A- A A+

1/28/22: The McLean Community Center and the Old Firehouse Center are open. All classes will be held as scheduled. Rentals and local, open meetings are not affected unless canceled by the Executive Director or the rental client.



Previous month Previous day Next day Next month
By Year By Month By Week Today Search Jump to month
View: 10 | 50 | 100 | All

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021 - Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022
Wednesday-Saturday, Noon–8 p.m. and Sunday, Noon–6 p.m. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. 
This experience will be closed on 12/23, 12/24, 12/25 and 12/31 in observance of County holidays.

Free admision; registration required. You can register for a one-hour timeslot by clicking here.


In “Traveling While Black VR,” the immersion of 360° footage draws viewers into living history lessons told around a booth in Ben’s Chili Bowl. The Washington, D.C. restaurant has been a mainstay of the African American community since 1958, bearing witness to significant Civil Rights milestones that are woven into the film in powerful snippets of footage. The Traveling While Black VR experience/film was directed by Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams.

Canada wordmarkFrom the stirring memories of civil rights leader Courtland Cox to the heartbreaking words of Samaria Rice, whose young son, Tamir, was killed by police in 2014, VR allows Williams to connect the parallels of the past to the present. 


QcDrapeau 2couleurs 619kPlease register for a timeslot. We will sign in participants at the top of the hour, with a short introduction to the Occulus VR set, followed by the film that lasts approximately 20 minutes.

Please Note: Contact lenses are strongly encouraged for the best viewing experience. Glasses don't fit well under the Oculus sets and may cause blurriness.

Talk Back, Look Forward

Join this post-exhibit session with guided facilitation by Joshua Jenkins that will create space to reflect in community with others around the "Traveling While Black" virtual reality experience as well as look ahead at how the experience can move us to collective action. Talk Back, Look Forward sessions will be held remotely via Zoom on Wednesdays at 6p.m. and in-person at the McLean Community Center on Saturdays at 1 p.m. Registration is required to attend. Register here.

Traveling While Black Playlist
Check out this specially curated playlist of seminal Black artists from the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s who, with popularity and fame, would’ve still been in great risk of traveling while Black. The contributions of these artists provide a necessary soundtrack of the times that will give greater context to the "Traveling While Black" exhibit.
Listen on Spotify/Apple Music: https://qrco.de/TWBmcc 

Resources for Further Engagement
We’ve pulled together some helpful resources for those looking to dive deeper into conversations around race in America as well as resources for those looking to patronize and support others within the McLean community.

Podcast / Code Switch 
Podcast / Still Processing
Book / The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
Book / Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America
Directories / Black-Owned in McLean and Northern Virginia (and Beyond)
Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce Member Directory
Black-Owned Restaurants in Northern Virginia
Ben’s Chili Bowl


The experience was funded with support from the Québec Government Offices in New York and Washington, the Embassy of Canada to the United States, Fairfax County Neighborhood Community Services and the Fairfax County Public Library.

Featuring members of the Rappahannock Tribe of Virginia
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 7 p.m.
Free admission. Registration is required. Register here.

To make sure we hold on to and deepen the knowledge we gained during Native American Heritage Month in November, join us for an in-depth discussion group (via Zoom) on the history of indigenous Virginians using The Pocahontas Project Online Course as a guide. Each discussion will cover two sessions of this 10-session, online course and be co-facilitated by a Rappahannock Tribe Member as well as members of The Alden’s staff. The final session will be facilitated by The Pocahontas Project developers, Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Tribe and Rick Tatnall.

The Pocahontas Project is a collaborative effort between the County of Gloucester Virginia, the Rappahannock Indian Tribe and Replenish Richmond that presents native Virginian history around the time of European contact through the lens of Pocahontas’s life and legacy. This course also discusses the history and culture of Virginia’s Native American Tribes, with special attention to the eight Virginia tribes that were aligned with paramount Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas.

To participate, you must register. You will receive free access to the 10-session course as well as links to all five discussion groups (which will be emailed out the day of the event). If you wish to attend a discussion group, you must register at least two hours before the start time, but we recommend much more time so that you can review the course materials in advance.


This class is suitable for both beginners and those who have taken improv classes in the past. Improv comedy is a great way for kids and teens to express themselves and gain confidence. Focusing on creativity and teamwork, The Alden’s improv comedy classes for youth teach improv fundamentals such as “yes, and” in a supportive environment.

Session I: Class participants will perform during (the) Unruly Theatre Project’s show on Friday, March 4, at The Old Firehouse Center.

Session II: Participants will perform a class showcase at MCC on the last day of class.

Session I

8-11 years

8 lessons @ 1 hr, $145/$125 MCC district residents
3001.322          M, 1/10-3/14          6:30-7:30 p.m.
No lesson on 1/17 and 2/21.

12-16 years
8 lessons @ 1 hr, $145/$125 MCC district residents
3002.322          M, 1/10-3/14          7:30-8:30 p.m.
No lesson on 1/17 and 2/21.


Session II

8-11 years
7 lessons @ 1 hr, $145/$125 MCC district residents
3003.322          M, 4/11-5/23          6:30-7:30 p.m.

12-16 years
7 lessons @ 1 hr, $145/$125 MCC district residents
3004.322          M, 4/11-5/23          7:30-8:30 p.m.


Black History Month Selection

Thursday, Feb. 3, 1 p.m.

Free; registration is required. Register here
View the Trailer

By popular demand, our foreign language movie series is back! Curated by Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff, with more than a little help from our audience, the series will pick up where we were so rudely interrupted in 2020, with a few surprises thrown in. All screenings are free, but advance registration is required. Schedule subject to change.

Friday, Feb. 4, 7:30-9 p.m. 
Free admission; registration is required. 

Register for panel and meal

Register for panel only 

Celebrate Black History Month with us! MCC is bringing together some of the civil rights leaders featured in the “Traveling While Black” Virtual Reality Experience for a panel discussion on Friday, Feb. 4.

The “Talk Back, Look Forward” Panel Discussion will feature Ben’s Chili Bowl Founder and Owner Virginia Ali, D.C. Civil Right Veteran Courtland Cox, DC Legendary Musicians Chair Rev. Dr. Sandra Butler-Truesdale, Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams and Tamir Rice Foundation Founder and CEO Samaria Rice, who is interviewed in the film. Williams and Rice will be participating remotely. Media Strategist Joshua Henry Jenkins will moderate the discussion, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. A catered, boxed meal from Ben’s Chili Bowl will be available to participants starting at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the event is free; however, registration is required.


For more information and to register for the "Traveling While Black VR Experience," click here. 

Presented in Partnership with the Fairfax County Public Library
Sunday, Feb. 6, 2:30 p.m.
Free; preregistration is required through the FCPL website.


One of America’s most beloved and critically acclaimed authors, Terry McMillan became the empowering voice of a generation of women with her New York Times #1 bestsellers “Waiting for Exhale” and “How Stella Got Her  Groove Back.” Her novels are rich in fearless wisdom, heart-touching characters and unforgettable stories of friendships, healing, intergenerational bonds and women saving their own lives.

buy tix offChamber Music Series


Sunday, Feb. 13, 2 p.m.
$10/$5 MCC district residents

The Beau Soir Ensemble is a flute, viola and harp trio dedicated to the performance of standard and contemporary repertoire spanning a variety of genres. Founded by harpist Michelle Lundy in 2007, the group regularly performs at venues and acclaimed concert series in the Mid-Atlantic region, including the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Strathmore Mansion, The Alden and Harman Center for the Arts. The trio won the 2014 Montpelier Arts Recital Competition and frequently offers performances featuring world and local premiers by various exciting composers.

buy tix offFriday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m.
$40/$30 MCC district residents

Couldn’t you use a good laugh? “The Trocks” recreate the glories of the Royal Imperial ballet in the biggest pointe shoes you’ll ever see.

“The all-male dance parody troupe is still the funniest and most sophisticated act around.” — San Francisco Chronicle


Thursday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m.
Free admission. Registration is required. Register here

Watch the Trailer

Learn a little about the performing arts through these one-hour (or so) documentaries. Safety permitting, join Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff for a discussion after.

Women's History Month Selection 

Thursday, March 3, 1 p.m.

Free; registration is required. Register here.
View the Trailer


By popular demand, our foreign language movie series is back! Curated by Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff, with more than a little help from our audience, the series will pick up where we were so rudely interrupted in 2020, with a few surprises thrown in. All screenings are free, but advance registration is required. Schedule subject to change.