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“Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries” is the focus of a February event in Reston (courtesy Reston Museum)

The battle to integrate Fairfax County Public Library and other library systems in the region will be the focus of a Reston-based event for Black History Month.

Authors Chris Barbuschak and Suzanne LaPierre will offer a look at the overlooked history of segregated library services in Northern Virginia at the Feb. 21 event organized by Reston Museum. It’s slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Reston Community Center’s Lake Anne facility (1609-A Washington Plaza North).

The program focuses on the librarians’ book, “Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries.”

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Barbuschak and Ms. Lapierre speak at our February program about their book,” Reston Museum Executive Director Alexandra Campbell said. “Those interested in reading the book in advance can purchase the book at the museum or the day of the program. It is an insightful book and I encourage everyone to read it.”

The book highlights how libraries were inaccessible to Black residents — even after the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education that found segregation to be unconstitutional. Ultimately, civil rights activists used protests and lawsuits to gain equitable library services.

The 208-page book, which was published last January, is available online. Registration for the upcoming author talk is available through Reston Museum’s website.

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The Lego celebration Bricks by the Lake will return to Lake Anne Plaza for a third year on Jan. 27, 2024 (courtesy Reston Museum)

Reston’s now-annual celebration of all things Lego is ready for assembly.

Bricks by the Lake will return to Lake Anne Plaza for a third year on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Reston Museum and Reston Community Center, the event centers on a Lego-building competition and is timed to nearly coincide with International Lego Day, which arrives annually on Jan. 28 — the day Danish carpenter Godtfred Kirk Christiansen submitted his patent for the original Lego brick.

“We’re excited to host this event just in time to celebrate National LEGO Day on Jan 28th!” Reston Museum Executive Director Alexandra Campbell said. “For those who don’t want to compete we will be offering a lot of fun free activities. In previous years, we have heard how great it is to have a competition focused on creativity and we can’t wait to see what everyone builds!”

While the overall event is free, registration is required to participate in the competition, which comes with a $50 fee that covers 500 bricks for up to four people. A $150 contribution includes a preorder of this year’s limited-edition brick kit — a replica of Lake Anne’s Van Gogh Bridge, designed by local artist Nathan Hagan.

Sponsored by FGM Architects and Reston Art Gallery and Studios, the limited-edition kit can also be purchased from Reston Museum in person and online. The museum is offering a discount for buyers of both this year’s kit and last year’s Lookout Tower kit, which is still available.

All proceeds from the competition, which will take place from noon to 12:45 p.m., support the nonprofit Reston Museum. The winners will be awarded in a ceremony at 1:45 p.m.

In addition to the contest, the 2024 edition of Bricks by the Lake will feature an exhibit of Master Builds by the Charm City Lego Users’ Group, light refreshments, free play at Reston Museum and crafts led by Reston Art Gallery.

Most activities will be held at Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza North) and RCC’s Lake Anne facility (1609-A Washington Plaza N), but other Lake Anne Plaza merchants are involved as well. Chesapeake Chocolates, for instance, will be selling brick-themed sweets.

Outside of Bricks by the Lake and private events, Reston Museum is closed this month so its shop can get a refresh and staff can plan the upcoming year, which will include a new exhibit on the Carter Glass Library set to open on Feb. 1.

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A statue of Reston founder Robert E. Simon sits on a bench at Lake Anne Plaza (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of Founder’s Day, Reston’s annual community celebration.

The festivities will be held this year on April 6 from noon to 4 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza North), organizer Reston Museum announced today.

Presented by Reston Museum in conjunction with Reston Community Center and Public Art Reston, Founder’s Day was initially conceived in 2004 as a celebration of Reston founder Robert E. Simon’s 90th birthday. Since then, it has served as a showcase for “how Reston’s community continues to live the legacy established by Simon,” according to the museum.

While details of this year’s event won’t come until later, it will include live music and performances, a community clean-up led by Volunteer Reston, a book fair and various family-friendly activities, per a press release.

Reston Museum is currently seeking authors, community organizations and food service businesses to serve as vendors for the book fair.

“Space is limited, and priority is being given to local literacy-focused nonprofits, authors, and food vendors,” Reston Museum said. “Local nonprofits without a literary focus will be given second priority.”

Anyone who’s interested can obtain an application from Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell at alex.campbell@restonmuseum.org. Approved vendors will be charged “a small fee” for their booth.

Last year’s Founder’s Day included a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of a Little Free Art Gallery at Reston Museum, along with cake and performances by South Lakes High School Theater, Reston Community Players and more.

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A brick kit inspired by Reston’s Van Gogh Bridge by William Roehl is available for purchase (courtesy Reston Museum)

For those unsure what to get their loved ones this holiday season, Reston Museum has created a gift-giving guide with niche gift ideas.

The guide includes gifts for kids, collectors, and history lovers. All gift shop proceeds will support Reston Museum’s work.

New items in this year’s collection include pint glasses, Reston-inspired pins, and mugs with new designs.

“Over 70% of the Museum’s gift shop items are custom made or specifically feature Reston,” Reston Museum Executive Director Alexandra Campbell said. “From unique stocking stuffers to our best-selling books such as ‘Community is what it is all about: An Ode to Lake Anne’ by Cheryl Terio-Simon the gift shop has something for everyone that will truly feel special.”

The guide is available online, but museum organizers say the most comprehensive selection is available at the shop itself.

Reston Museum members get 10% off of gift shop items.

“November and December are the perfect time to visit the museum to view the Famous Restonians Exhibit, shop, or join the Puzzle Swap event happening on December 2nd,” Campbell stated.

Visitors who bring a puzzle set to the museum on Dec. 2 will get to swap their item for another puzzle. In addition, all items will be 10% off that day.

Reston Museum is located in Lake Anne Plaza at 1639 Washington Plaza. Admission is free, and the nonprofit museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, except on Saturdays (when operating hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Mondays, when it’s closed.

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11925 Triple Crown Road was part of the 2022 Reston Home Tour (courtesy Reston Museum)

Seven homes will be showcased in Reston Museum’s annual Reston Home Tour.

The 21st iteration of the event is set for Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants will have the chance to take part in self-guided tours with volunteer docents at each of the seven homes, which are related to the theme, “A Style All Their Own.”

“Starting with the original architectural elements of their homes, each homeowner thoughtfully created new designs and spaces – and added unique features – to make the home their own,” Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell said. “We hope everyone enjoys all the delightfully personal pieces and meaningful artwork showcased throughout the tour. Each homeowner beautifully integrated their style – and we are so thankful they agreed to share their home with us.”

Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar will host a bites and bubbles event from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. that day, and there will be a wine tasting and appetizer samples at The Wine Cabinet in North Point Village Center from 1 to 5 p.m.

Early bird tickets are now on sale for $30 through Oct. 3. Tickets can be purchased at Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) or online.

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Reston Museum will host a program about famous Restonians on Sept. 20 (courtesy Reston Museum)

Reston Museum is launching “Famous Restonians,” a new program that features individuals raised in Reston who have excelled in their fields.

Set for Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Reston Community Center Lake Anne, the program will include individuals like “Jeopardy!” champion Eddie Timanus, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-New Jersey), and WTOP reporter Dave Dildine.

Although the program is free, registration is required.

“The Reston Museum is proud to celebrate these remarkable individuals, all of whom grew up in Reston and have achieved excellence in their chosen fields,” Reston Museum Executive Director Alex Campbell said. “We look forward to hearing their memories of growing up in Reston and the journey that led them to where they are today.”

Last year’s event featured Nate Mook, former CEO of Central World Kitchen.

Here’s a breakdown on the biographies of the featured participants from Reston Museum:

Eddie Timanus is a reporter and content producer for USA TODAY Sports and is known for his 1999 five-game winning streak on the game show Jeopardy! and for being the first blind contestant to appear on the show. He was also a semifinalist in the 2000 Tournament of Champions and appeared in several subsequent tournaments, most recently 2014’s Battle of the Decades. He was also a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2004. Timanus moved to Reston with his family in 1981 and graduated from South Lakes High School in 1986. Eddie compiles the USA Today Coaches Poll and writes the preview section for college football games in addition to his sports articles.

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill represents New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1994, Congresswoman Sherrill spent almost 10 years on active duty in the United States Navy as a helicopter pilot. After leaving the Navy in 2003, she earned a law degree from Georgetown University and served as a federal prosecutor. Elected to Congress in 2018, Congresswoman Sherrill sits on the House Armed Services Committee and the new House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Kia Lowe began her career in the investment world and after eight years, transitioned to the world of cosmetics first in a management position at L’Oreal and then serving as Vice President at both Lancome Paris and Kiehl’s Since 1851. Earlier this year, Kia was named the CEO of John Legend’s newly launched skin care brand, LOVED01. Kia grew up in Reston and attended Forest Edge Elementary School and Langston Hughes Middle School. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Kia earned her MBA from Columbia University.

Dave Dildine is an multi-award-winning traffic and weather reporter for WTOP News Radio, serving the Washington DC region. Dave joined WTOP in 2010 and can be heard “on the 8s and when it breaks” during the week. A Reston native, Dave attended Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High Schools before venturing off to George Mason University. Dave has also received recognition for his photography of severe weather, landing one photograph on the front page of the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

All featured individuals will speak in person, except Dildine, who will appear via a pre-recorded interview.

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A special event on May 10 will dive into the transportation history of Reston (courtesy Reston Museum)

Reston Museum will take a deep dive into the history behind street names, Reston’s transportation system and the road to accessibility at a special event on May 10.

Called “This Way to Reston,” the program will kick off at 7 p.m. at Reston Community Center Lake Anne. Although the program is free, registration is required. Programming is supported in part by RCC.

Presenters will include museum board member Caren Anton, a museum board member; Mike McDermott, chair of Reston Association’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee; and Colin Mills, project director of the Reston Accessibility Committee.

Reston Museum Executive Director Alexandra Campbell noted that transportation has played a major role in Reston’s history, influencing the community’s master plan in 1962, community volunteerism, and the area’s live, work, and play philosophy.

“We look forward to sharing historical photographs of this history and learning from Mr. McDermott and Mr. Mills on the Reston modes of transportation today,” Campbell wrote in a statement.

The event comes as Reston’s master plan undergoes a major revision. Fairfax County is expected to release a staff report of its recommendations on a draft master plan update sometime this month.

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Reston’s annual Founder’s Day returns next month (courtesy Reston Museum)

Reston’s annual Founder’s Day celebration will return to Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The celebration, which marks Reston’s founding and founder Bob Simon, Jr., will feature community performances, cake, activities and music.

This year, the celebration kicks off with a community clean up.

“April is earth and volunteer month and what better way to give back to the environment than a community cleanup,” event organizers said.

Volunteers will gather at the Bronze Bob statue to clean up nearby Reston Association paths.

Residents can also contribute to Reston Museum‘s new Free Little Art Gallery by bringing artwork. Public Art Reston, a local nonprofit organization, will also have a free activity availability.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the gallery is slated for 12:30 p.m. at the steps of the Washington Plaza Baptist Church, after which the gallery will be permanently installed at the museum. It will be Reston’s second Free Little Art Gallery, following an installation outside the Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate.

Performances include a show by the Foley Academy of Irish Dance, Adrenaline Dance Studio, South Lakes High School Theater, Reston Community Players and Langston Hughes Middle School’s choir.

Local food trucks will be on site at the event, which is presented by Reston Museum and Reston Community Center and cosponsored by Public Art Reston. Lake Anne Plaza hosts the event.

Cake will also be served at an event with local authors Rebecca Green, Shelley Mastran and Cheryl Terio-Simon at RCC’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery.

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A traveling exhibit is coming to Reston this week (courtesy Reston Museum)

A traveling exhibition looking at the ins and outs of Prohibition in Virginia is coming this month to Reston Museum.

The Library of Virginia’s Teetotalers & Moonshiners exhibit will be on view between tomorrow (March 21) and April 29. Reston Museum will also showcase artifacts from its own collection of Bowman Distillery items.

The exhibition tells the story of Virginia’s Prohibition, including its history as part of a social reform movement, the economic and social costs of Prohibition and the role of government in overseeing public health.

Here’s from Reston Museum on the exhibit:

Distilled from the Library’s 1,200 square foot exhibition (on view through December 5, 2017), Teetotalers & Moonshiners uses the Library’s deep and compelling collections on this era, from humorous sheet music mocking the absurdities of Prohibition to blazing headlines in anti- and pro-liquor newspapers and broadsides. At the core of the story are the records of the state’s Prohibition Commission, which record the daily activities of its agents. A digital interactive component documents statewide prohibition trends and tells the personal stories of commission agents, bootleggers, and moonshiners. The exhibition is supported in part by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association. The Virginia Distillers Association provided support for the traveling exhibition.

Teetotalers & Moonshiners addresses the important and long-lasting effects of Prohibition on Virginia and America, including the prohibition movement as part of a social reform movement, the economic and social costs of Prohibition, including the closing of businesses and conflict within communities, and the rise of illegal alcohol production and sale as an underground culture and economy, the role of government in overseeing public health, and prohibition’s legacy–from NASCAR to the creation of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the rise of the modern brewing and distilling industry.

The Library of Virginia was founded in 1823 to preserve the state’s printed and manuscript holdings. The exhibit is made possible in part with support from Virginia ABC and the Virginia Distillers Association.

Located at Lake Anne Plaza (1639 Washington Plaza North), Reston Museum is a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve Reston’s past, inform its present and influence the future of Reston.

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LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other gender and sexual minority identities (via Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash)

A private library for the local LGBTQIA+ community is expanding its reach in Reston.

NoVA Prism Center, a planned community center and private library, is working with Reston Museum to tour its collection books and resources on March 18. The pop-up collection will be featured at the museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The community is invited to come to the museum, relax with a book, connect with the local LGBTQIA+ community and support our mission to bring access to information about LGBTQIA+ lives, stories, and history to Northern Virginia while participating in the LGBTQIA+ community by gathering to celebrate ourselves, friends and loved ones,” event organizers said in a news release.

NoVA Prism was founded as a nonprofit in May 2022 by local educators and activists in response to an attempt to eliminate two books dealing with LGBTQ topics from Fairfax County Public Schools.

“As a LGBTQ+ run organization with roots in the community it serves, NoVA Prism Center & Library is an answer to both the threat of lost access for LGBTQ+ teens in the region, as well as being the community resource that the LGBTQ+ community desperately needs moving forward,” Leon van Der Goetz said on behalf of the organization.

NoVA Prism has pop-up events and hopes to open a physical location. Planning for the project is in the preliminary stages, and a location has not yet been determined. The organization is currently funded by individual and corporate donations.

Alex Campbell, Reston Museum’s executive director, said that the partnership came about after a board member connected the two organizations.

“NoVA Prism Center & Library was looking for a space to do a pop up event and the museum was a good fit,” Campbell said.

Reston Museum is a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve Reston’s past, form its present and influences its future. The museum features a collection of archival material and artifacts.

It’s open from Tuesday through Saturday.

Photo via Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

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