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.
From 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.
Please 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.
Friday, Feb. 4, 7–9 p.m.
$5 per family of 4. Preregisration is recommended.
Activity No. 4708.322
Gather the family and test your trivia knowledge virtually with the Old Firehouse. Participants will have the chance to win delicious prizes.
Friday, Feb. 4, 7:30-9 p.m.
Free admission; registration is required.
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.
Friday, Feb. 11, 7–9:30 p.m.
$15/$10 MCC district residents. Preregistration is recommended.
Activity No. 4709.322
For all ages. Join us for an evening of fun and prizes! Enjoy free popcorn and winners will take their pick of prizes! Preregistration is recommended.
Friday, Feb. 18, 7–9 p.m.
$5 per person. Preregistration is recommended.
Activity No. 4710.322
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, love snacks or want to get your hands dirty with some paint, come on down to the Old Firehouse for our Snack and Paint Night. Led by a professional art teacher, you will be able to create your own masterpiece with your family while having tons of fun doing so. All materials and snacks are included in the fee. Preregistration is recommended.
Friday, Feb. 25, 7–9 p.m.
$25/$20 MCC district residents. Each participant must register separately.
Activity No. 4501.322
For all ages. Children can come to MCC for a fancy “date” with their parents or guardians. Create lasting memories by joining us at the MCC’s Sweetheart dance.
- Light refreshments
- Dance lesson
- Photo booth
Space is limited so register early! Each participant must register separately.
Sunday, April 10, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
General Attendance: Free; registration is not required.
Adult Vendor Space Fee: $30/$20 MCC district residents
Youth Vendor Space Fee: $15/$5 MCC district residents
Shoppers, find bargains at this parking lot sale with up to 50 vendors! Residents selling household items are welcome. Limited commercial vendors or flea market dealers are also welcome. Register online, or in person or by phone by contacting the MCC Registrar at 703-744-9365, TTY: 711.
Adults, All Items
Vendor Space Fee: $30/$20 MCC district residents
Children (up to 15 years old), Children’s Items Only
Youth vendors must be supervised by a parent or guardian.
Vendor Space Fee: $15/$5 MCC district residents
The vendor enrollment deadline is Wednesday, April 6. Advanced registration is required. Vendor spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
McLean Community Center is helping the American Red Cross with Diverse Blood Donations!
It is urgent for donors of all ethnicities to support patients in need!
Friday, April 15, 1-6 p.m.
McLean Community Center, an agency of Fairfax County Government, is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean Va. 22101
Join us and support the community with your lifesaving blood donation. All donors will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card via email.
For an appointment, click here or visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor word: HEARTOFGOLD, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) Eligibility Questions: Call 1-866-236-3276.
Questions? Contact Melanie Hurley at email@example.com or Meosha Hudson at 410-375-5190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m.–noon
$5 per person, children under 29 months are free. Advance registration is required for all participants. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Activity No. 4502.322
For families with children ages 2-8. Join your neighbors as we celebrate the changing of seasons with self-guided arts and crafts, entertainment and an opportunity for your child to take a photo with our Bunny character. Bring your camera or smartphone for photos! An MCC staff member will be on hand to take a photo of you and your family. Remember to bring your basket for our Parent-Child Egg Hunt (10 egg limit per child).
Please register early! Space is limited.
Friday, April 22, 7–9:30 p.m.
$5 for 5 cards.
Activity No. 4711.322
For all ages. Join us for a virtual evening of fun and prizes! Winners will take their pick of themed prize packs. Preregistration is recommended.