Second Fridays through October
The Art Center’s signature evening series returns with eclectic art and activities. In among three floors of open artists’ studios, find gallery receptions, stimulating artist talks, pop-up performances, hands-on projects, lively music, and more.
September is a special month for two diverse communities in Alexandria. It is the celebration of Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year) in the Ethiopian community, as well as the start of Hispanic Heritage Month honoring the Latin American community, both vibrant and essential cultures in Alexandria.
Celebrate the contributions of both communities to the growing arts and culture tapestry of Alexandria with a night of music, hands-on activities, and art. Plus: Join us in the 3rd Floor lounge for a ticketed poetry slam with KaNikki Jakarta and other poets.
Plus: Raise a glass to the start of Old Town Cocktail Week! Enjoy our specialty-themed “Heritage” cocktails at the bar in the spirit of the event – choose from Ethiopian Tej (honey wine) and Salvadoran Horchata with or without coffee (non-alcoholic).
Target Gallery (Studio 2)
On View through September 11
The new group exhibition in Target Gallery explores the effects of climate change in Turning Tides. Visitors to Turning Tides will experience themes of fear, grief, and resiliency over the looming environmental impacts of human interference. This all-media exhibition features 20 artists, with 7 from the greater D.C. metropolitan region.
Heritage Activities and Exhibitions
Enjoy art projects, art tables, and hands-on activities with studio artists, visiting artists, and our friends to celebrate Alexandria’s diverse communities.
Poetry Reading with Arden Levine – 7:30 PM
Join us in the Grand Hall to hear a selection of poems from Alexandria-raised poet Arden Levine as she returns to her hometown to celebrate the release of her poetry book, Ladies’ Abecedary. Reading starts at 7:30pm in the Grand Hall, followed by a soiree and second reading at 8:00pm in the studio of Rosemary Feit Covey (Studio 224), the artist that provided the artwork for Levine’s book.
About Arden Levine
As a poet, essayist, and book reviewer, Arden Levine’s writing has been featured in Harvard Review, The Missouri Review’s Poem-of-the-Week, Poetry Society of America’s Song Cycle series, WNYC’s Radiolab, and American Life in Poetry (selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser). Her poetry collection Ladies’ Abecedary (Harbor Editions, 2021) was included in the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses’ 2022 Reading List for Women’s History Month. Arden is a National Book Critics Circle Member and a Best of the Net nominee. Her daily work as a New York City municipal employee focuses on housing affordability, homelessness prevention, and equitable community development.
Words on Water Poetry Slam with KaNikki Jakarta – 8:00 PM
Join fellow poets and poet lovers alike in Studio 325 (third floor) for a fast-paced poetry slam, judged by creatives and members of the audience. Hosted by KaNikki Jakarta, Alexandria’s First Black Poet Laureate, this lively event will inspire you while also celebrating local voices in the city.
*Please note this is a ticketed portion of the Late Shift. Click here to buy your tickets.
About KaNikki Jakarta
With over twenty five years of writing and over a decade on the poetry scene, KaNikki Jakarta has toured the US and the UK sharing the stage with Jill Scott, Raheem DeVaughn, and Lyfe Jennings. KaNikki J. writes and recites what she calls “real life fiction” that touches her listeners to the core. She has published two fictional novels: IN REAL LIFE & THE COLOR BLUE and is currently preparing to release the third installment entitled THE OTHER SIDE OF PRETTY. KaNikki J is a success at multi-tasking wearing many hats: poet, host, and ASL Interpreter. She is the founder of NUSPA (National Underground Spoken word Poetry Awards.) If you think that something she says on the mic might change your life, you’re probably right.
Live Performance by Armonias Peruanas – 8:30 PM
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a live 10 minute performance by cultural dance group Armonias Peruanas. Formed by five women from Montgomery County, Maryland in 2017, this group varies from first generation Peruvians to natural born Peruvians all who want to learn, share and keep their culture alive. Their mission is to share the beauty and diversity of Peruvian culture and heritage through the art of dance.
Enkutatash Countdown! 9:30 PM
While the actual Ethiopian New Year doesn’t start until Sunday September 11, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare with a practice countdown!
Did you know that Ethiopia has its own calendar with 13 months, and each of the 12 months has 30 days? Did you know the 13th month has five days, which becomes six in each leap year? Did you know that they will be celebrating the year 2015? Join us in the Grand Hall at 9:30 pm for a practice celebration of the Ethiopian New Year and enjoy some tej (honey wine).
Community Art Project in the Grand Hall
What does Alexandria mean to you? What makes this city so special and diverse? Share your thoughts on Alexandria’s unique communities and history. Write or draw your experiences with this city we call home on our Community Art Mural.
Meet some of the DMV’s up-and-coming artists. Learn about their work in and around Alexandria, and how this area inspires their creations.
Late Shift Heritage Signature Cocktails
Raise a glass to the start of Old Town Cocktail Week! Enjoy our specialty-themed “Heritage” cocktails at the bar in the spirit of the event – choose from Ethiopian Tej (honey wine) and Salvadoran Horchata with or without coffee (non-alcoholic).
Hispanic Heritage Coloring Station
Take time to visit our coloring table and add your colors to some famous paintings by Hispanic/Latino artists of the past 100 years. Add them to our community art columns throughout the Grand Hall. Plus: learn more about upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month activities and celebrations happening all month long throughout the city.
Music by DJ Vico Vibez
DJ VicoVibez is a local affiliate DJ with D.C.-based Words Beats and Life Inc., where he met and later became the official DJ for muralist duo MASPAZ and CHELOVE, aka CHELPAZ. From there, he became a DJ for the D.C. to Standing Rock Movement, a group of graffiti artists who traveled to Standing Rock in South Dakota, making stops in cities to paint “Water Is Life” murals. He currently has a residency at CafeU in DC.