The Bethesda Transportation Management District (TMD) Advisory Committee needs a resident near downtown Bethesda (map here) to take one of the committee spots reserved for the local citizens advisory board.
The TMD Advisory Committee reviews parking rates, government and private projects and pedestrian safety measures in Bethesda with the ultimate goal of increasing the amount of people who use mass transit or means other than cars to get into and out of the area.
Bethesda Transportation Solutions, a division of the Montgomery County-funded Bethesda Urban Partnership, promotes carpooling and incentives for other transportation options to cut into the daily traffic slog in and around the downtown area.
Members on the committee serve three-year terms without compensation and meet on the third Friday morning of every other month in Bethesda.
Applicants should send a brief resume detailing pertinent experience, interests and community activities by August 15 to the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board: 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814.
For more information contact Karen Thon at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center at email@example.com.
A four-studio art incubator space part of a planned downtown condo is coming into focus.
Chevy Chase-based developer Starr Capital will go to the Planning Board next month with a proposal for a 17-story, 72-unit luxury condo at 4990 Fairmont Ave., the site of a shuttered BP gas station.
The project includes ground floor retail and four levels of parking immediately above, so residents can overlook the county’s Lot 11 garage next door. As its public amenity, Starr Capital has proposed dedicating 2,000 square feet of the ground floor space to the county, which would then hand over management of the property to the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
BUP would lease out four art studios with separate entrances to the alley between the condo and Lot 11.
Starr Capital would build an overhang above the first floor studios to expand the alley’s width from five feet to 10 and hopes to project the artists’ work onto the cinder block garage wall across the way.
An art incubator space has been an objective of BUP and some members of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group (an advisory group made up of residents, business reps and developers) since a similar plan for the 8300 Wisconsin development fell through.
Attorney Bob Dalrymple, from Bethesda-based Linowes and Blocher, said Starr Capital will work off of the agreement worked up for the 8300 Wisconsin project. At the Woodmont Triangle Action Group’s meeting on Friday morning, Dalrymple asked for and got the advisory board’s support for the project.
Starr Capital is planning roughly 100 parking spaces for the four levels of above-grade parking, which will be outfitted with glass and other materials to make it look the same as the rest of the building. The 100 spaces is more than the zoning code allows for, so the developer will have to pay into a parking fund, pending the outcome of the zoning code rewrite discussion going on at the County Council.
The developer is looking for suggestions on how to utilize the four columns that must be built to support the building outside of the studios. One WTAG member suggested putting art inside or wrapping it around the columns.
BUP is looking at minimum one-year leases for each of the studios, which could include signage that declares the alley as an Art Walk or something similar.
Barry Nemett, of Stevenson, Md., was awarded “Best In Show” and the $10,000 grand prize. Christine Gray of Alexandria was named second place and won $2,000. Hedieh Ilchi of Rockville won third place and $1,000.
The public opening for the exhibition, which features the eight finalists in the annual event, will open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 14 in conjunction with the monthly Bethesda Art Walk.
Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E. The paintings will be the gallery’s June exhibition, open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For more information and to view all the finalists’ work, visit the Gallery B website.
Photo via Bethesda Urban Partnership
The free movies will all begin at 9 p.m. at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. Attendees can bring their own lawn chairs. BUP will provide a limited number of chairs.
This year’s selection includes “The Princess Bride,” on Tuesday, July 23, the Alfred Hitchock classic “Rear Window,” on July 24, “Back to the Future,” on July 25, “The Hunger Games,” on Friday, July 26 and “Life of Pi,” to round out the event on Saturday, July 27.
BUP hopes to attract crowds to Woodmont Triangle’s nearby restaurants. Parking is available at street meters and in a number of public garages and lots nearby.
For more info, visit BUP’s website.
Photo via Bethesda Urban Partnership
Bethesda Transportation Solutions had more than 600 people register for its Bike To Work Day festivities on Woodmont Avenue this morning, one of many local “pit-stops” around the area today.
The 13th annual event is meant to encourage bicycle commuting. Getting commuters out of congestion-creating single-occupancy cars and using other forms of transportation is the objecctive for Bethesda Transportation Solutions, a division of the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
District 16 Delegates Ariana Kelly and Susan Lee presented a proclamation from the state of Maryland celebrating the event, which included a bike raffle from Griffin Cycle (4949 Bethesda Ave.), on-site bike registration from Montgomery County Police, and giveaways and information from bike organizations such as the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
Comptroller Peter Franchot made an appearance. County Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda) and Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services director Ken Hartman presented a Montgomery County proclamation recognizing Bike To Work Day.
BTS also presented two bike commuters with a “Bicycle Spirit Award.”
Bethesda’s street festival for the 12-and-under crowd is coming back to Woodmont Triangle on Saturday, June 1 with a number of art projects, performances and activities geared specifically to children.
The 19th annual Imagination Bethesda, put on by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Auburn and Norfolk Avenues.
Activity tents include face painting, pastel drawing, sculpture making and musical instruments from a number of area arts organizations with programming for kids. Imagination Stage, Round House Theatre, Strathmore, Adventure Theatre and the Washington Conservatory of Music will all offer activities.
Norfolk Avenue dance studio Dansez! Dansez! will put on a stage performance, as well as some other children’s musicians.
For more information, visit the event website.
Photos via Bethesda Urban Partnership
The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District today announced the eight finalists for the Bethesda Painting Awards, the annual competition with a $10,000 prize for Best In Show and gallery in the Bethesda Urban Partnership’s Gallery B.
The Arts & Entertainment District will announce the top prize winners at 7 p.m. on June 5, at an event to show off the paintings in Gallery B (7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E). The second place winner will earn $2,000. The third place winner and a young artist will receive $1,000 each.
Joan Belmar, of Takoma Park, Dennis Farber of Lutherville, Christine Gray, of Alexandria, Hedieh Ilchi, of Rockville, Barry Nemett, of Stevenson, Cara Ober, of Baltimore, Erin Raedeke, of Gaithersburg, and Bill Schmidt, of Baltimore, are the finalists. Gray’s and Ilchi’s paintings are displayed above.
The public opening of the gallery will be 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 14, in conjunction with the BUP’s monthly Bethesda Art Walk. The paintings will serve as Gallery B’s June exhibition.
Tim Doud, Associate Professor of Art at American University, painter and blogger Duane Keiser and Christine Neill, Professor of Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art, judged the entries.
Photos via Bethesda Urban Partnership
Bethesda Transportation Solutions’ annual Bike To Work Day is approaching with a large event planned for the morning of Friday, May 17 and a number of pre-events planned throughout Bethesda in the next few weeks.
The BTS crew will be at Veterans Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with information and registration materials for the main event, as well as free bike maintenance checks from Griffin Cycle owner Nick Griffin.
Griffin will donate a bike to be raffled off on May 17, when bikers, BTS and the Bethesda Urban Partnership gather to celebrate Bike To Work Day from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues.
BTS, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Montgomery County Commuter Services will host a Confident City Cycling course from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 5 at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (5020 Battery Lane).
For more information or to register for the event, visit the Bike To Work Day website.
The concerts take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Veterans Park at the corner of Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues. The full schedule follows:
May 2: Joker’s Wild (Swing)
May 9: Lloyd Dobler Effect (Irish rock)
May 16: The Walkaways (Alt-country)
May 23: JohnStone Raggae Band (Reggae)
May 30: Flo Anito (Pop, Jazz)
The two-day annual event is coming back to Woodmont Triangle for its 10th year with 130 artists of sculptures, paintings, photography, mixed media, ceramics, clothing and jewelry showing off their goods.
The festival is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.
Booths will be set up along Norfolk, Auburn, Del Ray and Cordell Avenues with live entertainment, children’s activities and food from Haagen Dazs, Freddy’s Lobster & Clams, Mamma Lucia, Hard Times Cafe and Yamas Mediterranean Grill.
The event is free. For more information, visit the Bethesda Urban Partnership’s event website.
Photo via Bethesda Urban Partnership
Lately, springtime in Montgomery County has usually meant debate on raising parking rates in downtown Bethesda.
This budget season will be no different, but this time around County Executive Isiah Leggett is seeking more parking revenue through a revised rate structure, not the straight up increases of past years.
Leggett’s FY 14 budget proposal for the Bethesda Parking Lot District (PLD) would make on-street meter parking $2 an hour, parking lot spaces $1.25 an hour and parking garage spaces 80 cents an hour. Existing rates are $1.25 an hour for any parking space up to four hours and 80 cents an hour for any long-term parking in excess of four hours.
If approved by the County Council, which will introduce the changes this morning, the new rate structure would take effect on July 1.
Bethesda business leaders unsuccessfully argued against parking rate increases in each of the last two years, arguing the increases would discourage customers from coming to the area. They also argued that any extra revenue would not help plug county budget deficits since all PLD revenue goes to parking improvements or to the Bethesda Urban Partnership, the county-funded Business Improvement District in charge of maintaining and marketing downtown Bethesda.
In 2011, the county raised long-term parking rates for more than three hours of parking from 65 cents to 75 cents an hour against the wishes of the business community. County Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) said the increase was necessary to fund the PLD’s reserves with the coming construction of the Lot 31 underground garage, then estimated at $86 million.
In 2012, the county raised parking rates at on-street, lot and garage meters to $1.25 an hour for short-term parking of up to four hours and up to 80 cents an hour for long-term parking of more than four hours. Monthly parking passes were also increased to $150 a month. Leggett proposed no bump this year for monthly passes.
Unlike in past years, the county has not proposed a Saturday rate. Parking is now free in county garages and lots on the weekend and at on-street parking meters on Sunday.
Leggett’s recommended FY 14 budget includes the expansion of a pilot smart meter program to all on-street spaces.
In the past, county leaders have argued the increases are meant to encourage people to ditch their cars without making them too much of a burden for those who will drive.
The Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes on Tuesday, April 23 at 1:30 p.m. Berliner’s Transportation & Environment Committee will review the changes and likely make recommendations to the full Council at its budget worksession scheduled for April 26.
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced Bethesda philanthropist Carol Trawick will be one of nine honorees at the 2013 Montgomery Serves awards at Imagination Stage on Monday, April 29.
Trawick, who helped lead the creation of the Bethesda Urban Partnership in the early 90′s and who lends her name to the Trawick Prize art competition at BUP’s Gallery B, is one of three winners of the Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award, named for the former County Councilmember and County Executive.
Odessa Shannon, who as special assistant to former Montgomery County Executive Charles Gilchrist became the first woman to hold that policy-making position, and MCPS Spanish educator Teresa Rios Wright will also be honored, according to the press release:
During and after an extraordinarily successful business career, Trawick – cofounder with her husband of the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation – has devoted her time, talent and resources to serving others and promoting the arts.
Other honorees include Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services advocate Marcine Goodloe and Joyce Siegel, who helped fight for the revitalization of Potomac’s historically black Scotland neighborhood. Alfredo Colina Iturralde, MedImmune in Gaithersburg and Walter Reed medical tech Robert Zagorski were selected for special volunteer accomplishments.
The event is free and scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Imagination Stage (4908 Auburn Ave.)
Photo via Bethesda Urban Partnership
A crowd of about 150 came to the inaugural Bethesda Film Fest on Saturday. With almost as many people shut out of the sold out event, organizers said it could grow by next year.
The Bethesda Urban Partnership and the board of its Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District created and ran the presentation of five short documentaries from local directors at Imagination Stage (4908 Auburn Ave.). After the films, the filmmakers answered audience questions.
The panel of judges — board members of the Arts & Entertainment District, Imagination Stage’s David Stern and American University’s Angelica Das — narrowed down a selection of about 25 shorts to five.
Two films — “The Plan” and “Rights of Butterflies” — touched on topics of local importance that may not have been as apparent to people in Bethesda.
“The Plan,” is a documentary/narrative that looks at gentrification and its effects on black-owned businesses in a rapidly changing Washington, D.C. “Rights of Butterflies,” chronicles a Silver Spring student’s attempt at getting into and paying for a college education despite her undocumented status.
“Oh, I think it definitely opens the community’s eyes,” said Arts & Entertainment board member Debra Moser. “I heard a lot of people say, ‘I didn’t know that. I didn’t realize that.’ It’s definitely the stories within our community people don’t even realize are going on.”
“Into the Lime Light,” follows an up-and-coming junior D.C. boxer as he prepares for a fight. “Baffle their Minds with Bullsh*t, Kerry Leigh,” looks at a New Orleans street performer with a unique product and unique outlook on life. One film with Bethesda ties, “Porchfest,” shows a special kind of block party in a Northwest D.C. neighborhood. It was made by two Bethesda natives.
Moser said the Arts & Entertainment District had the idea for the event last year and worked to gauge interest and make it different from popular film festivals such as the annual SilverDocs at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring.
While Saturday’s event was on a much smaller scale, there was obvious interest for more.
“We had this idea and we tried to figure out, was Bethesda ready for it? Would people respond to it,” Moser said. “I think they did. So I think there’s potential here to grow. We started with baby steps to see if it would have legs.”
The 14th Annual Bethesda Literary Festival will include about 20 author discussions, readings, open houses and writing award presentations over three days in April at nine locations throughout the downtown area.
The event, operated by the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP), includes authors on a range of subjects who will discuss their books from Friday, April 19-Sunday, April 21 at locations including the Bethesda Library (7400 Arlington Rd.), Barnes & Noble (4801 Bethesda Ave.) and The Writer’s Center (4508 Walsh St.).
The Washington Post’s David Maraniss will discuss his biography of Barack Obama, which was published last year, starting at noon on April 20 at the Residence Inn Bethesda (7335 Wisconsin Ave.).
BUP and Bethesda Magazine will present winners of their essay and short story contest with awards and particpants will read their works at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda (7400 Wisconsin Ave.) on April 19.
The full schedule is after the jump. For more info, visit the event page.
The Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) announced three local Virginia artists will have their work displayed in the downtown studio’s March exhibition when it opens March 6:
Richard Levine of Arlington, VA is a painter and photographer whose work’s foundation is heavily influenced by his extensive travel throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has exhibited widely on the East Coast from New York to Massachusetts in both solo and group shows.
Agron Pire of Stone Ridge, VA, was born in Tirana, Albania and from an early age composed portrait and landscape works. He graduated from the School of Art in 1979. Since 1984, he has partaken in numerous exhibitions at the Tirana National Gallery of Art as well as foreign National galleries. One of his paintings is in permanent residence at Tirana’s National Gallery. In 2002 Agron immigrated to the United States where he continued to paint mostly in landscape form and in 2006 he opened a one-man show at Dulles International Airport. Eighteen original oil paintings were displayed and the works received much attention. Agron still continues to paint and his passion for landscape painting is fuelled by the beauty of Virginia’s scenery.
Mark Joseph Williams of Ashburn, VA, has been recognized by peers and industry organizations including the American Society of Marine Artists as a Signature Member. He is also a juried member of Oil Painters of America and the International Guild of Realism. His work has evolved organically over more than a decade into a fluid and contemporary approach depicting nature through the many vivid colors and textures of land, skies and water. Although his work is still anchored in traditional design, he is passionately exploring “echoes” of natural texture, lighting, and color elements beyond just strict interpretations of nature.
The exhibition at Gallery B (7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E) will be open from March 6 to March 30, from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday. The opening reception will be held on Friday, March 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in conjuction with BUP’s Bethesda Art Walk.
Image via Bethesda Urban Partnership