12th Annual Virtual UkeFest

Fri–Wed, Aug 14–19, 2020
Registration closes August 14 at noon

UkeFest is going virtual! Strathmore will miss seeing everyone in person this year, but they’re excited to make UkeFest 2020 an unforgettable experience. They have created a robust schedule of classes, jams, open mics, and more, so we can all be together even though we’re safely apart.

The program orientation and launch party will kick off Friday night, classes will be held on Saturday and Sunday, and there will be evening events on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Once you register, you will receive regular email updates about the event, including private links for you to join Zoom and YouTube sessions. Classes and other events will be recorded and available to UkeFest participants for one month after the event.

Celebrating their 12th year dedicated to this small but mighty music maker, UkeFest Artistic Directors Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer return along with extraordinary instructors Bryan Tolentino, Liz and Jim Beloff, Peter Luongo, Maureen Andary, Jess Eliot Myhre, and Chris Ousley for skill-based instruction, special topics classes, jams, open mics, and a faculty concert. For those looking for more intensive skill development, Strathmore’s UkeFest is the only program of its kind that offers an advanced track.

Live from the Strathmore Mansion

In this week’s Live from the Mansion, we are joined by Elijah Jamal BalbedIsabelle De Leon, and Mark G. Meadows for a soulful set that is sure to make you move.

Live from the Mansion features host Christylez Bacon and fellow Strathmore Artist in Residence alums of varying genres each week for music and insightful conversation. Learn more at bit.ly/LiveFromTheMansion and tune into our Facebook page Wednesdays at 7:30pm!

Directed by T.L. Benton of Mecca Film Works
Strathmore’s Virtual Programming is supported by AARP Maryland

Strathmore can entertain you during your home stay

FRIDAY, April 10 10:30 am & 4:00 pm   Art Talk & Tours for Kids and Adults 

Explore Shake It Out: Mandi Moerland and meet the artist at our virtual art talks on Friday, April 10, 10:30am for kids and 4pm for adults on Zoom. Moerland’s work captures the movement and grace of dance.

Be sure to also check out their virtual exhibition tours and Artists in Fiction Book Club

SATURDAY, April 11 10:15 am     Family Jam Sessions — Discover Bluegrass with Brad Kolodner

Saturday Family Jam Sessions are now online and free! This week Brad Kolodner introduces kids to the joys of bluegrass. From toe-tapping fiddle tunes to groovy banjo melodies and jubilant sing-alongs, explore the vibrant and rich tradition of bluegrass and old-time music!

See the full list here and check out their video archive.

Strathmore can entertain you during your home stay

Please also keep a close eye on Strathmore’s Facebook page as the central home for live and recorded video content to brighten your days of social distancing. 

Join Strathmore on their Facebook page for their Live from the Living Room series! Catch short, uplifting performances every Wednesday at 7:30pm from their talented AIR artists.

Saturday Family Jam Sessions are now online and free! Junior music aficionados can spend Saturday mornings singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of music appreciation. Join them at 10:15am every Saturday on our Facebook page.

Take a virtual tour of exhibitions in the Mansion! Their Curator’s Tours and Art Talk & Tours for Kids are moving online. Take a closer look at Working with the Muse, and enjoy a guided art activity your whole family can do at the kitchen table. March 28 at 11:30am for kids and 1pm for adults, held on Zoom.

Their Creative Writing Workshops are now online through Zoom! Join them on April 16 at 7pm to discuss the works of poets Lucille Clifton and Linda Pastan and write poetry that centers on family, love, and survival.

Join them online for our Artists in Fiction Book Club through Zoom! Explore the fictions of your favorite artists, then join fellow readers and art enthusiasts for a lively discussion. On April 15 at 3pm, we’ll discuss The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.

Strathmore is also seeing lots of great online art activities from our friends at other local arts organizations, including:

– Lunchtime doodle with Mo Williams at The Kennedy Center
– Thursday Playbacks with Young Artists of America
Free online reading with Adventure Theatre
Theater Education Challenges and Playwrights on Play with Round House Theatre

Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival at Strathmore This Week

Thu–Sat, Aug 24–26 Activities begin at 7:30pm

Outdoor movies return to Strathmore this summer! Join them on the lawn for 3 nights of free flicks benefiting the National Institutes of Health Children’s Charities. Come early to stake out your spot, enjoy pre-show activities, and grab dinner from Ridgewells’ summer grill. Films begin at dusk.

Thu, Aug 24 – Moana

Rogue One

Fri, Aug 25 –  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Lego Batman

Sat, Aug 26 – The Lego Batman Movie

Strathmore’s Gorgeous New Addition

From Bethesda Beat:

The Music Center at Strathmore on Monday released drawings for a $10 million expansion project that will add 5,000 square feet of glass-enclosed dining space to the North Bethesda concert venue.

The addition scheduled for completion in January 2020 will put the finishing touches on the 190,000-square-foot center that opened more than a decade ago.

Strathmore’s proposal calls for surrounding the building’s Bou Terrace with floor-to-ceiling glass panels to create the 200-seat dining area, according to a press release. The panels will also be able to open up and expose the eatery to the outdoors.

“It will be a gorgeous room with a view. It can be in the winter enclosed, and in the summer, it can open to the outside,” said Eliot Pfanstiehl, Strathmore’s chief executive officer.

Venue operators can also use the extra space for rentals, meetings and performances.

As part of the project, the venue will also get a new escalator intended to ease crowd congestion. Installing the escalator from the building’s promenade level to the orchestra level will involve moving the men’s bathroom and the entrance to the Comcast Lounge.

Pfanstiehl said he doesn’t anticipate the improvement project will force any closures at the venue.

“We’re going to build this plane while we’re still flying it,” he said.

The state, which invested heavily in Strathmore’s original construction, is putting an initial $3 million toward the expansion project. Funding from the state, the county and private sources will cover the remainder of the cost, according to the release.

Building the new eating space will advance Strathmore’s ongoing work on improving the dining experience at the center. Last year, the venue chose a new company, Ridgewells Catering based in Bethesda, to handle food operations at the center.

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Terrific New Art Installations at the Grosvenor Metro

Strathmore, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) unveiled 39 new art installations designed by MCPS high school students along the new Grosvenor-Strathmore Arts Walk and on Strathmore’s campus last week.  The 32 installations designated for the Arts Walk, all large-scale totems, will enhance the grounds of the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Parking Garage, providing a physical connection to the arts center while adding visual interest to enhance the experience of the thousands of commuters who use the station each day. The remaining 7 totems will be installed on Strathmore’s campus, adding to its popular sculpture garden.

The totems, all approximately 5-feet- 6-inches high, were created in a county-wide, curriculum-based arts project for advanced ceramics students. 14 schools representing all sectors of the county participated in the project. Students worked in teams to develop a concept, renderings, a plan to execute their ideas, and, ultimately, worked to shape and fire the totems.

A panel composed of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, members of the local arts community, Strathmore, Metro, and MCPS reviewed 82 proposals. The totems will stand for five years along the green space and existing walkway at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Parking Garage.

Congratulations, Victoria Kosmides!

As promised, every Friend who joined or renewed their membership in 2014 was eligible to win two vouchers in the President’s Box at Strathmore for the performance of their choosing!  Congratulations to Victoria Kosmides – our grand prize winner!




There will continue to be great opportunities for our Friends of White Flint!  If you haven’t already, join or renew today by clicking here!  Thanks so much to Strathmore for such an incredible prize!

Notes from the last Friends of White Flint Meeting

** The following are draft minutes of the meeting held on September 3, 2014 of the Board of Directors of Friends of White Flint.  These minutes will remain in draft form until approved at the next Board meeting.  In the meantime, please email suggested edits to Info@WhiteFlint.org **


Draft of Minutes of the September 3, 2014 Friends of White Flint Board of Director’s Meeting
2014 Board of Directors Meeting
September 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Georgetown Village Condominium Community Room


Board members include Howard Feldman, James Schaeffer, Chad Salganik, Amber Tedesco, Suzanne Hudson, Francine Waters, Bill Carey, Barnaby Zall, Todd Lewers, Brian Downie, and Kristi Smith.  Staff members include Lindsay Hoffman and Rebecca Hertz. Board Members not in attendance: David Freishtat, Eric Grosse, Evan Goldman, and Rob Eisinger.

The Friends of White Flint (FoWF) Board Meeting was called to order at 6:36 pm at the Georgetown Village Condominium Community Room by Lindsay Hoffman.

Ed Reich began the meeting by saying he and Georgetown Village Condominium are happy to host Friends of White Flint. It gives them the opportunity to show off their wonderful community.

Approval of Minutes from May 29, 2014 Board of Directors Meeting.
Lindsay called for the approval of minutes from the May 29th, Annual meeting. Suzanne Hudson motioned for the approval of the minutes and Barnaby Zall seconded the motion, all approved.

Updates from Friends of White Flint:
Friends of White Flint set new Board of Directors at the end of the annual meeting and over online correspondence. The new directors include two Property Owner/Developer representatives- Brian Downie from Saul Center and Rob Eisinger from ProMark; one Business representative- Bill Carey from Strathmore; and two Resident representatives- Amber Tedesco and Erin Grosse.

After the annual meeting, the Board of Directors voted for new officers and co-chairs. Resident representative co-chair is Chad Salganik. The Business representative co-chair is David Frieshtat. And the Property Owner/Developer representative co-chair is Evan Goldman. The officers are Barnaby Zall is the Treasurer and Amber Tedesco is the Secretary.

Treasurer’s Report
Barnaby Zall mentioned that FoWF receives no government funding. FoWF funding comes from membership dues and fundraising. As of August 30th, the bank balance was $26,700, which means it has been a good year for FoWF. Currently, the burn rate is $4,000 a month, which means FoWF will carry the same reserves as last year.

Membership update:
Over 30 individuals joined FoWF since the last Board of Director’s meeting. Willco Residential joined as a Property Owner/Developer. Willco has many properties among Executive Boulevard and Rockville Pike. In addition, two new Business members joined, Strathmore and Dr. Jay Samuels, DDS.

Becca attended Bike to Work Day in March for FoWF. We attended many community meetings with the Randolph Civic Association, Action Committee for Transit, and Bethesda Urban Partnership. Also, Grovesnor Park Condominium meeting with Goddard School soon.

Lindsay will host a walking tour in White Flint in November along with National Building Museum. If anyone has ideas, Lindsay is putting route together now, please let her know. The walking tour will take place on November 8th at 10:00 am-12:30 pm. Lindsay has done 4 tours around the White Flint sector so far.

In July, along with Communities for Transit, FoWF hosted a happy hour at Paladar Latin Kitchen about the rapid transit program coming to the county. We had a strong turn out.

FoWF added a new element to the website: a list of business members, property owner members, and developer members. There are links to the websites of each of the businesses/property owners/ developments/ condominium associations. The hope is to be as transparent as possible. There have been 11,850 unique visitors to the website since the last Board of Director’s meeting, as well as 33000 page views. The email list is now at 1053 people. Our emails’ have a high open rate as well, which is great news.

Also, the board recommended that a resident advisory board should be launched. The resident advisory group will be a sub group of friends that will help FoWF figure out more of the resident perspective. Laura Jaffe a new member of FoWF will lead this group. The group will begin by complying an email list. She will put the lists together and see what is the most efficient way to move forward. The feedback will come to the board through Laura and will act on it as a larger group as it is warranted.

The White Flint post office is not open yet. The site is nearly complete but it was found that the post office boxes don’t fit properly, so new ones were ordered. When we get the date for the opening, we will update everyone on the website.

Property Owners and Developers update:
**Ed Meder, Gables Residential.
Gables submitted their preliminary site plan in August. They will go forward with Development Review Committee on September 28th, 2014. Gables Residential has been in numerous conversations with the county to get Executive Boulevard re-routed or abandoned. The surface parking lot surrounding the Aquatic Center will be transformed into a large public park, Wall Park, in the long term. Before the lot can be transformed, however, the shared parking garage for both the Gables property and the Aquatic Center will be developed. Ed Meder mentioned that the community, especially residents should provide their support for the Wall Park approval, which is planned to be the largest green space in the county.

**Jay Corbalis, Federal Realty Investment Trust
Pike & Rose development is progressing nicely. Per Sei apartments are open with people living there now. This fall, Phase 1 of retail will open. There will be about 4 restaurants, IPic movie theatre, Amp by Strathmore venue, and Sport and Health Fitness. Starbucks and Bank of America are open now. Del Frisco Grille plans to open around September 22nd. IPic movie theatre plans to open in the beginning of November, a few weeks before the next installment of the Hunger Games movie.

**Francine Waters, Lerner Enterprises
Lerner Enterprises is working on the preliminary plan and site plan.

**Kristi Smith, The JBG Companies
North Bethesda Market II site plan will be bought to the Development Review Committee on September 29.

**Brian Downie, Saul Center
Saul Center received sketch plan approval for all three properties in the White Flint sector. They hope to file their site plan late this year. They will have a pre-application community meeting before they file their site plan, to incorporate community input.

County Executive’s White Flint Implementation Coordinator Report
Dee provided a presentation on pedestrian and biking safety. She focused much of her presentation on the Western Workaround area. She mentioned it is important to start with the network grid of streets, which includes the changes coming to the Western Workaround. Currently, the County doesn’t have control of some roads owned by private properties, as the roads were to be dedicated by property owners, which was discussed during the planning process of the Sector Pan.

As part of the changes, the road near the North Bethesda Conference Center property/parking lot will be shifted, which will take away parking spaces. There must be a solution to replace parking so that is the idea behind the structured parking garage, which will be constructed in coordination with the streets. The design of roads and garage are taking place now.

The county is working with Gables Residential to get project to go further. There are a lot of issues the county has to work out to make sure traffic can still flow through the area.

County council passed the Hoya Street/ Town Avenue plan will be included in first phase.

As part of the new street grid, Executive Boulevard will crossover Rockville Pike and will continue to the north side of the White Flint Mall property and connect with Nebel Street. The county is working on design of this currently. In addition, Chapman Avenue/Maple Avenue construction will hopefully start in 9 months and it will connect with Old Georgetown Avenue. This will be another alternative to Rockville Pike, defusing traffic. A new fire station and senior affordable housing is already programmed in the county budget. These will be on the west side of Chapman Avenue.

Andrew Bossi- County DOT
Andrew focused on the relationship between county bus stops and crosswalks. Crosswalks cannot be put at every location. Elements such as speed limits and sight distance can effect the placement of bus stops.

Andrew and Ken Hartman mentioned that the flashing light at Bethesda Trolley Trail have been permanently placed and will continue to improve site distance.

Woodglen Drive bikeway was presented at last White Flint implementation meeting. There will be a cycle track on the west-side of the road way, similar to those along 15th Street Northwest and 1st Street Northwest in D.C. Cycle tracks allow cyclists to go two directions side by side on the side. They hope to start construction on the cycle track in October and should be a pretty quick project. The cycle track will start at the intersection of Edson Lane and Woodglen Drive to Nicholson Lane on Woodglen Drive. The idea is to extend the cycle track up to the White Flint Metro. Sidewalks will not be involved- will remain as it is.

Nebel Street will also have some type of biking infrastructure, either buffer bike plans or cycle track. Marinelli Road will have bike lanes.

Suzanne Hudson asked about DOT’s efforts to educate the public biking lanes. Andrew mentioned that education is really important to DOT. They have the 3 e’s: education, enforcement and engineering.

The county uses similar markers to distinguish bike lanes and bike areas to those listed in the manual on uniform biking measures. Each state adopts own system of demarcation but most adopt the federal’s uniform markers.

Andrew also mentioned that he hopes many developers will incorporate space and funding for the Capital Bike Share program.  Pike & Rose development has two bike share dock areas planned but now they need to fund the docking stations themselves.

Public Concerns and Suggestions
A concerned citizen is focused on the safety of crossing over Executive Boulevard and Rockville Pike. The cars are moving too fast and they believe the Pike needs to be turned into a boulevard. Perhaps, restriping and narrowing the road is just one suggestion. Maybe reducing the speed limit can help slow people down.

Another concerned citizen mentioned that our roads need to change because there have been changes in people’s priorities, with a societal shift towards alternate methods of transportation.

Ken Hartman, Director of the B-CC Regional Services Center, mentioned that a plan to extend the Circulator between the Twinbrook and White Flint Metro stations is in the works.

Many residents expressed concerns with snow removal as the season is coming again.

Suzanne Hudson mentioned there are lighting issues. There needs to be more lighting focused towards the sidewalks and the roads. DOT does have new streetlight, which will be placed throughout the county soon.

In addition, another concerned citizen mentioned that the manhole covers need to be leveled with the street on Rockville Pike, especially between the White Flint Metro station and the White Flint Mall.

Jay from Federal Realty mentioned that FoWF members should advocate for Old Georgetown Road to change from a six lane road to a four lane road.

Report from Councilmember Hans Riemer
In addition, the county is working creating bicycle and pedestrian priority areas. The White Flint sector is one of these priority areas.

White Flint is the epicenter of change, the place to achieve so many community goals.

There is a lot of support on the County Council for walkability. Currently, the council is working on the snow removal legislation. Snow removal is a challenge to biking and walkability. County can do a better job to keep mobility options open to all after it snows. In addition, we need to change the standard for building roads. He wants the council to focus again on the Road Code initiative.  The plan was sent to a work group but Hans is working with Councilmember Roger Berliner to bring the code back to the County Council this session. He hopes to have it approved by end of term in November.

In addition, the county is working on a new bicycling master plan and a pedestrian master plan, which has never been created before. The bicycling plan has not been updated in seven years.

Councilmember Riemer also mentioned that a walkability audit would be really beneficial. It will provide a space for residents to point out all their concerns. We need to have a good process to present their problems to the DOT and SHA and FOWF is good way to do this.

Coming Attractions
On Thursday, September 11th, the Branding of the Pike charette will take place at StreetSense in Bethesda.

Starting Monday, September 8th, “Give support,” If an individual donates $25 to Friends of White Flint, they will receive a $25 gift certificate to Paladar Latin Kitchen in the mail.  The fundraising event will run for month. All one has to do is go to the Friends of White Flint website, click on the Paypal icon and donate $25.

In addition, Strathmore donated two vouchers that will be distributed during our membership drive starting in the fall.

No motion to adjourn meeting. Meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm. 

Meet Our Newest Business Member: Strathmore


Last week, I meet with Bill Carey, our newest Board of Directors member to learn more about him and our new business member, Strathmore.

Strathmore is one of the major campuses for the arts in Montgomery County. They present concerts, art exhibitions, family festivals, and even afternoon tea events. The Strathmore campus consists of the Music Center with the Concert Hall and Education Center and The Mansion. The Concert Hall hosts local and national artists about 150 times a year with additional dance and music recitals in their Education Center. In addition, Strathmore has rental opportunities for occasions such as weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, community events, and business meetings. Strathmore is celebrating their 10th year anniversary of the Music Center this season, which is really exciting.

Bill Carey, the Director of Donor and Community Relations for Strathmore, has strong roots in this county. He has lived in the area for over 45 years and currently lives in Kensington. He is a retired federal government employee and has served as an off-ice official for the National Hockey League (NHL) for the last 40 years. He has been working for Strathmore for 15 years now. His wife was a teacher at Walter Johnson High School so they are very connected and invested in this area.

Strathmore has created a really strong brand for itself so it has gotten to the point where Strathmore needs to expand their reach outside the campus. They started the “Beyond Our Walls” campaign to find new audiences in the county. They started taking their brand to the senior living communities in Montgomery County and presenting the Artists in Residences musicians to these patrons who already know about Strathmore. Currently, Strathmore needs to reach out to patrons outside a 2-mile radius of the Music Center campus.

At the same time, Strathmore felt they needed to plan for the next chapter of growth coming to the county by reaching out to a whole new younger audience. By providing intimate artistic offerings in a more casual and accessible settings, Strathmore will try to attract these future audience members. Bill said that the White Flint sector is a great place to expand Strathmore’s programming. The county needs to accept the demographic changes of the region and plan for it. Young people are moving in and it is their opportunity to change the types of amenities provided throughout the county.

Strathmore is pleased to partner with Federal Realty to curate live musical performances for AMP at Pike & Rose. In addition, Strathmore will oversee and manage rental events, such as weddings and business meetings for the space as well. Their programming will be diverse, with singer-songwriters, intimate jazz, indie rock, folk, bluegrass and contemporary performances as well as a variety of well-established, trend setting touring acts. Strathmore hopes this venue will help itself find a new market of people to introduce their programming towards.

Starting in late Winter 2014, AMP will be available for rentals, which will take place only on Sundays through Wednesdays. Starting in March 2015, AMP will be available for programming events on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The design of the room is still in the works but the project is still on schedule for the later winter availability. Check out the AMP website for more information.

In addition, Strathmore wants to consider expanding their signature brand of programming throughout Montgomery County, but don’t want to necessarily compete with themselves for ticketed events. Strathmore is open to providing artists for public events at other locations, but will not program other ticketed events besides those at the Music Center and AMP. They hope to present artists for events taking place at other developments in the community, which have open plazas, stairs, and balconies perfect for these types of outdoor programming.

We look forward to all these wonderful art and cultural opportunities that will come to the region.  And, look forward to a fantastic giveaway courtesy of Strathmore coming this fall!