Bored of Netflix? Try checking out the arts

Loudoun Arts Center becomes NoVA’s new home for theater, music, dance and the visual arts.

Loudoun Arts Center
Photo courtesy of BikeRiderLondon/shutterstock.com.

By Emily Rust

What to do tonight?

After a grueling commute on Route 28, the usual answer for Northern Virginians is take-out, Netflix, wine, sleep. Repeat.

But if you’re looking to change up your routine, Loudoun Art Center (LAC) has your weeknight plans covered. Home to dance, music, theater and visual arts, the center strives to make art accessible for all.

Back home in China, owner Xiaokui Ma found solace in her community arts center. Ma, the founder of Loudoun Gymnastics in Sterling, went back to her childhood roots to create LAC. Even though she moved on to gymnastics, her fond memories of observing the art center propelled her to start a home for arts in Loudoun County.

Director Josh Sticklin hopes it will be a “buzzing hive of activity.”

Classes are offered from age three to adults.  “Anyway we can get someone hooked on the arts, that’s our goal,” Sticklin says.  Adult classes include yoga, piano and comedic improvisation, with a combination wine and painting class in store for the future. Both summer and fall classes for children and adults are offered.

With the facility’s layout, Sticklin hopes for visitors to be inspired by other classes.

“Maybe you’re taking a painting class and walk by a music room and see a percussion class and think ‘maybe I’d like to try that,’” Sticklin says.  By having many overlapping classes, Sticklin aspires to have collaboration among disciplines.

In these beginning stages, Sticklin is reaching out to local theater companies for partnerships to host community plays. A former theater artist, Sticklin knows the struggle for companies to find a space.

Phase 1 of the project, completed on June 16, includes two mixed studios, five music studios, a visual arts studio, a cafe and a gallery. Phase 2 will bring additional classrooms, a black box theatre and a large flex space for community events.

Summer children productions beginning June 16 include “Jungle Book Kids,” “High School Musical Junior,” “Seussical Junior” and “Beauty and the Beast Junior.”

Registration for both summer and fall classes is open online.  Summer classes continue through Aug. 22 and fall classes begin Sept. 8.

Loudoun Arts Center
21586 Atlantic Blvd., Building 130
Sterling
Open House
June 21 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
June 22 1-4 p.m.

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