Scott Kurt and Memphis 59. For the full schedule click here: Take a Break Concerts at Reston Community Center. Concerts are presented by RCC in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc., and are hosted by Reston Station.
Darden Purcell and Friends
Fridays, May 26 – October 13
Reston Town Square Park
Jazz vocalist and series curator Darden Purcell brings her group to open the summer series of “Darden & Friends” in Reston Town Square Park. This concert will feature exciting new arrangements of Great American Songbook repertoire and jazz standards.
June 2 – September 1
Kick off the weekend with Fab Fridays featuring the U.S. Army Blues Big Band, festive rhythms from Dogo from Togo, merengue with Latin pop band Ocho de Bastos and many more. See the full concert schedule here: RCC Fab Friday Concerts. Three hours of free parking are available in the ParkX garage with validation. Concerts are presented by RCC in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc., and are hosted by Reston Station.
Family Fun Entertainment
Saturdays, June 17 – August 5
Reston Town Square Park
Bring the kids for magic, comedy, puppets, music and lots of laughs. Family Fun begins on June 17 with Guava Jelly. Other shows include Rocknoceros, Lohr Family Antics, The Uncle Devin Show and Turley the Magician. Family Fun Entertainment is presented by RCC and Reston Town Center Association in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. Reston Town Center garages offer free parking on Saturdays.
Sunday Art in the Park with the Shenandoah Conservatory
Sundays, June 11 – August 27
Reston Town Square Park
Wind down your weekend with classical, jazz and cabaret-style music provided by faculty and students from Shenandoah University’s acclaimed music conservatory. The series starts June 11 with Ellington Caravan paying tribute to Duke Ellington. This series will run through August 27. Visit Sunday Art in the Park for the complete schedule. Reston Town Center garage parking is free on Sundays. Sunday Art in the Park is presented by RCC and Reston Town Center Association in cooperation with Shenandoah University.
Family Picnic Days
Saturday August 5 – Temporary Road Pavilion
Saturday, August 12 – Pony Barn Picnic Pavilion
Saturday, August 19 – North Hills Picnic Pavilion
Bring a picnic, your family and friends to Family Picnic Day. Play family-friendly lawn games, enjoy local performers and have some fun! Family Picnic Days are presented by Reston Community Center and Reston Association.
A popular theater artist is slated to bring to life the stories of five Restonians to Reston Community Center’s CenterStage this month.
Ping Chong, a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Obie Award and National Medal of Arts, will create a residency format that his New York-based company — Ping Chong and Company — has adapted in communities around the country.
Starting next Monday (March 13), his artists will create performances featuring the stories of five Restonians as they navigate the world: Robin Feldman, Carmah Owen, Rosa Simon, Semret Worku and Natsu Zavala.
Chong, who plans to retire in the near future, has created more than 100 works for the stage. His company focuses on the connections between cultures and the multifaceted nature of identity.
He said in a statement that he’s “delighted” to spend part of his final working days in Reston:
Fifty years have passed since I began my life as a theatre practitioner. I am now in the process of retiring. I will be 77 years old this year and it is time for reflecting on a fortunate, rich life. Time passes. I am delighted to share this moment of transition here in Reston. If theatre can do one thing, it is to bring community together. Thank you for this opportunity to remind us all that we are all connected by our humanity, that we are all human beings regardless of where we come from. All islands connect under water.
RCC Board Chair Bev Cosham said the center’s partnership with Chong’s company offers an opportunity for a “once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a theatrical trailblazer.”
“The work his company and our local team have created will reach deep into our emotional wells and surface the compelling stories of how we navigated these last traumatic years. It promises to be both a revealing and a healing experience,” Cosham said.
RCC’s staff will support the project and the work will by recorded by Storycatcher Productions, Inc.
A breakdown of the planned events is below: Read More
Inspired by the Year of the Rabbit, a local exhibition in Reston aims to celebrate the Lunar Year.
Titled “Creatures Were Stirring,” a series of work by artists Tracie Griffith Tso and Lisa Schumaier is on display through Jan. 31 at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
The exhibit includes small and large creatures depicted in watercolor drawings to dramatic ink on silk and paper using traditional Chinese brushstroke work.
“Rabbits are celestial animals in the Far East,” said Griffith Tso, who has a pet rabbit herself. “They are lively and charming and their ears and posture expresses mood.”
A collection of 3-D clay art and jewelry from Schumaier and Griffith Tso are available year-round at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria.
The artists met in 2008 at the Torpedo Factory, sharing a love with clay and expressive art. They are also behind that venue’s BunnyFest, which typically occurs the Saturday before Easter.
A bestselling author who wrote a book on the cost of racism will be the keynote speaker for Reston Community Center’s 38th annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration.
The main event on Monday, Jan. 16, features Heather McGhee, the author of The New York Times bestseller “The Sum of Us: What Racism Cost Us and How We Can Prosper Together.” The address begins at 11 a.m. at RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets are $5 for Restonians and $20 for all others.
“It is vital to ask ourselves every day ‘are we keeping the promise?'” Beverly Cosham, chair of RCC’s Board of Governors, said. “When we commemorate Dr. King’s birthday and recall that he gave his life to achieving justice, we are called again to the fight for universal human rights. Memory of his beliefs and service to others fuel our commitment to making our community and world better for everyone.”
A complete line up of events from RCC is below:
Saturday, January 14
Community Service Projects
9:00 a.m., Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate, 12125 Pinecrest Road, Reston
6 years and older — Free
Join friends and neighbors in honoring Dr. King’s legacy by serving your community. As Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” RCC is partnering with the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate, Reston Association, Cornerstones and The Closet on community service projects. Indoor projects include sorting and organizing items from The Closet and making bag lunches for the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. There will also be outdoor projects such as cleaning up the natural areas, pathways and hardscapes, weather permitting.
To volunteer, please contact Ha Brock, Volunteer Reston Manager, at 703-435-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reston Community Orchestra
Annual Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Words and Music as Diverse as the World of Which He Dreamed
4:00 p.m., RCC Hunters Woods Community Room
All ages — Free
With music and words specifically chosen for this occasion, RCO joins the Reston community in a weekend commemoration of the contributions made by this celebrated American, and his vision of a society free of prejudice and racial division. The program features Reston vocalist Beverly Cosham, students from Al Fatih Academy and other special guests. There will be songs and spirituals known and loved by Dr. King. Tickets available through the RCC Box Office.
Sunday, January 15
Mark G. Meadows: Music and The Movement
2:00 p.m., RCC Hunters Woods — the CenterStage
$15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
Join Mark G. Meadows & The Movement as they pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mark G. Meadows is a man on a mission to create a unifying sound that breaks through social barriers. There’s something for everyone in his music, which harmonizes jazz, gospel, R&B, hip-hop and rock. Mark uses his artistry to send a positive message of love, joy and hope to his audiences. Get ready to lift every voice and sing with Mark G. Meadows & The Movement. Tickets sold through the RCC Box Office.
Monday, January 16
Keynote Address by Heather McGhee followed by Community Lunch
RCC Hunters Woods: the CenterStage and Community Room
$5 Reston/$20 Non-Reston
A renowned expert on the American economy, Heather McGhee is one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers exploring inequality today. Both her viral TED talk and her instant New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us reveal the devastating true cost of racism – not just for people of color, but for everyone. Deeply stirring, intelligent and compassionate, McGhee’s talks offer us an actionable roadmap during one of the most critical – and most troubled – periods in history. Following the keynote address, a family-style lunch will be provided in the RCC Community Room.
Especially for Youth
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
RCC Hunters Woods
6 – 12 Years Old – Free. Registration Required. Reg. #704750
You may register your school-age child (first to sixth grade) to participate in activities at RCC. Children must be registered in advance and no onsite registration will be available on the day of the event. Children will rotate through a series of activities, including an age-appropriate video and arts and crafts. All activities will be based on the history of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Lunch will be provided.
Tuesday, January 17
American Red Cross Blood Drive
RCC Hunters Woods
1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Reston Community Center partners with the American Red Cross and Fairfax County NAACP to offer a blood drive. People with minority roots are especially encouraged to participate to increase the blood supply for vulnerable populations. Make your appointment here.
The events are organized by RCC with the cooperation of the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate, Cornerstones, The Closet, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn’s office, Reston Association, Reston Community Orchestra and local schools.
Photo via National Archives
Reston Community Center will host its 24th annual gifts and shopping exhibit in early December.
The Gifts from the HeART Exhibit and Holiday Gift Shopping Event will take place on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza North).
“Gifts from the HeART is an event that brings the community together, showcases great local artists, and helps Cornerstones,” RCC Arts Education Director Cheri Danaher said. “Our artists and the community eagerly participate in this unique shopping event, and their support of Cornerstones exemplifies the Reston spirit of providing support for those who need it.”
Started in 1999, the annual exhibit and sale has raised more than $19,000 for the nonprofit Cornerstones over the past 23 years, according to RCC.
Artists will display their creations on display in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at RCC Lake Anne through Jan 9. The 3D gallery exhibit will remain on display through Feb. 18. Artist entry fees and 10% of all sales will be donated to Cornerstones.
Proceeds will go toward the organization’s Embry Rucker Community Shelter, Laurel Learning Center, and community services, including emergency food assistance and job counseling.
RCC will offer a directory of visual artists on its website the day of the exhibit. Interested shoppers can shop directly from the artists’ links.
Reston Community Center has hired a new director of offsite and collaborative programming in an effort to expand beyond the walls of its two facilities.
Maggie Parker, who most recently served as executive director of Partnership Reston, will take on the role, which includes directing offsite programming like the summer concert series and family-friendly events in area neighborhoods.
“Working with the outstanding staff at RCC to deliver its fabulous programming throughout Reston will be exciting and fulfilling for me,” says Parker. “Reston Community Center’s mission reflects one of the founding precepts of the Reston vision – namely, to provide a variety of leisure opportunities, including a wide range of cultural and recreational facilities. This department will continue moving RCC beyond its brick-and-mortar homes to build community for everyone, everywhere in Reston.”
Parker managed public relations for Reston-based developer Comstock Companies and oversaw event productions, community outreach and public relations with Myers Public Relations, another Reston-based company. She was also selected as Best of Reston honoree in 2019.
The hire comes as RCC combines its community events and outreach and collaboration units to keep pace with new services.
“We are thrilled to bring Maggie aboard to shepherd the planning and execution of a growing array of offerings for Reston neighborhoods,” RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon said.
Three candidates are running for three seats on Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors.
The annual vote — known as the preference poll — will feature incumbents Beverly Cosham and Paul Thomas, along with Shane Ziegler.
Voting begins on Sept. 3. Each property owner in Small District 5 will receive a ballot in the mail, which must be received by 5 p.m. on Sept. 29. Walk-in and online ballots must be received by 5 p.m. the following day.
Cosham, a founding member of the Reston Chorale and the Reston Players, has served on the board since 2001. She hopes to “bring people together in positive arts, aquatics, leisure and learning experiences,” according to her candidate statement.
Thomas, who grew up in Reston and worked as a former teacher and coach, has served on several nonprofit and county boards, including Reston Association’s Board of Directors and the Reston Historic Trust and Museum’s Board of Directors.
“New real estate development will continue in Reston for years,” Thomas wrote. “Though RCC has no control or voice in approving the development that comes, we need to make sure that RCC’s facilities and offerings continue to support and bring together our growing, evolving community without raising the tax rate.”
Shane Ziegler, who recently founded a nonprofit called Reston Forward, says he wants to ensure that RCC offers programs that young families want to access. Reston Forward aims to help people new to Reston get involved.
“We want young professionals and newcomers to stay in Reston as they are starting families of their own. Additionally, as our community continues to grow, it is important to think about the future and identify the leisure experiences and spaces that these young families want access to,” Ziegler wrote in a statement.
A candidates forum is slated for Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods. A poll is required even though the race is uncontested.
The board was established by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to represent the interest of Reston residents and business as a policy-creating body that provides financial oversight for RCC. The county board makes selections after the annual preference poll.
A staple of Reston’s events scene — the Reston’s Multicultural Festival — returns in September with a new venue and line-up of presenters.
This year’s festival will take place at Reston Town Center through a partnership with the Reston Town Center Association instead of the typical location at Lake Anne Plaza.
“We needed to make alternative location plans to proceed with the other layers of planning the Reston Multicultural Festival requires,” Gordon wrote in a statement. “Fortunately, we have a continuing and longstanding relationship with Reston Town Center Association in presenting complex, large-scale events and programming, so this location was a logical alternative and will be a lovely venue for this signature community event.”
This year’s festival also includes a new line-up through a partnership with the National Council of Traditional Arts, bringing NEA National Heritage Fellows, which have received the country’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.
Fellows — including New Orleans’ Treme Brass Band, Capoeira Master Jelon Vieira and soul pioneer William Bell — will take the stage at Reston Town Square Park on Saturday, Sept. 17 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. The festival will also feature master crafts artists who will demonstrate their art.
“This year’s special anniversaries offer us an opportunity to design a unique lineup and produce the event in a new setting,” said RCC Board of Governors Chair Bev Cosham. “We are delighted to partner with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) to present the NEA Heritage Fellows, and with Reston Town Center Association (RTCA) to create a memorable day of celebrating the diversity of cultures that makes ours a great nation and Reston the special community we know it to be.”
The performances are part of an expanding partnership with the NCTA and mark the 40th year of the NEA fellowship program. Since 1982, the program has granted 467 National Heritage Fellowships. Fellows are nominated by the public and then judged by experts in the arts.
Participants are encouraged to come dressed in attire related to their cultural roots.
It’s not the first time that disagreement between LARCA and event organizers have prompted a location change.
In April, a free summer concert series by the center relocated to Reston Station after an impasse between the board and RCC. At the time, Gordon told Patch that RCC failed to reach an agreement on crafting a policy for plaza use and an application to execute events in an orderly manner.
RTCA Executive Director Robert Goudie says the association is looking forward to partnering with RCC again.
“Our longstanding partnership has generated outstanding performances and events for the entire community to enjoy. This year’s Multicultural Festival will continue and extend that terrific partnership,” Goudie said.
A complete breakdown of the festival is below after the jump. The schedule and participating organizations will be released in early September.