Friday, April 18, 2014


Free Annual Arts Festival Features Local Performances, Artists and Musicians of PW County

Prince William County Arts Council and the Hylton Performing Arts Center of Manassas, Va. are hosting their fourth annual ARTS ALIVE Festival, a free, family-fun event that features local, Prince William County dancers, singers, artists, and performances, on Sat., May 3 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, at 10960 George Mason Circle Manassas, Va. Admission and parking are free. For a schedule of events, call 703-221-2150 or go to

The ARTS ALIVE Festival features more than 30 indoor and outdoor events, workshops, displays, performances and children’s activities. Performances include: Gainesville Ballet, Showcase Dance, NOVA Youth Ballet, Asaph Dance Ensemble, Woodbridge Dance, Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra, Youth Orchestras of Prince William, Prince William Community Band, Manassas Chorale, Celebration Singers, New Dominion Choraliers, Osbourn High School Guitar Ensemble, Woodbridge Community Choir, Ben Lomond Community Center Dancers, Dance, Etc., Woodbridge Music, Castaways Repertory Theater, Bull Run Cloggers, Lou Rosgen, Magnificent Belly Dance, Old Bridge Quartet, Gainesville Middle School Drama Club, Creative and Performing Arts Center Sankofa Singers, Dumfries Elementary School Chorus, Shenandoah Sounds, Write by Rails writers, Coles Elementary Step Team, a Jazz Vocalist Master Class lead by Donna Brown, a Tango Master Class and Introduction by Quintango, Pied Piper Theater and the Bull Run and Unitarian Universalists Mime Troupe.

Fine art displays will be presented by: Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory, Manassas Warrenton Camera Club, Cabin Branch Quilters, Stone House Quilters Guild and Prince William Art Society.

ARTS ALIVE will showcase many children activities. The Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory’s lead actors of Pied Piper Theatre’s “Peter Pan, Jr.” will be performing and singing throughout the crowds, Cabin Branch Quilters leads the 4H ‘Make and Take’ quilting project, Edgemoor Art Studio offers painting. The onsite Open Air Market will also sell food, refreshments and crafts.

“The Prince William Arts Council is a melting pot of the great artistic talent living right here in our own backyard,” said Sheyna Burt, president of the Prince William County Arts Council of Manassas, Va. “It’s our goal to provide education, training and information about the rich and diverse artistic offerings Prince William County has to offer, from quilting and belly-dancing to orchestra and jazz, our artists are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family, and ARTS ALIVE celebrates and debuts the best of the best in our area,” said Burt.

The Prince William County Arts Council was established in 1992 as an arts advisory board to Prince William County government. The Prince William County Arts Council is a membership organization that serves the Greater Prince William area, including Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, Va. It was created by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors with the vision to educate the community about the visual and performing arts offerings in Prince William County and be an information source about Prince William County’s arts’ programs and performances. It also provides training, networking, development and marketing opportunities for its members.  Call 703-221-2150 or visit, Facebook or Twitter. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nominations Open for Prince William Poet Laureate

Nominations are open for the first ever Prince William Poet Laureate, a two-year position to be selected and filled under an exciting new Laureate program of the Prince William County Arts Council. The program is being administered by a special committee of the Arts Council under the leadership of June Forte, a member of Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club.

Nominations for the position, which will receive an annual $500 honorarium, are due by MAY 10, 2014. Guidance and forms for nominations are available for download below. Mail completed submission forms to: June Forte, 12702 Valleywood Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22192

Please distribute this information as widely as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact Laureate Program Chair June Forte at or 703-585-6396.

Download the nomination form here.

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The Prince William County Arts Council is a membership organization serving the Greater Prince William Area, including Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. Our mission is twofold: 1) To promote and support local artists and arts organizations and 2) To enlighten and educate audiences about the arts in the Greater Prince William Area. For more information about the Arts Council and its member groups and artists, visit or contact Sheyna Burt, Chair, Board of Directors, Prince William County Arts Council at 703-927-3999 or

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Poem by Patricia Daly-Lipe

The Grounds, St. Paul de Mausole Hospice and Vincent Van Gogh

The trees were just as he saw them
Twisted trunks, withering branches
Plaintively reaching for the glow
Of the pale blue and pink sky.
Gray leaves flashing silver at the falling sun,
Dry, pale ochre weeds coating the earth below.
The edge of his palette knife
Marking this place
Still so full of his presence.

Monday, April 7, 2014

For National Poetry Month: A Poem by Cindy Brookshire

Church Doughnuts

Bad enough I have to avert my eyes
From the wall of glazed, powdered, frosted,
crème and jelly filled  doughnuts
in the bakery every week
When I go grocery shopping.

But there they are
Every Sunday morning
On two round trays
Naked for the taking
In the parish hall.

Sinfully pink or white frosted
Chocolate-y and shiny,
rolled in crushed nuts
Or candy sprinkles.

I fantasize taking just one and
Biting into the cream center,
Savoring it with a cup of hot coffee
While sitting in a folding chair,
Listening to adult forum.

But, Lord, if that sugar ever got inside me….

One would never be enough.
I’d be pinching, yanking and elbowing
Sunday Schoolers to get to the best ones
And pretending to walk around the church,
just so the same people  wouldn’t see me
lose count on how many I gobbled down
before the feeling of fullness kicked in.

Late afternoon, regret would follow orgy.
I can’t believe they don’t buy smaller ones,
or less, or none at all.
Why not offer muffins or fresh fruit
or a pot ofsteel cut oats with natural toppings?

I know. Just because I can’t control myself
Doesn’t mean everyone should have to suffer.
But all that sugar….frosting….it isn’t even….food;
Just temptation.

by Cindy Brookshire
April 6, 2014