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Panoramic view of beautiful summer parkMcLean Community Center’s Governing Board outlines its support of three components of the McLean Central Park Redevelopment Plan

On Friday, July 16, the Governing Board of the McLean Community Center (MCC) sent a letter to the Fairfax County Park Authority expressing its support for three components of the McLean Central Park Redevelopment Plan. The 11-member, all-volunteer board sets policy, approves budgets and provides general oversight of MCC programs and facilities. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

The full text of the letter follows.

Sara Baldwin
Acting Executive Director
Fairfax County Park Authority
12055 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035

Dear Director Baldwin:

The McLean Community Center (MCC) Governing Board particularly supports three components of the redevelopment plan for McLean Central Park (MCP): an Amphitheater, an accessible Drop Off Point, and Public Art Display.

The vision outlined in the 2013 Master Plan by Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) aligns closely with MCC’s mission. It will provide the infrastructure and the opportunity to creatively support educational, social, cultural, and recreational activities for our community. We support the plan with the understanding that the FCPA will develop the facility in a way that respects the natural habitat, maximizes green space, and addresses neighborhood traffic flow.

Today, MCC not only provides programming, initiatives, and experiences across McLean Central Park for its constituents (residents of Dranesville Small District 1A), its activities also bring in new users both to the center and the park drawing from across Fairfax County, the National Capital region, and beyond.

The most tangible aspect of the special relationship between the MCP and MCC is the Sunday Summer Concert Series, bringing musicians and performers to the park’s gazebo for outdoor arts, culture, and entertainment. The Master Plan expressly notes that the Sunday Series exemplifies how the modern and accessible facilities can advance the mission of the MCC.

Read more: MCC Board Supports Park Plan

mcc pride logo flag3 high resMcLean Community Center Celebrates Pride Month in June with an Exhibition and a Teen Open Mic Night  


McLean Community Center (MCC) is celebrating Pride Month in June with an outdoor light installation and an open mic event for the LGBTQ community and their allies. This first-ever celebration is part of a Center initiative to expand diversity and inclusion in our programming to serve underrepresented groups. MCC is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

The month-long LGBTQ+ Pride Lighting Installation will be located on the MCC Plaza at the rear of the building. The lighting display will be accompanied by the Progress Pride flag designed by Daniel Quasar. Members of the community are encouraged to stop by the center to reflect on what LGBTQ+ Pride month means to them and to take photos with the exhibition, which can be shared on social media using the hashtag #McLeanCenterPRIDE. Participants who tag their photos, will be entered in a random weekly drawing to win fun giveaways from MCC. The display will be in place starting on Tuesday, June 1, and will remain on display until the end of the month.

Pride month at MCC kicks off with a free open mic event at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 4, on the rear plaza with the Pride display. Local LQBTQ+ teens, their allies and family members are invited to share their uplifting words and art. MCC Executive Director Daniel Phoenix Singh, who identifies as Queer/Gay, said, “LGBTQ youth face homelessness, abuse and bullying disproportionately in our communities. They often turn to the arts for coping mechanisms and frequently for survival. We want to lift up this safe space aspect of the arts—where the arts literally build community, celebrate our LGBTQ community/artists and save lives with events such as these.”

Read more: MCC Pride Month Activities 

AAPI month logo croppedThe Alden Welcomes Three Acclaimed Poets to A Virtual Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration


May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and The Alden in McLean is celebrating these rich cultures through the art of words. AAPI poets Regie Cabico, Gowri Koneswaran and Jenny C. Lares will be featured in a virtual performance, “Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month through Poetry,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 27. The poets will share their work, take audience questions and host an open mic segment for anyone who identifies as AAPI. The event is free, and preregistration is required. Those who wish to participate in the open mic segment may indicate so when they register.

 

Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff said, “This is a platform for amplifying AAPI voices, so we encourage McLean community members who identify as Asian American Pacific Islander to participate in the open mic—the rest of us get to listen.” MCC Executive Director Daniel Phoenix Singh is excited to start his tenure with a new event. “Poetry gives us the space in our data inundated lives for quietness and reflection—particularly as we emerge from the aftermath of the pandemic,” he said. “Asian communities have seen a record uptick in violence recently, and we hope this event will be a counterpoint of healing and safety. I am so lucky to be working at a center that allows us to showcase award-winning artists of the caliber of Cabico, Koneswaran, and Lares.”

 

Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer having won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and later taking top prizes in three national poetry slams. Television credits include TEDx, two seasons of HBO's “Def Poetry Jam,” NPR's “Snap Judgement” and MTV's “Free Your Mind.”

Read more: AAPI Heritage Month at The Alden

singh headshotMcLean Community Center Governing Board Appoints Daniel Phoenix Singh New MCC Executive Director
Singh Outlines Center’s 180-Day Plan

The McLean Community Center (MCC) Governing Board has appointed Daniel Phoenix Singh as the center’s new executive director. Singh is replacing George Sachs, who retired on Friday, May 7, after 11 years of service. MCC is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

In his previous position as Division Chief of Tourism and Cultural Arts for Baltimore County, Singh lead countywide initiatives in coordination with the Tourism Commission and the Arts and Sciences Commission. Singh is also Artistic and Executive Director of Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, which he founded in 2003. The multi-genre dance company has won national acclaim and was lauded by DC critics as one of the top three local dance companies in 2012. Singh has earned two master’s degrees in subjects that are highly relevant to his new position: a master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland.

MCC Board Chair Suzanne LeMenestrel said of Singh, “On behalf of the Governing Board, we are thrilled that Daniel will be leading the MCC. His expertise in the arts, technology and recreation and his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will serve our community exceptionally well. We are looking forward to working with Daniel as the MCC welcomes community members back to the center.”

Read more: Singh Named MCC Executive Director

Unruly Theatre Project castMcLean Community Center Calendar of Events for April 2021

The McLean Community Center (MCC) offers the following activities in April. Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, many Center programs and events have been adjusted to virtual (online) or in-person, socially distanced formats. Please check the Center's website, www.mcleancenter.org, for up-to-date information. Residents of the Center’s tax district, Small District 1A-Dranesville, are eligible for discounts on fees. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It
Mission: McLean
Now through Saturday, May 15
Free to participate.

Here's how to work up to a great McLean Day! Answer local trivia questions, complete fun missions and support McLean’s businesses and organizations by signing up for Mission: McLean! Download the free secure Goosechase app and complete the virtual and in-person missions on your own schedule! Participants who complete the missions will be automatically enrolled in a random drawing to receive great prizes. A smartphone is required to participate.

For more information or to register, visit: www.mcleancenter.org/special-events or call 703-790-0123, TTY: 711.

The Old Firehouse
Virtual Family Bingo Night
Friday, April 9, 7–9 p.m.
$5 per person for five Virtual Bingo Cards

Join us for a virtual evening of fun and prizes with your family! Winners will take their pick of prizes! Preregistration is recommended.

For more information or to register, visit: www.oldfirehouse.org or call 703-448-TEEN (8336).

Sponsored by The Alden
(the) Unruly Theatre Project’s Virtual Improv Show
Wednesday, April 14, at 7 p.m.

Free admission.

Join us for (the) Unruly Theatre Project’s virtual spring improv shows from the comfort of your couch! All performances begin at 7 p.m. and last approximately one hour. You can register for one show or as many as you like, but participants need to register at least two hours in advance of a show to see it. A Zoom link and password for the show will be emailed to registrants.

For more information or to register, visit: www.aldentheatre.org.

Read more: MCC April 2021 Calendar of Events 

recycling symbolReduce, Reuse, Recycle at McLean Community Center’s Earth Day McLean—Act Locally Drive-Thru Event on April 17
Residents Can Vote for MCC Governing Board Candidates, Too

McLean Community Center (MCC) is holding an environmental action event for residents of Dranesville Small District 1A from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 17. Earth Day McLean—Act Locally is a drive-thru, outdoor, event that provides a convenient way for McLean residents to better the planet. Admission is free; preregistration is recommended. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

Several local community businesses and organizations will provide four key facets of environmental health in the spirit of shredding, reusing, recycling and planting.

Earth-friendly opportunities include:
• Paper shredding provided by ShredInstead
• Paint recycling provided by Yuck Old Paint
• Bulk/Household Items accepted by College Hunks Hauling Junk
• Composting by Veteran Compost
• Bike donations provided by Wheels to Africa
• Tree saplings donated by Bartlett Tree Experts
• Art Alchemy, an innovative recycled art installation provided by Brooksfield School.

Read more: Earth Day McLean—Act Locally Event

Father Daughter Enchanted Evening Dance 2019Dads and Their Daughters Can Boogie on Down in the Open Air at MCC’s Reimagined, Outdoor Father-Daughter Silent Disco Dance
Dancers will be assigned parking lot spaces and will hear the tunes through headphones.

The program staffers at McLean Community Center have reimagined the center’s popular Father-Daughter Dance that was held in 2019 but was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. This year, a new Father-Daughter Silent Disco Dance will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. on Friday, April 30, in the center’s parking lot. Admission is $25 per participant; $15 for MCC district residents. Preregistration is required. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.

The dance is for fathers and daughters of all ages. Participants will be required to wear masks and social distancing will be enforced. Each couple or group will be assigned to their own dedicated spaces and will be given headphones with a choice of three, family friendly music genres. DJ BigCourt will provide music and entertainment and participants will receive snack bags and glow products to help get the party started.

For more information or to register, call 703-390-0123, TTY: 711.

MCC Logo horz color webMcLean Community Center Certifies 13 Dranesville District 1-A Residents
to Run for Governing Board Positions

Three Adult, Two Teen Positions Available

McLean Community Center (MCC) has certified 13 Dranesville Small District 1A residents, five adults and eight teens, to run for seats on the McLean Community Center Governing Board. The board sets policy and provides general oversight for all facilities and programs of the Center, including the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

Residents of Dranesville Small District 1A are eligible to vote during the election. Open Voting began on Wednesday, March 17. Residents may vote in-person or by mail. To request a ballot, residents may phone 703-744-9348, or send an email to elections@mcleancenter.org. After May 10, ballots must be picked up in person only. Open voting will end on Saturday, May 15, at 5 p.m. All ballots must be received at MCC by 5 p.m. to be counted.

There also will be two in-person voting opportunities at MCC: MCC’s Earth Day McLean—Act Locally event on Saturday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to noon and McLean Day 2021: A Drive-Thru Celebration, on Saturday, May 15, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Both events will be held at McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave.

 

Three adult positions and two youth positions are open this year. The adult candidates who receive the three-highest vote counts will serve three-year (3) terms. Youth candidates, one from the McLean High School boundary area and one from the Langley High School boundary area, will serve one-year (1) terms. Youth candidates do not have to attend these schools to serve on the board.

Adult Candidate Personal Statements

Sepehr Harandi
I’m a McLean boy, I attended Churchill Road Elementary, Cooper Middle and Langley High schools, Longwood University where I played Division 1 soccer and obtained my master’s from Oklahoma University. Growing up in McLean was vital to my maturity and development and I ultimately returned. I’ve been involved in the community in a variety of ways—coaching McLean youth football and basketball, sponsoring McLean 5k and playing for McLean Youth Sports. I choose to run for the MCC board to be a vital part of the community and stay connected to my roots while helping in any way I can.

Read more: 2021 MCC Governing Board Candidates

Fill Us In crayon imageMcLean Community Center Holds A Virtual Public Hearing on FY2023 Programs and Asks Tax District Residents to “Fill Us In” on Their Choice of Programs and Services

The McLean Community Center (MCC) is asking residents of Small District 1A-Dranesville, who pay a real estate tax surcharge to support the center, to “Fill Us In” on what kinds of new programs and services they would like to see offered and/or improved upon in the planning for the center’s FY2023 fiscal year. Residents can access an online survey to submit their ideas, here: https://conta.cc/3ckvdsU.

In addition, MCC is holding a Virtual Public Hearing on FY 2023 Programs at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24, over Zoom (ZOOM Meeting ID: 817 619 39845; Password: 559547). The hearing is the first step in planning for the FY2023 budget cycle, which begins July 1, 2022, and ends June 30, 2023. MCC’s operations include the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and The Old Firehouse Center. All meetings of the board are open to the public.

Tax district residents who plan to log in to the hearing and wish to speak are asked to call the Center at 703-744-9348, TTY: 711, to have their names placed on the speakers' list; however, speakers are not required to sign up in order to speak. Residents also may submit comments by mail, email (holly.novak@fairfaxcounty.gov) or in person up to seven days after the hearing.

Read more: Public Hearing on FY2023 Programs 

Amazing Joshua Virtual Alden 2021
McLean Community Center Calendar of Events for March 2021

McLean, Va.— The McLean Community Center (MCC) offers the following activities in March. Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, many Center programs and events have been adjusted to virtual (online) or in-person, socially distanced formats. Please check the Center's website, www.mcleancenter.org, for up-to-date information. Residents of the Center’s tax district, Small District 1A-Dranesville, are eligible for discounts on fees. The center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave.

The Old Firehouse
Learning Connection
Session 7: Tuesday, March 2–Friday, March 26
$400 per session; registration is open and ongoing

The Old Firehouse Learning Connection is a supervised e-learning program supervised by staff, for students in the 5th–10th grades. The program will provide a supervised environment for students to complete their school-led virtual instruction. Staff will provide limited socially distant recreation opportunities for students during their breaks. Program waivers, participant contracts and additional information will be sent to all registered participants prior to the start of the program. To register, visit: www.oldfirehouse.org or call 703-448-8336, TTY: 711.

Sponsored by The Alden
“The Joshua Show”
Saturday, March, 13, 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
$15/$10 MCC tax district residents (this fee is per device)

Joshua Holden is a modern-day Mr. Rogers with hipster appeal! When Mr. Nichols makes an unnerving self-discovery that causes him to spiral down a path of loneliness and hopeless despair, it's up to Joshua and his cast of characters, including Larry the Lint and the Wonderbook, to show his best friend the joy in being yourself. With live music, physical comedy and multiple styles of puppetry, this whimsical show is sure to bring out everyone's joyful side. Purchase tickets at www.aldentheatre.org.

Read more: MCC March 2021 Calendar of Events