The County’s Art Buzz – October


Arts Buzz- October

By Dana C. Stewart

The 2019 Arts Awards

Fairfax County will celebrate excellence in arts and give tribute to arts visionaries at the 2019 Arts Awards on Friday, October 18, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Fairview Park Marriott. This year’s awardees have increased access and created opportunities to expose art to audiences in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. Bikki Stricker, a potter that specializes in crystalline glazes, designed the awards for honorees Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Chairman Sharon Bulova, Margaret and Shashi Gupta, artist Foon Sham, NextStop Theatre Company and philanthropist Stephen Roberts. The event is a fundraiser for the arts and open to the public, but tickets are required.

True Stories of Seven Women 

“Seven” is the theatrical experience telling the true stories of seven women who have fought to create lasting change in their communities. Seven acclaimed playwrights collaborated to weave together the struggles and triumph of these inspiring women who hail from Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia and Cambodia. Each story shares the threats and obstacles faced in their quest to improve the lives of girls and women in their home country. Some content may not be suitable for young audience members. Tickets are required for the October 18, 8 p.m. showing at the George Mason University’s (GMU) Center for the Arts.

Star Wars Red Carpet at the Washington West Film Festival

Anthony Daniels will headline the opening night of the 2019 Washington West Film Festival, set to take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in Reston, Virginia. The actor and writer – best known for portraying C-3PO in all of the Star Wars episodic films – will participate in an hour-long In Conversation Q&A event, followed by an exclusive screening of Star Wars: A New Hope.

“Washington West has built a national and international reputation among film festivals, not only for the quality of our programs and special events but especially our unyielding passion that ‘Story Can Change the World,'” said festival founder and President, Brad Russell.

The Washington West Film Festival is a non-profit organization that celebrates the transformative power of film. This year’s showcase features selected shorts, documentaries and fictional films that highlight a variety of perspectives. The Festival runs October 24 – 28. Check for a complete screening schedule.

 Arts Highlights for October

The Virginia Opera opens its 45th season with “Tosca” at the GMU’s Center for the Arts on October 12, 8 p.m. and October 13, 2 p.m. Aspiring actors in grades 4 through 12 can hone their skills in Traveling Players movement classes starting October 13 through December 15th, registration is required. Amadeus Concerts presents Washington Symphonic Brass at St. Luke Catholic Church, McLean on October 13, 4 p.m. The Bluegrass Barn Concert Series presents a concert by Nothin’ Fancy at Frying Pan Park on October 13 and Colebrook Road on October 27 at 7 p.m.  Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia presents Judy Wengrovitz – A Retrospective from October 16 through December 2. Enjoy Chinese circus arts with Cirquie Mei at GMU’s Center for the Arts on October 19, 2 p.m.

Vietnamese Heritage Festival (VietFest)

The theme of VietFest this year is Vietnamese Americans: Past, Present, and Future. Through programming, decorations, and exhibits, the National Organization of Vietnamese American Leaders (NOVAL) will chronicle the journey that their community took from the moment they first arrived in this country to where they are today.

TET, Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival

The Vietnamese Literary and Artistic Club (VLAC) of the greater metropolitan Washington, DC area presents the Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) festival each year. The annual event takes place at the Northern Virginia Community College’s Ernst Community Cultural Center, Annandale campus. The purpose of the local festival is two-fold: It provides Vietnamese immigrants a chance to experience the annual celebration of Tet which takes place in their homeland. It also provides Vietnamese Americans growing up in the United States as well as people of all cultures an avenue to learn about many of the traditions and history of Vietnamese culture and its people.

Reston Multicultural Festival

The Reston Multicultural Festival is a celebration of the diversity and community spirit that is found in Reston. This annual event brings together the people of Reston to celebrate the rich medley of cultures. Come and share with family, friends, and neighbors the music, entertainment, dress, food, and cultural treasures from all over the world that are all right here.

Reston Founders Day

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum will celebrate Robert E. Simon, Jr. and the community. Founder’s Day will feature a 50-foot Ferris wheel sponsored by Reston Association (RA), children’s activities, children’s art projects in cooperation with the Initiative for Public Art – Reston (IPAR), musical entertainment for all ages provided by local artists and schools, guided walks around Lake Anne Plaza in cooperation with IPAR and RA, and remarks by local elected officials. The event will be fun for the entire family.

Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

Make MLK Day a day on, not a day off. This year’s 30th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration planning is underway, and will also include Community Service Projects, the Voices of Inspiration Program by the Reston Martin Luther King, Jr. Church and hosted by the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, and a Commemorative March. 

Persian New Year Festival

The Northern Virginia Park Authority is pleased to announce that the Bull Run Special Events Center will host the Persian cultural festival known as 13 Bedar (or Sizdah Bedar). Sizdah Bedar is a day of celebration in teh outdoors in Persian vulture. This day falls on the 13th day of the Persian calendar, which usually falls in early April. Part of the tradition is to knot blades of grass or wheat and send them downstream. With Cub Run flowing next to teh center, it provides a perfect place for this custom that symbolizes “out with the old, in with the new.”

Nowruz Festival

Hundreds of Persian-American artists, musicians, singers, dancers and traditional players will assemble to ring in the Persian New Year (Nowruz) on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Tysons Corner Center, in McLean.  Combined with more than 75 vendors offering traditional foods, jewelry, crafts, books and other traditional products, the Nowruz Festival will offer a family-friendly venue for the celebration.

What is Nowruz?
Of all the Persian national festivals, the New Year celebrations are at once the most important and the most colorful. This festival embodies a wealth of ancient rites and customs, and is about the only one in Persia which is not confined to the traditions of only one religious group. It symbolizes that continuity of the ancient Persian culture which has survived so many adversities and vicissitudes.

In harmony with the rebirth of nature, Nowruz always begins on the first day of spring marked by vernal equinox, or Tahvil. On that day -which may occur on March 20 – 21 or 22 – the sun crosses the celestial equator.

As far back as records go, Nowruz has been, either in fact or by intention, a celebration of early spring, when the sun begins to regain strength and overcome winter’s cold and darkness and when there is a renewal of growth and vigor in nature. Zoroastar’s people were demonstrably animatists, that is, they apprehended a cognitive spirit, mainyu, in all things, tangible or intangible. So for them this return of spring would have represented an annual victory for the spirit of the sun; and Zoroaster saw in it also, it appears, the symbol of a still more glorious victory to come. This was the special hope which he offered his followers, that the present struggle between good and evil, on all planes, physical, moral and spiritual, will end in total victory for the good.

Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival

The 16th annual Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival, powered by the JCCNV, will screen 14 contemporary Jewish-themed and/or Israeli-made feature films that explore identity and place in the world. Opening night on April 7 features the new British comedy Dough; other films to be screened are À la Vie, A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt, Belle and Sebastian, Bulgarian Rhapsody, In Search of Israeli Cuisine, Laugh Lines, Raise the Roof, Rosenwald, Sabena Hijacking-My Version, Suicide, Time to Say Goodbye, To Life, and Wedding Doll.

KORUS Festival

The KORUS Festival is one of Greater Washington DC’s premier community events. It is a celebration of the Korean American way of life, Korean heritage & culture, and the beauty of America’s diversity. The event features modern and traditional music and cultural performances, demonstrations, Korean cuisine, and much more.

Heritage India Festival

The Heritage India Festival is the greater Washington metropolitan area’s premier South Asian cultural, arts and commerce festival. Rushhi Entertainment’s award-winning Heritage India Festival series has featured the best of South Asia – highlighting the culture, cuisine, commerce and entertainment of India. The festival, held twice a year, draws thousands of South Asian Americans to experience and revel in the colors of the subcontinent.

Fair Oaks Mall’s Annual Lunar New Year Festival

One of the largest events of its kind in the country, Fair Oaks Mall’s annual Lunar New Year Festival is expected to once again attract close to 200,000 people to the award-winning retail center over the course of the two-day celebrations. Come see more than 300 performers participate at Fair Oaks Mall’s Lunar New Year event, representing various nationalities. The celebration features traditional Chinese dragon dances, music and dance performances, daring martial arts demonstrations, children’s crafts, multi-cultural displays and a special lantern festival.

DMV Punjabi Mela Festival

The DMV Mela Festival offers a welcoming environment for families and visitors of all ages to enjoy the open air event featuring essential aspects of the local Indian & Pakistani heritage and culture. Guests will enjoy high energy Bhangra, Gidha, and contemporary dances in colorful costumes, interactive performances, Indian and Pakistani food, children’s games, and crafts from local vendors.