Editor: On behalf of the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA), I thank our vibrant McLean community for another year of enthusiastic support of MPAartfest.

 McLean Central Park came alive Oct. 2 with 50 juried artists, musical performances, community-art projects, an open-air studio, children’s art, STEAM-education activities and delicious food and drink, as 4,500 local residents gathered in celebration of the 10th-anniversary MPAartfest.

After days of rain, the sun came out and mirrored the radiance of our artists, volunteers, performers and art-loving guests! It was a wonderful day that realized MPA’s goal of “Connecting Art and Community.”

MPA is especially grateful for our MPAartfest Event Partners for 2016: the McLean Community Center, the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Office of Dranesville Supervisor John Foust. Their tremendous support was invaluable.

MPAartfest was successful thanks to our volunteers, sponsors and the many individuals and community organizations that provided funds, in-kind donations and hands-on labor to make MPAartfest possible. In total, more than 200 volunteers planned and worked on MPAartfest alongside MPA’s small but dedicated staff and our amazing event co-chairs Anjali Gupta and Selwa Masri Rutchik who worked countless hours to build awareness and support for MPAartfest. TTR Sotheby’s International Realty sponsored the creation of the MPA ArtReach Community Mural on which hundreds of children crafted their rendering of the streets of McLean using geometric shapes in collage.

The names of the many teams who contributed to MPAartfest by building 10 on 10 Teams for its 10th anniversary are included on the mural as well, and Supervisor Foust plans to display the mural in the McLean Government Center.

The McLean Community Foundation greeted MPAartfest guests as they entered the park and provided underwriting for the Children’s ArtWalk, a much-loved exhibition coordinated with the leadership of the New Dominion Women’s Club. This year, the Children’s ArtWalk featured more than 160 works of art by school children from 16 McLean public and private elementary schools.

In its 10th year of participation, The Montessori School of McLean provided shuttle bus transportation, and Boy Scout Troop 128 assisted with security and setup by camping in the park overnight on Saturday. They were joined Sunday morning by many local teen volunteers who pitched in to help our 50 artists move into their tents.

MPA was honored to have other members of the McLean artists’ community join us as Community Partners: McLean Art Society, McLean Community Players and 1st Stage. Woman’s Club of McLean staffed the MPA gallery throughout the day, and the Friends of McLean Community Center and the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce also participated as partners and volunteers.

In building and growing MPAartfest’s STEAM (STEM+Art) Village, Capital One, Burke & Herbert Bank, the Gupta family, Deidre Maull, DDS, and McEnearney Associates Realtors joined The Langley School, The Potomac School, Children’s Science Center, local architect Parinaz Bahadori and MPA in offering hands-on activities combining art and science that were enthusiastically received by attendees of all ages.

Art-lovers were well fed by Lebanese Taverna – a participant for each of the last 10 years – as well as J. Gilberts wood-fired steaks & seafood, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, Greenberry’s, Sweetbites Café & Bakery, the Old Fashioned Kettle Corn Company. MPA is especially grateful for the generosity of both j. gilberts and The Vineyard / Wine Outlet in kicking off MPAartfest in such style at our Soiree Celebration.

I would like to thank the local press, the McLean District Police, the firefighters’ EMT crew and our many sponsors, listed at www.mpaart.org. Without their assistance, MPA could not provide this free event to the community, nor allow the artists to keep 100 percent of their sales. As a nonprofit, MPA looks to private sources to raise the majority of the funds needed for our operations, programs, exhibitions and, of course, to bring MPAartfest to McLean.

Thank you McLean! And please mark your calendars for Oct. 1, 2017, for the next MPAartfest.

Lori Carbonneau, McLean

Carbonneau is executive director of McLean Project for the Arts.

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