Wear your support for Living Legends over your heart (and on your head)! Order your LLA Logo Golf Shirts ($45) and caps ($25) today. Download an Order Form.
Holy Cow Donations!
Remember to support Living Legends when get your burgers at Holy Cow Burger Joint, 2312 Mt. Vernon Avenue.
In an innovative partnership with ACT for Alexandria, 2014 Living Legend Mike Anderson gives back to more than 75 local nonprofits by donating $.25 for every burger sold at Holy Cow, Del Ray’s Gourmet Burger Joint. Living Legends is #045 on the list. And yes, they serve veggie-burgers.
Board of Directors
Mary Anne Weber
A. Melvin Miller
Pam St. Clair
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Message from the President
The beginning of a new year is a good time to pause for a few minutes and review what we’ve done.
In 2014 Living Legends participated in the George Washington Birthday Parade (we took First Prize in the Seniors category) and the Scottish Christmas Walk. We held major photo exhibitions at Alexandria City Hall, Prudential PenFed Realty (now Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty), the Alexandria Black History Museum, St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub and BB&T Bank. Our traveling exhibition appeared at the George Washington Birthday breakfast and concerts of the Alexandria Symphony and the Washington Metropolitan Symphony. We hosted the Meet the Legends reception in March and MetroStage Theater Night in September where we honored the Legends who were active in Civil Rights in Alexandria in the 60s. We collaborated with the Black History Museum on two programs. One, Civil Rights Saturday, featured Howard Feinstein, author of Fire on the Bayou: True Tales from the Civil Rights Battlefront and a storytelling/bookmaking activity led by artist/educator Sushmita Mazumdar and the other, an interactive activity teaching families about Civil Rights locally and nationally. We provided photos of six women Legends for display at the Alexandria Commission for Women’s “Salute to Women.” In collaboration with the Old Town Business and Professional Association, we created a tabletop exhibition of Alexandria’s business Legends to show at Volunteer Alexandria’s Philanthropy Summit. We were nominated (but alas didn’t win this year) for a Best in Business award by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. And in September, Board members and Legends participated in the dedication of Legend bricks installed at King Street Gardens Park. And finally, the board has recently completed the daunting task of selecting the Legends of 2015. You can read a paragraph about them elsewhere in this newsletter and meet them personally at the “Meet the Legends” reception on March 19.
We are continuing to work with volunteer students from Northern Virginia Community College on edited versions of their videotaped interviews of the 2014 Legends. Inspired by Kathleen Baker, we initiated collaboration with MacArthur and Barrett Elementary Schools’ PTA’s Reflections programs. In this pilot project, students and parents had an opportunity to hear from and interact with some of our Living Legends.
Throughout the year, feature stories of the 2014 Legends were published by our media partners: the Alexandria Gazette Packet, AlexandriaNews.Org, The Zebra and LocalKicks.
In this year of transition from leadership by founder Nina Tisara to professional management by Potomac Management Resources, we launched a new website, www.LivingLegends.org, and new designs for our newsletter and letterhead. And importantly, we initiated an on-line opportunity for monthly donations. Please take a moment to sign up now to help us fulfill our mission in the year to come.
Hope to see you at George Washington Birthday Parade where we’ll honor Alexandria’s first Legend.
Joseph Shumard, President
Introducing the Legends of 2015
The Board selected six of our extraordinary nominees as Living Legends of Alexandria for 2015. We are proud to introduce:
Kathleen Baker, artist, educator and advocate, began with acclaimed one-woman shows illuminating early American women and went on to found the professional company, Opera Americana. Her unique teaching approach in the music classroom inspired student-created multidisciplinary operas. She led expansion of the Sister Cities program to Caen, France, and helped create the Arts Forum.
Marga Fripp, founder and “Chief Visionary” behind Alexandria-based Empowered Women International, marks thirteen years of service to over 3,000 immigrant, low-income, and minority women. This unique, full-service nonprofit has empowered many with the tools and support to become successful entrepreneurs and contributing citizens on the road to The American Dream.
Alice Morgan initiated Alexandria’s Martin Luther King Memorial Service and chaired the program for 34 of the next 35 years. She was the first woman and first African American woman to be appointed to the Planning Commission, and was the first African American woman to run for City Council.
Fred Parker and his late brother Jim took a chance on a dilapidated building on upper King Street for their first Hard Times Café chili parlor. The pioneering chili slinger paved the way for an array of restaurants, shops and hotels near the King Street Metro Station that have revitalized the neighborhood and made it a thriving destination.
Joyce Rawlings’ service to Alexandria connects children, youth and parents with schools and services, with a particular emphasis on assisting minority and immigrant families. Often among those who started Alexandria programs, Rawlings advocated for and helped create Family Resource Learning Centers — precursors of Alexandria’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) centers.
Gayle Reuter was instrumental in turning the Del Ray neighborhood into the place “Where Main Street Still Exists.” Today she continues to be a driving force in the Del Ray Halloween Parade, Art on the Avenue, Turkey Trot and the many other Del Ray events she helped create and the neighborhood is now known for.
Meet the Legends Reception: Save the Date
Save the date of Thursday, March 19, 6-9 p.m., Patent & Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street. The Selection Committee is working out details. Meanwhile, save the date for our premier event introducing the nominees and the Legend “Class of 2015.”
Exterior of building. Courtesy photo.
Alexandria lost one of its Legends in January. Ferdinand T. “Fred” Day, 96, was selected as a Living Legend of Alexandria in 2007, the first year of our operation. He was among the Civil Rights Activists of the 60s honored by Living Legends at a recent reception at MetroStage. We are grateful to have known him and miss him greatly.
And congratulations to 2013 Living Legend Rosa E. Byrd who was selected by AlexandriaNews.org as the 2014 Alexandrian of the Year. The recognition is given to volunteers who give of themselves in a variety of ways over a long period of time to make Alexandria a better place to live.
Photo by Steven Halperson
The 2014 Living Legends Traveling Exhibition is being showcased in the Bisdorf Building, Northern Virginia Community College through February 4. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your business would like to host the 2015 Traveling Exhibition.
Photo by Nina Tisara
New Collaboration — Commonwealth Academy
We are pleased to announce a new collaboration with Commonwealth Academy. Their students will interview the 2015 Living Legends and produce a video for the Meet the Legends reception in March. Commonwealth Academy is a coeducational, college preparatory day school located in Alexandria, for average to superior students who benefit from small classes and instruction designed to address various learning styles, including those students who have organizational, attention, or learning differences.
King Street Gardens Park
Living Legends, past and present, may purchase a two-line name brick in King Street Gardens Park for $100, a saving of $25. The award-winning park is located at the intersection of King Street and Diagonal Road. Funds received for the bricks are earmarked for improvements such as lighting, irrigation, landscaping, maintenance and information systems.