At Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), art aficionados mingle in a community that fosters a love of visual arts with hands-on education, exhibitions, and special events. A yearlong family membership grants parents access to contemporary-art exhibitions with artist receptions, workshops, special events, and a 10% discount on a kids' single summer art class (20% when registering for multiple classes). Children smear glue, sprinkle glitter, and splatter paint from three brimming art buckets without tattooing your living-room sofa during Explore More, a self-guided exploration of the current exhibition with related art-making activities. Unleash your child's inner Picasso with priority admission to GRACE's summer art programs, which immerse children in puppetry, comic books, and self-portraits ideal for proudly mounting on refrigerators or above castle mantels.
The Framing Studio and Art Plus Frame carries an assortment of custom framing options, including wood, aluminum, and other materials. Using only acid-free materials, the shop's staff can lend elegance to prints with conservation framing, linen mats, and custom brass and aluminum plaques. For lonely frames with nothing to hold, the studio also stocks prints from several fine-art distributors, including Charles Bibbs, Washington Green, and Rod Chase. The shop's photo-restoration services rejuvenate even the most faded screenshots of Lewis and Clark's live blogging. Many services can be completed in as little as one hour.
Ford's Theatre, the site of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, preserves Lincoln's legacy by hosting dramatic and historical plays on its legendary stage and educational experiences throughout its halls. The theater presents dramatic works such as Big River and 1776, and the museum displays artifacts from Lincoln's White House and the Civil War, along with the swallows that nested in his distinctive stovepipe hat. Those toting Player memberships are showered with benefits including service-charge-free ticket purchases, gift-shop discounts, and a biannual newsletter subscription. With four complimentary passes in tow, members can take in performances of One Destiny, a theatrical eyewitness account of Lincoln's assassination, as well as educational events throughout the year, such as a lectures by National Parks Service interpreters, who recount tales of the fateful evening.
Part art gallery, part cocoa bar, Artfully Chocolate was established in 2007 when owner Eric Nelson quit his job as an executive in order to pursue his artistic passions. Needing a little something extra to draw attention to his shop and unwilling to sound a tornado siren after every purchase, Eric called on the services of friend and chocolatier Rob Kingsbury. Kingsbury instantly infused the colorful gallery with the sweet allure Eric was seeking.
Today, the duo's handiwork takes center stage inside two different locations: Eric's masterpieces parade across the walls, and Rob's expertise reveals itself in sips and bites of decadent drinks and pastries. They also host tasting classes, including a wine-pairing class and chocolate-tasting class.
The former Metropolitan Fine Arts Center founded more than 14 years ago has recently joined forces with the Metropolitan School of The Arts. This multidisciplinary performing-arts organization fosters choreographed skills and creates performance opportunities in dance, music, and theater for a diverse population of students of all ages and abilities. Its students have gone to perform on Broadway, at The Juilliard School, and in highly esteemed companies, such as the Mark Morris Dance Company, The Washington Ballet, and Microsoft. Youth programs include musical-theater and fine-arts workshops, as well as ballet and other half-day dance camps for children as young as 3. Adult classes range from basic to advanced, including ballet, jazz, and tap lessons, plus yoga and ballet-barre fitness workouts.
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, running 2,180 miles over mountains, rocky slopes, and deep valleys. Since it was established in 1925, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has cared for the trail, maintaining 250,000 acres of public land. The organization educates hikers on Leave No Trace camping and why it's not a good idea to challenge a bear to a hugging contest.
Volunteers and trail crews build and repair shelters along the footpath and engage youth and community members in outdoor activities. In addition to these human-oriented services, the ATC works to protect endangered species living along the trail and to preserve the land's watershed streams and migratory corridor.