We opened 2015 by remarking just how much the NoVA arts scene has grown (see below), and now, nearing 2017, we can’t help but still be in awe. Local music venues celebrated landmark anniversaries; theaters gave a voice to DMV playwrights; and when one art gallery closed, Arlington Arts opened an art truck. That kind of stalwart initiative and resilience is a connecting thread between all of our favorite NoVA Mag entertainment stories of the year.
“NoVA’s Changing Arts and Nightlife” by Jennifer Shapira
Northern Virginia’s arts scene is ever-expanding, and our 2015 year-in-review demonstrated just how much it’s growing. Shapira shows how much Northern Virginia has invested in the arts—in movie and book festivals, art galleries and exhibits and performing arts theaters—and how that investment has paid off, feeding right back into the growth and cultural richness of the region. Now it’s time to look back and see how much more the scene has grown in the past 12 months…
“The beat goes on at the Birchmere” by MacKenzie Reagan
“After 15 years, Jammin Java is still rockin’” by Sophie Reardon
Both Alexandria’s Birchmere and Vienna’s Jammin Java celebrated benchmark birthdays this year—50 and 15 years, respectively. Reagan and Reardon illuminate both venues’ remarkable histories and their contributions to NoVA’s music appreciation and its diverse music scene.
“Local playwrights get the stage at Signature Theatre” by Michael Balderston
It’s one thing if a theater, art gallery or music venue brings art to the community. It’s another thing if they also promote and nurture art being made within the community. Signature Theatre did just that with its Monday Night New Play Readings series, which allowed playwrights from the region to give a stage and life to their original work.
“NoVA prepares to welcome three new state parks” by Sophie Reardon
In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated 100 years in recreation, conservation and community, and this year, Northern Virginia demonstrated it’s just as committed to that mission. Here, Reardon looks at three parks at varying stages of development coming to Stafford, Prince William and Loudoun.
“Art truck coming to Arlington” by Cameron Wall
In true artist fashion, when Artisphere in Rosslyn closed in 2015, Arlington Arts made one loss into something entirely new. Using money originally raised for the shuttered arts center, Arlington Arts is investing in a mobile truck that will bring artists’ work into the community, focusing on engagement and interaction with the artists themselves.