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New Magazine Unveiled

R&B singer Roberta Flack helps kick off promotion of new city magazine.

There’s a new magazine in town, and its name is Alexandria Today.

Alexandrians were introduced to the magazine at a gala at the George Washington Masonic Temple last Tuesday night. The unveiling was overshadowed by legendary singer/songwriter Roberta Flack, who performed at the event.

Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille gave Flack a key to the city upon arrival to the city.

“It’s great to meet you and to be back in Alexandria,” Flack told Euille. “When I was growing up [in this area], there weren’t too many people that looked like you and me here. It’s great to be back.”

For his part, Euille was pleased to give Flack a key to the city. “She grew up in Arlington and began her singing career in Washington,” he said. “I remember going to Mr. Dave’s to listen to her sing long before she was really popular. She really is local, even though she doesn’t live here any longer.”

Flack performed Tuesday night at the gala for those who paid between $75 and $125. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria and other local nonprofit organizations.

As for Alexandria Today, the publisher is Karen Mcrae. “I have lived in Alexandria for two years and think that it is representative of many fine communities around the country,” Mcrae said. “There are more than 20 civic organizations in the city. How many other communities can demonstrate that kind of civic involvement?

“The magazine will be quarterly, initially, and we will see how things go. It is a lifestyle magazine that will feature profiles of people, some politics and cultural activities,” Mcrae said.

UPCOMING ISSUES will feature Euille and Councilman Ludwig Gaines and his wife, Crystal. “A writer interviewed us, and a photographer spent the day with me,” Gaines said. “I think that their goal is to be similar to Washingtonian Magazine but will feature people and activities in Alexandria with some emphasis on the African-American community,” Gaines said.

Mcrae has hired at least some local talent. The magazine’s staff photographer, at least for now, is Ernest Clark, a 1994 T. C. Williams graduate. “I’ve been working for the magazine for about three weeks,” Clark said. “It’s great.”

Clark did not study photography at T.C. “I actually studied culinary arts,” he said. “But I’ve always loved taking pictures.”

He particularly likes portraiture. “I really enjoy photographing people,” Clark said. “But I’ve also done some work at restaurants, photographing food, and have enjoyed doing whatever they need me to do. I am looking forward to continuing to work for the magazine.”

No date for the debut issue was released Tuesday.