The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) and the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) will host a public open house to discuss the potential for development of an arts and education center at Clemyjontri Park. The meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, with the open house at 6:30 p.m. and a presentation and community discussion at 7 p.m. The meeting will take place in MPA's Emerson Gallery at the McLean Community Center, located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue in McLean.
Clemyjontri Park and its vision was made possible through the generosity of benefactor Ms. Adele Lebowitz and the Lebowitz family, who donated the property to the Park Authority in 2000 with the desire to provide a comprehensive play experience for all children in a barrier-free setting, provided that the home be occupied for compatible community use. The park is one of the first large-scale parks in the country specifically planned and built as an inclusive space where children of all abilities can play side-by-side. It includes a playground, carousel, swings, and other recreational features. Clemyjontri Park, owned and operated by FCPA is located at 6317 Georgetown Pike in McLean.
MPA and the Park Authority are exploring the possibility of developing a new arts center at Clemyjontri Park to further its arts and educational mission. MPA, established in 1962, is a leading contemporary visual arts organization that exhibits the work of emerging and established artists from the mid-Atlantic region; promotes public awareness and understanding of the concepts of contemporary art; and offers instruction and education in the visual arts.
The proposed project would feature the reuse and redevelopment of the existing residence on the property, as well as new construction for gallery exhibition space, and arts education classroom facilities. MPA envisions an all-inclusive art center which provides a creative respite for the community that is integrated into, yet distinct from, Clemyjontri Park. The center could potentially exhibit the work of contemporary artists; offer arts instruction and classroom space; and include public artwork in the park. This new facility would build upon the existing visual arts programming currently provided by MPA through a public/private partnership with Fairfax County at the McLean Community Center (MCC). MPA will continue its award-winning exhibitions in the Emerson Gallery and maintain its robust visual arts instruction and DuVal Studio, both at the MCC.
Staff from the Park Authority and representatives of MPA will be on hand to share information on the park master plan, development of the park to date and the proposed arts center. A question and answer opportunity will follow the brief staff presentation.