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This Week In Historic Alexandria | News Release | City of Alexandria

ImmigrationThe Office of Historic Alexandria has been awarded a grant of $8,000 from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities to begin the initial phase of what is anticipated to be a new, multi-year project entitled Immigration Alexandria: Past, Present and Future. This new initiative will examine the history of immigration from the mid-nineteenth century to today in Alexandria. Founded in 1749 on the banks of the Potomac River, the City of Alexandria has a long history of receiving immigrants.  After World War II, American diplomatic and military expansion overseas and the formal development of refugee programs facilitated an increase in immigration from all over the world to Alexandria.  As of the 2010 U.S. Census, about 24% of Alexandrians, or a little over 32,000 people, were foreign born. Oral histories of those representing different ethnic groups in the post-1970 immigrant communities of Alexandria, fundamental to the overall project, will be executed first with the VFH funding.

Valuing and recognizing Alexandria’s diversity is one of the major goals of the City Council’s Strategic Plan.  Community leaders recognize the need to have Alexandria’s history better reflect the community and celebrate the variety of people from throughout the world who have made Alexandria their home. OHA sees the Immigrant Alexandria project as a way to fulfill this goal and promote a more inclusive history that recognizes the diverse groups within Alexandria.

The overall project will: 1) document and interpret the experiences of immigrants; 2) explore the various responses to immigration in Alexandria; 3) increase knowledge of the history of immigration in Virginia; and 4) promote conversations about the complexity of the immigrant experience and the ways in which it impacts our community today and in the future. The purpose of this first city-wide endeavor is to increase public understanding of the historic and contemporary significance of immigration to Alexandria and its impacts on our social and cultural fabric.  Funding for planning and research, as well as implementation to celebrate Alexandria’s diversity through public programming, is now being developed in partnerships with both government and the private sector.

Special Note: Now through September 7 all Alexandria City Public School students, staff, and their families receive FREE Admission to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.  This includes all regular tours and summer family programs except for Harry Potter’s Birthday tours.

Bastille DayTuesday, July 14 – Bastille Day Wine Dinner
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Inspired by the dinner held at Mr. Wise’s Tavern in 1793, celebrate “the destruction of that infamous engine of oppression, the BASTILLE” at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum! Enjoy a historically inspired five course dinner paired with fine French wines. Tickets are priced at $100 per person, all inclusive. 7 to 10 p.m. Please visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242 for more information.

Wednesday, July 15 – Alexandria Archaeological Commission
Alexandria Archaeological Museum, 105 North Union Street, Suite 327
Regular monthly meeting. Free! 7 p.m. For further information, please call 703-746-4399.

Gadsby's TavernSaturday, July 18 – Special Family Tours of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
This flexible tour format will allow families to start a tour as soon as they arrive and move through the museum at their own pace. Young guests will be able to connect with the museum through their peer tour guides, plus have fun with hands-on activities at the end of the tour.
In late June and July, activities in the ballroom explore the science behind the historic ice well as part of National Ice Cream Month. Activities include making (and tasting) ice cream! August features activities about 18th century travel, highlighting a letter written by Thomas Jefferson outlining his route from DC to Monticello as well as art projects revolving around the theme.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Gadsby’s Tavern was the center of social and political life in Alexandria and the new Federal City of Washington. The tavern served as the premier gathering place for residents – including George Washington – and visitors to eat, drink, learn, and influence history. $5 adults ($4 with AAA), $3 children ages 5 to 12, and 4 and under are free. Alexandria City Public School families and Blue Star Families are free and coupons, including the Key to the City, accepted. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, please visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242.

Tom TeaslySatuday, July 18 – Tom Teasley: Sonic Saturation Performance and Sound Installation
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Award winning multimedia / instrumentalist artist Tom Teasley will explore sound as manipulated, inspired and created with water. This one-time installation will include prerecorded ambient sound combined with live performance on unusual instruments including Aquasonic, Water gong, Water bell, Water drum, tea pot, milk frother, electronic percussion, flutes and ancient drums. This instillation is in association with the exhibit Saturate from which Mr. Teasley’s multimedia piece, Secrets of the Wine Dark Sea is included. Tickets are priced at $15 per person. 7 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org  or call 703.548.0035.

Saturday, July 18 – “Solo Baroque” Concert
The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street
Michael De Sapio, Baroque violin: The unaccompanied violin has long been used by composers as a vehicle for mind-boggling virtuosity, profound introspection, and poetic flights of fancy – sometimes all at once! Take a journey down some less-traveled roads of the Baroque solo violin repertoire with works by Biber, Tartini, Telemann, and Johan Helmich Roman (the “Swedish Handel”) performed on a period instrument.  Free, but donations much appreciated.  3 p.m. For more information, please email: MichaelMartinD@gmail.com.

Civil War SundaySunday, July 19 – Civil War Sunday
Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 North Union Street, #327
Explore the Civil War in Alexandria with Civil War Sundays.  See an original May 26, 1861, edition of The New-York Tribune detailing Colonel Elmer Ellsworth’s death in Alexandria, a Peeps diorama illustrating Ellsworth’s death, a TimeTravelers Passport exhibit featuring the Civil War drummer boy, a diorama of a heating system constructed in Alexandria to warm Civil War hospital tents during the winter of 1861, a cocked and loaded Wickham musket discarded in a privy during the 1860s, and an exhibit on a Lee Street archaeological site during the Civil War. Free!  1 to 5 p.m.  For more information, please visitwww.alexandriaarchaeology.org or call 703.746.4399.

Sunday, July 19– New Family Art Lab at the Apothecary Museum
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax Street
New this summer, guests can explore the Family Art Lab Sundays from 2-4pm June 28 through Labor Day weekend at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, located at 105-107 S. Fairfax Street. The Lab features a new activity every week that brings together history, science, and art in a way all ages will enjoy. Families can come back throughout the summer and experience something new every time. No tour necessary to create in the Lab!

The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum in Old Town Alexandria is noted for its outstanding collection of medicinal herbs, shop furnishings, apothecary bottles and equipment, many still in their original location. It also has a spectacular collection of archival materials, including journals, letters and diaries, prescription and formula books, ledgers, orders and invoices. The names of famous customers appear in the documents, including Martha Washington, Nelly Custis, and Robert E. Lee. Lab only admission is $5 per family. If taking a tour, cost is included in regular admission. Alexandria City Public School families and Blue Star Families are free and coupons, including the Key to the City, are accepted. 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.apothecarymuseum.org or call 703.767-3852.

Sunday, July 19– Presidential Salon with James Madison
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
The date is March 15, 1815 and the war with England has drawn to a close. The salon with President James Madison discussing events as they unfold in his time is part of on-going series of presidential salons which began in 2010 honor of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Public questions and opinions related to the salon topics are welcome and encouraged. Check-in is at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street. Reservations are recommended. Madeira, Port and other libations will be available for purchase at the event. Tickets are priced at $15 per person, $10 for high school/college students. 3 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.gadsbystavern.org or call 703.746.4242.

Monday, July 20– Gary Stephans’ Art of Ballroom Dance
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Fun classes to learn to dance or improve your dancing skills: fox trot, waltz, tango, swing, salsa, merengue, rumba, cha-cha, and samba. All level of dancers are welcome, with or without a partner. Discover little techniques that most people never learn about and become a relaxed and proficient social dancer in these small, personalized dance lessons! Tickets are available for each sessiononline as follows: Basic Techniques, $15 per person, 7 to 7:45 p.m.; Advanced Techniques, $15 per person, 7:45 to 8:30 p.m.; attend both sessions for best results! Free practice session from 8:30 to 9 pm. For more information, please visit garystephans@me.com or call 703-505-5998.

Now on Exhibit through July 19 – Saturate / Stephen Estrada, Naomi Janchs, Abby Kasonik, Hannele Lahti, Eve Stockton, Thomas Teasley
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Using paint, photography, printmaking, glass and sound/video, six very different artists convey a sense of watery wetness in Saturate. Each artist not only manages to portray a sense of liquidness — whether realistically or abstractly — but in combination their works bathe viewers in the sensation. Free! Open Thursday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please visitwww.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Now on Exhibit – Journey to Be Free: Alexandria Freedmen’s Cemetery 
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 
A new exhibit tracing the 150-year history of the long-forgotten Freedmen’s Cemetery, its rediscovery and how the new Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial was created at the site.  Free, but donations are appreciated. Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday: Closed.  For more information, please call 703.746.4356.

Lee-fendall HouseNow on Exhibit – Their Fates Intertwined: The Lees of Alexandria in the War of 1812 
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street 
A new exhibit on the experiences of the Lee family in Alexandria during the War of 1812 examines the contributions of Alexandria’s citizens during the conflict that led to the writing of our national anthem through the lives of this iconic Virginia family. For further information, please visitwww.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Now on Exhibit – Fifty Years of Collecting: An Anniversary Exhibit of Objects from the Fort Ward Collection 
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Fort Ward Museum & Historic Park, this new exhibition offers a glimpse into the growth and holdings of the Museum’s fine Civil War collection.The exhibit features some rare items related to the Defenses of Washington, such as an 1862 panoramic drawing of Fort Albany by the soldier-artist William Lydston, a folding camp chair that belonged to an officer in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and a Lambley’s portable copying machine used by an officer from the 57th Massachusetts Infantry.   Objects that interpret the Union occupation of Alexandria, such as a proclamation declaring martial law in the city, are also featured.  Examples of newly acquired objects are a field desk with personal belongings owned by a captain in the 107th New York Infantry, and a John Rogers statuary group, “Uncle Ned’s School,” which aimed to portray the efforts of newly freed African Americans to better their lives through education in the postwar years.

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the extensive network of Union forts and batteries known as the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Free! Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.   For more information, please call 703.746.4848, or visitwww.fortward.org.


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