Herndon ArtsCenter Still Serves Community During Coronavirus

Michael O'Connell
·3 min read

HERNDON, VA — Arts Herndon may be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn't mean the town's art center is not still serving the community.

"Obviously, we're planning for when we reopen," said Joanna Ormesher, CEO and president of Arts Herndon. "And I'm busily planning for all our new creative stuff coming up, storytelling, improv night, theater, music and art shows, and the International Children's Festival."

While Ormesher doesn't have any specific information about when those events will take place, she has been busy with other activities to keep art alive in Herndon.

Recently, she decided to create an art gallery for people to enjoy when they walked by the ArtSpace (750 Center St.). She filled all of the windows of the center with artwork from the 2019 Fairfax County Public Schools Technology Art Show. "They're great pieces of art. They're amazing pieces of art," she said.

Working with INMED Partnerships for Children, Ormesher also assembled "Hands on Art" bags with supplies she had laying around the center. On Wednesday, she dropped off 50 bags, which will be distributed to children in the Herndon and Sterling areas. She's working on a new batch of bags for both young and older students.

"These are seriously disadvantaged children," she said. "They won't go to the schools to pick up food parcels, because they're frightened that the police or immigration might pick them up. We all know they're out there and those families need things."

Thanks to Ormesher's effort, the children will receive art supplies along with the food that INMED provides for them.

One of Arts Herndon's responsibility is to host and manage the Town of Herndon Annual Calendar Photo Competition. This year will be the calendar's 10th anniversary, and Ormesher is committed to carrying it off in spite of the pandemic. She has instituted a number of changes, so that people can still participate while practicing social distancing.

The first step is to visit the center's website to download an application form, and then email that form to: jormesher@artsherndon.com. Entrants can submit up to two pieces for consideration. Email submissions should contain two files or attachments. The photos should not be more than 5mbs.

The completed entry form should contain a brief description and/or title of the photo, along with any other information relevant for judging. Entrants under 18 must include age and a parent's signature for release. All entries are due by Friday, June 12. Winners will be announced via social media.

If Arts Herndon is still closed due to the coronavirus, winning photos will be displayed on the center's window gallery and website. For more information, call 703-956-6590.

"I'm not a specific artist," she said. "I'm an arts center. I like to think we're a pretty fine one, but I also think we're synced into our community. We're creating the art through our community and I think that's so important."

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This is one in a series of articles Patch is writing about small businesses in the area. Small business owners can also add their the name of their business to our list of open businesses in Herndon and Reston.

This article originally appeared on the Herndon Patch