But because June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, the City is also recognizing Friday, June 18, as a holiday.
“We should all be looking at ways that we can help our community, especially in the context of a pandemic which has particularly ravaged communities of color,” said Audrey David, executive director of the Alexandria City Black History Museum, in a recent blog post, “Start by exploring the Black History Museum’s Preserving Their Names online only exhibition, released to coincide with the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, which features images of objects and digital photographs from the new Black Lives Remembered Collection.”
The holiday means most, but not all, City employees will have Friday off. Parking restrictions will also be lifted at legal parking spaces throughout the city, however Alexandria City Public Schools will be open.
City-run facilities and services that will be open include:
- The Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday
- Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.) and the Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility (3210 King St.) will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All other City recreation centers and the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center (5750 Sanger Ave.) will be closed
- The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington St.), Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (134 N. Royal St.), and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum (105 N. Union St., Suite 327) will all be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All other City museums will be closed
- The Alexandria Transit Company DASH bus service will operate on its regular weekday schedule
- The Potomac Yard Park Interactive fountain
- The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (4101 Eisenhower Ave.) will be open June 18 and 19, by appointment only. To make an appointment, visit AlexandriaAnimals.org/Adopt-By-Appointment or call 703-746-4774.
- All emergency hotlines will be operational, including the Child Protective Services hotline at 703-746-5800; the domestic violence hotline at 703.746.4911; the emergency services for mental health or substance abuse crisis hotline at 703.746.3401; the adult protective services hotline at 1.888.832.3858 (1.888.83ADULT); and the sexual assault hotline at 703.683.7273.
The following City services are closed Friday:
The Alexandria Black History Museum (902 Wythe Street) has just secured a substantial new grant that will help the museum digitize much of its collections.
The museum announced yesterday that it will receive a $243,356 grant from the IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture. The grant will help fund digitization and interpretation for four of the museum’s archival collections.
Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, said in the press release that the museum will be digitizing documents, objects and other material from some of Alexandria’s most Black historic figures, such as:
- Activists Ferdinand T. Day and Annie B. Rose
- Washington opera singer Ben Holt
- Public relations pioneer Moss H. Kendrix
The process will involve creating and updating catalog records along with scanning or photographing collection items.
One of the end-stages of the project will be an exhibition on Kendrix’s work, scheduled to open in spring 2023.
“We are excited and honored to be a 2021 recipient of the IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture,” Gretchen Bulova, Director of the Office of Historic Alexandria, said a press release. “Support from IMLS permits us share Alexandria’s vibrant African American history with new and wider audiences as well as educate future generations about Black excellence and achievement in Alexandria.”
The goal is to develop an online exhibition space that will help explore themes of civil rights and equality in the city’s history.
“By digitizing these collections,” said Davis. “We will be able to provide increased public and research access, improve collections care by reducing future handling, and ensure best practices in collections management. It will also enable the Museum to develop future learning opportunities and programming for life-long learners, families, and school-age students.”
The Alexandria Black History Museum is partnering with Washington Revels Jubilee Voices — a group that preserves local Black traditions through a cappella music, dramatic performances and dance — for a virtual Juneteenth Celebration this weekend.
Juneteenth is a holiday that marks date that slavery was fully abolished in the United States. A virtual program called “Our People: A Juneteenth Story” will premiere on Saturday, June 19, and will include footage of Washington Revels Jubilee Voices at historically significant sites throughout Alexandria presented by the Black History Museum.
“This special production was filmed on location at heritage sites throughout historic Alexandria, Virginia, with a virtual release presented by the Museum on Juneteenth,” Washington Revels Jubilee Voices said on its website.
Attendees can sign up to watch the presentation live, and the presentation will be available at the Office of Historic Alexandria’s YouTube page after the premiere.
Alexandria Black History Museum director speaks on anniversary of George Floyd’s murder — “Yes, there have been changes – Diversity and inclusion training are being taught in universities and the American workplace, some racists are being held accountable, corporations have promised new more transparent hiring procedures that would add African Americans to leadership positions, TV shows and advertisers have hired people of color in record numbers and The Oscars are not quite so #OscarsSoWhite anymore. All of this is meaningful, but it must be more than a quick fix. Everyone needs an ally, but being a true ally goes deeper than the protests. To be a real ally, you need to be there for the hard work, the messy work, and the unpleasant conversations about race and racism. You need to turn the mirror inward and make the personal changes that will help make your community a better place.” [Zebra]
Local chef appearing on FOX baking competition tonight — “Erinn Roth still can’t believe she was chosen to compete on FOX’s new baking competition show. ‘Crime Scene Kitchen’ premieres this Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET… The contestants are allowed to explore a kitchen that was recently used to bake a specific treat. They must use their baking skills and the clues left behind to determine what was baked and then they have two hours to recreate what they think it was. At the end of each episode, after two rounds, a team is eliminated.” [Alexandria Living]
Roy Rogers to reopen year and a half after Belle View Shopping Center fire — “The Roy Rogers in the Belle View Shopping Center will celebrate its long-awaited grand re-opening on June 1, the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce announced. Located at 1506 Belle View Blvd., the restaurant closed in October 2019 following a devastating multi-alarm fire that spread along the roofline of the shopping center. An investigation by the Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s office determined that fire began in a walk-in cooler at Yido Ramen and Sushi, which had opened just days before. [Alexandria Living]
Old Hat Bar opening delayed in Old Town by staffing challenges — “Residents eager to see Old Hat Bar open its doors in Old Town Alexandria will have to wait a little longer. The gastropub was set to open Friday, May 21 at 112 N. Saint Asaph Street, the former location of King Street Blues. But like other businesses in the food service industry, Old Hat Bar faces staffing challenges.” [Patch]
City to Host Town Hall on Anti-Asian Violence — The City of Alexandria invites the public to attend a virtual Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Town Hall, “Contextualizing Anti-Asian Violence in the Age of COVID,” on Thursday, May 27, at 7 p.m. The virtual panel discussion focuses on the wave of racial incidents and attacks directed toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel features Elisabeth Chan, Sue Jean Cho, John Min, and Alexander Purrugganan, faculty members of Northern Virginia Community College. Their presentation will be followed by an interactive question and answer session. The presentation is free, but attendees must register.” [City of Alexandria]
PHOTOS: Alexandria Fire Department train on the Potomac River — “Yesterday, some of our first responders participated in swift water boat operator training. #traineveryday #stayready” [Twitter]
Today’s weather — “Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Gusty winds and small hail are possible. High 93F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Partly cloudy skies overnight. Low 68F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.” [Weather.com]
New job: Crew at AMC Theatres — “AMC amazing. That’s the promise we deliver to nearly 35,000 associates, 240 million guests domestically, and 350 million guests worldwide each year. AMC has propelled industry innovation since 1920, and we continue to innovate by delivering premium sight and sound, new and improved food and beverage options, and diverse content in our state-of-the-art theatres.” [Indeed]
The Alexandria Black History Museum has spent the last year gathering documentation from the unrest throughout the city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
The virtual exhibition “Preserving Their Names” opens May 25 and includes pictures and objects from the demonstrations, including banners, face masks and poems.
Violent incidents against Black Americans throughout the country came to a head last summer, and in Alexandria there were a number of demonstrations, including on King Street, outside police headquarters and Charles Houston Recreation Center.
The museum is continuing to collect materials on the events, especially signs and posters.
After months of being closed during the holidays, a number of museums in Alexandria will be open to the public starting this Thursday, March 25.
The Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum, Friendship Firehouse Museum and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum will open with modified hours, capacities, and advance ticket requirements, according to the city.
This follows a closure over the holidays during a surge, which ended up closing a number of museums.
“For the safety of museum staff, volunteers and guests, visitors are expected to follow the requirements of Executive Order 72 and the City mask ordinance,” the city advised. “Everyone ages 5 and older is required to wear masks that fit snugly over their nose and mouth at all times; to keep 6 feet of physical distance between households; and to wash hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol frequently.”
The following museums are still closed:
- Alexandria Black History Museum (closed for renovation)
- Archives and Records Center
- Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site (closed for renovation)
- Freedom House Museum (closed for renovation)
- Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
City of Alexandria Provides COVID-19 Updates; CDC Launches New Website Tracking COVID-19 Variants in U.S.; Some Alexandria Museums Reopen: https://t.co/5b4mRGtzXE.
— AlexandriaVAGov (@AlexandriaVAGov) March 18, 2021
Virginia Rolls Back Some Restrictions on Dining, Outdoor Gatherings — Effective Mar. 1, Virginians will be able to buy and drink alcohol at restaurants, food courts, breweries, distilleries, and wineries until they are required to close at midnight. The changes to the current executive order come amid declining rates of hospitalizations and infections and rising vaccination rates in the Commonwealth, Northam said during a press conference this morning (Wednesday).” [Reston Now]
Alexandria Black History Museum Launches Online Exhibition — “Following George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM) requested that Alexandria residents share their thoughts, artwork, and more. ABHM wanted to document the Alexandria community’s response of this tragic event and preserve it for future generations. An online exhibition featuring the items received so far launched recently on the Historic Alexandria Online portal. The items collectively are called the Black Lives Remembered Collection.” [Zebra]
Leaders Predict What Alexandria Will Look Like in the Year 2050 — “You pop into the Torpedo Factory and delve into the immersive beauty of art and technology combined, then get your caffeine fix with ease as a retinal scan captures your regular favorite brew — fair trade of course, because all coffee is these days. With a coffee in hand, you board one of the free electric trolleys that departs every 10 minutes from King Street to any of the city’s neighborhoods — Potomac Yard, Inova West, Carlyle, Arlandria, Del Ray and more.” [Alexandria Living]
Council Approves Newport Village Development — “UDR Newport Village LLC, has received approval for a development special use permit to tear down two garden-style apartments and build a multifamily residential building with 383 units near Northern Virginia Community College. According to the plans, 24 units would be studios, 255 would be one-bedroom units, and 104 would be two-bedroom units. At least a dozen of the units would be affordable, and the developer is making a contribution to the affordable housing fund.” [Alexandria Living]
City Environmental Award Nominations Open — “Know someone who is committed to protecting the environment and sustaining Alexandria’s natural resources? Nominate them for the Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award by March 25.” [Twitter]
George Washington Reenactor Conducting Community Conversations — “Join George Washington every Friday in February as he discusses his life during various periods of his life and engages the audience. The first week will be about his youth, the second week will delve into the American War for Independence, the third week will cover his post-war retirement at Mount Vernon and his time presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and the last installment will cover his Presidency and final retirement years.” [Visit Alexandria]
Today’s Weather — “Mainly sunny (during the day). High 52F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph… Partly cloudy (in the evening). Low 31F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Pastry Chef/Baker — “Seeking a full time pastry and/or bread baker for high quality artisan bread and pastry company. We are looking for a creative self starter who has attention to detail and a variety of skills from cookies and brownies to cakes, ice cream, mousses, desserts and pies- laminating skills a plus but not necessary. Creativity, drive and a strong work ethic are critical. This position comes with a lot of freedom to develop new items and grow the business. You will be producing a menu of set items according to our recipes but we are looking for someone who can creatively and efficiently develop and add more items- this is a growth position.” [Indeed]
Black History Museum Asks for Help in Conservation Effort — “The Alexandria Black History Museum (BHM) is asking for help from the community. The museum hopes to apply for a conservation grant from the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM)… From Jan. 11 through 20, people can vote for their favorite artifact on the top ten list. The artifact with the most votes will win the People’s Choice Award and $1,000 toward conservation work on the artifact.” [Zebra]
Nothing Bundt Cakes to Open on Duke Street — “Nothing Bundt Cakes is opening its first Alexandria location. The bakery will open at 4553 Duke St., replacing a Subway sandwich shop in the Shoppes at Foxchase in Alexandria’s West End.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Goodwin House to Receive Second Dose of Vaccine This Month — “375 people were vaccinated last month and are awaiting their second dose on January 19. Bagley hopes they’ll vaccinate more people once Governor Ralph Northam initiates Phase 1B, which will allow CVS and other pharmacies to distribute vaccinations.” [WDMV]
Alive! Feeds Hundreds at Food Distribution Event — “Alive!, an Alexandria, faith-based community organization, held its first large scale food distribution drives of the New Year.” [WJLA]
Northam Says Year-Round School is Possibility — “In a press conference this week, Governor Ralph Northam said, ‘One of the things we are entertaining is perhaps year-round schooling for the next year. Perhaps adding increased days this summer. To really help our kids get caught up.'” [Zebra]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Alexandria Living Legend Lillian Patterson, a fourth-generation Alexandrian and former curator of the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM), is planning to host an annual workshop with the museum this weekend to discuss the holiday Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa is a holiday with roots in America’s Black community celebrated from Saturday, Dec. 26 to Friday, Jan. 1. The holiday incorporates several traditional African festivities and celebrates principals like unity and collective work and responsibility.
The ABHM is planning a virtual how-to workshop at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.
“Learn how to do your own celebration as former ABHM curator, Lillian S. Patterson, and ABHM volunteers Cathy Riddick-Brown, and Linda Haughton, show you the origins, concepts, and practices of Kwanzaa,” the museum said in a press release. “You will hear about principals, symbols, fun activities, and more that will enchant you all year long.”
The day will also include a reading of the Kwanzaa story Seven Spools of Thread.
“Participants must register in advance for the free Kwanzaa How-to Workshop,” the museum said. “After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. This will automate the receipt of the Zoom link and a reminder an hour before the event begins. For more information contact 703.746.4356.”
Photo via soulchristmas/flickr
With photos, signs, artwork and letters, the City of Alexandria is documenting Alexandria’s response to the death of George Floyd.
The Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) and the Alexandria Black History Museum have been collecting artifacts for months and are asking for photos from the public.
“George Floyd’s life mattered,” wrote Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum. “His life story matters. His murder matters. He became part of a horrible trinity on May 25th when his killing came shortly after the murders of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. This trinity is just the most recent example of America’s horrible legacy of racial terror deaths.”
Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25, and the event sparked outrage throughout the country, including in Alexandria. Portions of the city were shut down during the summer for protests and vigils, and the event even turned the spotlight on the Alexandria Police Department.
Due to the pandemic, donated objects will not be accepted until city museums reopen, according to OHA.