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A rainy night lies ahead, as seen on a traffic camera at Gallows Road near Yorktowne Center in Merrifield (via VDOT)

Fairfax County Public Schools will start classes two hours late tomorrow (Tuesday) in case there’s snow.

No weather alerts have been issued for the county yet, but the National Weather Service’s current forecast indicates that rain is expected to continue through tonight, potentially turning into snow early in the morning.

“New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible,” the NWS says.

According to the Capital Weather Gang, weather models suggest the rain could turn into snow around 6-9 a.m., with the heaviest snowfall coming around 7-10 a.m.

Reston Community Center has already canceled all programs tomorrow, but its pool will open at 9 a.m.

Image via VDOT

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Reston Community Center is holding a food drive until Nov. 20 (via Reston Community Center)

Several Reston organizations are partnering once again for an annual Thanksgiving food drive.

Reston Community Center, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit Cornerstones are collecting donations of non-perishable food and other items through Nov. 20.

Items that are needed include the following:

  • Grocery store gift cards
  • heavy duty clear plastic bins
  • toilet paper
  • baby wipes
  • hygiene items
  • cooking oil
  • flour
  • sugar
  • condiments
  • dried beans
  • canned fruits
  • canned meats
  • bagged or boxed rice
  • quinoa
  • cereal
  • oatmeal
  • coffee
  • tea
  • shelf-stable milk

Drop-off locations are listed online. They include RCC’s Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza) and Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) facilities, the Hunter Mill District office at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive, and other options throughout the community.

The community center is also looking for volunteers to help sort and load the donated food on Nov. 23.

In its annual hunger report released in September, the Capital Area Food Bank found that 24% of Fairfax County residents are food-insecure — a rate unchanged from last year.

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The website features new navigation and a more modern design (courtesy Reston Community Center)

Reston Community Center has officially released a new website that aims to improve access to information and overall usability.

The website, which was created by United Experts, includes new design elements, compatibility with different screen sizes and devices, and a more user-friendly navigation menu.

“We devoted a year to research, designing a comprehensive [request for proposals] and issuing that solicitation,” RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon said. “We received about a dozen proposals and analyzed them for how well they understood both RCC and our community, as well as how beautifully and functionally they addressed our challenges.”

The website is divided into three primary content categories: things to do, information, and facilities.

It also includes a new notification system that allows RCC to publish time-sensitive announcements easily. Digitized documents and publication archives are now fully searchable, and a help center is available for additional resources.

The website still connects with RCC’s two main platforms for purchases — myRCC, where users can look and register for the community center’s programs, and ETix, where users can buy tickets.

“RCC users gave us invaluable feedback,” board chair Beverly Cosham. “The outcome is as much a function of their input as of ours.”

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Paul Berry, William Penniman, and Vicky Wingert were elected to Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors (courtesy RCC)

Three members were appointed to Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors this week.

As requested by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, incumbents Paul William Penniman and Vicky Wingert and newcomer Paul Berry were formally appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at its meeting yesterday (Tuesday).

The board members were selected by residents of the RCC tax district through this year’s preference poll, which took place between Sept. 8 and 29. Their terms begin on Nov. 6.

Berry — who campaigned for the Virginia House of Delegates’ District 7 seat — works as a teacher and served on former governor Ralph Northam’s Virginia Latino Advisory Board.

Pennimen, who has sat on the board since 2006, is an active member of Reston Planning and Zoning Committee and the Sierra Club. Wingert has served on the board since 2011 and is the founder of Friends of Reston, the nonprofit that supports Reston Association.

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The festival has been postponed due to inclement weather (via Reston Community Center)

The Reston Multicultural Festival — which was set for this Saturday (Sept. 23) at Reston Town Center — has been canceled due to inclement weather.

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.

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The festival returns to Reston Town Center in September (courtesy Reston Community Center)

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
Waimea, Hawaii
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
Richmond, Virginia
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
Richmond, California
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.

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Reston Community Center will kick off its summer entertainment tomorrow (courtesy RCC)

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
7-8:30 p.m.
Reston Station

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
5:30-6:45 p.m.
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.

Fab Fridays
June 2 – September 1
7-8:30 p.m.
Reston Station

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
10-10:45 a.m.
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
7-8 p.m.
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
4-6 p.m.

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.

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Ping Chong will create a special performance on Reston (courtesy Reston Community Center)

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

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The artwork features animals in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit (courtesy Tracie Griffith Tso)

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.

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Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the crowd in Washington at the Civil Rights March in 1963 (via National Archives)

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 habrock@reston.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
11:00 a.m.
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

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