Festival of the Arts Lines Up Family Events

Festival of the Arts Lines Up Family Events

Alexandria's Festival of the Arts is not just for the art aficionado. There are events geared to families and children.

2005's Festival of the Arts will be held Sept. 10 and 11 on King Street from the river to Washington Street. In addition to the nationally acclaimed and regional artists displaying their works, in all mediums, will be a series of other events geared to parents and particularly the children.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Torpedo Factory Arts Center will host the 10th Annual Arts Safari — a day-long event of hands-on activities for children. It is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

Many hands-on activities will return, including the Clay Experience, Safari Murals, Tie Dye Project, and Plaster Body Casting. Other events include a Scavenger Hunt, a group project consisting of papier maché Animal sculptures, artists demonstrations, as well as other group and family activities.

In addition, Alexandria's Archeological Museum will present "the Potter's Art" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., according to Laura Overstreet, vice president, communications, Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

"Children should arrive with big imaginations and wearing clothing that can get a little dirty," she said. Most of these activities are appropriate for children from kindergarten age and above with parent supervision.

This event is a cooperative effort sponsored by the Torpedo Factory Artists Association, Alexandria's Archeological Museum, and the Alexandria Art League Inc. Supply donations have been made by Utrecht Art Supplies and "Alexandria Footsteps to the Past" Tour Company.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is located at 105 N. Union St. in Old Town Alexandria. For more information on these events contact J.D. Garn at 703-838-4565, Ext. 4 or log onto www.jgarn@torpedofactory.org.

FOR A TRUE "Hands On History" experience the place to go during Festival of the Arts weekend is the Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax St. Attendees can learn about 18th century music and dance.

Activities will include learning dances and songs of the colonial era, dressing in 18th century costumes, and writing with a quill pen. This free family fun will take place on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

As an added incentive, tours of Carlyle House are available at $4 for adults and $2 for children six years and older. Those under six are free. Groups are welcome.

There's also a lot to be learned from Alexandria's graveyards. Historic Christ Church, 118 N. Washington St., will host "Children in the Churchyard" Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Activities include face painting, mask-making, creating beaded bracelets, and photo opportunities with a historic George Washington cut-out. Children will be invited to create American flags in memory of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. For more information contact Sarah DeCamps at Christ Church, 703-778-4937.