McLean Honors Dr. King

McLean Honors Dr. King

MCC’s 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration goes virtual with three events


Sarah Schallern Treff, Director, Performing Arts, McLean Community Center.

With three distinct programs to celebrate the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and with an abundance of health and safety precautions, the McLean Community Center (MCC) has developed original, interactive, virtual programs. The MCC programs include a Book Discussion about the iconic Marian Anderson, Podcast Review of “Seeing White” and a totally new Community Story Sharing project.

“The Alden is committed to finding new and creative ways to break through the barriers brought on by the global pandemic and bring our ‘Beloved Community’ together in a tangible way,” said Sarah Schallern Treff, Director, MCC Performing Arts.

“We look to the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the goal of uniting our community through outreach and personal connection. This year, The Alden is launching a community connection project that we are calling ‘Our Beloved Community: Uniting Through Stories,’’ said Schallern Treff. “We are inspired to dust off our virtual notepads and pencils and help our community reconnect and heal through the power of storytelling.”

Regarding the new “Our Beloved Community: Uniting Through Stories,” Danielle Van Hook, Director, Youth Programs, indicated that the McLean community with its “generations of knowledge and wisdom are invited to share their personal stories—they can be historically significant or a family story that the storyteller loves to share. Storytellers will be matched with Story Adapters, whose job will be to interpret the stories into art forms; the possibilities are unlimited.”

The three virtual programs compose the 2021 McLean Community Center wide-ranging, weeks-long celebration of Dr. King’s dreams and works. The staff of The Alden Theatre, a division of the McLean Community Center, produced and is overseeing the compelling social justice and community building events.

Where and When

McLean Community Center celebrates 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with three different virtual events. Events are free and will be held via Zoom. For more information on each of the events, visit: or call 703-790-0123. For ADA accommodations, contact Patron Services Manager Evelyn Hill at or call 571-296-8385.

  • Virtual Book Discussion: “The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America” by Raymond Arsenault

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. Recounts the life of Black contralto Marian Anderson and her experience as a Black woman in the classical music field. Arsenault gives context to Anderson’s historic 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial, drawing on her own words and those of scholars. Participants will virtually discuss the book. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Copies of the book are available through the Fairfax County Public Library and retailers.

  • Podcast Discussion Group: “Seeing White”—Season Two of “Scene on Radio” from the Center for Documentary Studies.

The series looks at the history as well as the social constructs and emotional grappling that Americans engage in when discussing race and whiteness with host Jon Biewen and guest host, Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika. Zoom event moderated by the staff of The Alden. Begins Thursdays Jan. 14, 2021 at 7 p.m. Runs to Feb. 18, 2021. Participants will be provided with a schedule and should listen to the episodes prior to joining in the virtual community conversation about the episodes.

  • Community Service Project: “Our Beloved Community: Uniting Through Stories”

Free. Preregistration required. The Alden is committed to finding new and creative ways to break through the barriers brought on by the global pandemic and bring our “Beloved Community” together in a tangible way. This year, it is launching a community connection project called “Our Beloved Community: Uniting Through Stories.”

This project is open to everyone in the McLean community and the surrounding areas. Families are encouraged to work together. Participants age 13 or younger must have parental supervision when creating their stories. For more information, contact or