Our View: A creative city

Our View: A creative city

This week the third Alexandria Times City Creatives section is part of our April 6 edition. We launched City Creatives this time last year in an attempt to showcase the many facets of Alexandria’s thriving arts community.

In the eight stories that have appeared in the first two City Creatives sections, we have profiled institutions like the Alexandria Harmonizers and individual artists such as dancer Carleigh Jones from the Metropolitan School for the Arts.

This installment of City Creatives focuses on four individuals, each involved with a different art form.

Bill Daly, owner of Crooked Beat Records, has helped keep vinyl records alive by selling them in his own shop since 1997 – deliberately bucking the trend away from vinyl records just as the growth of CD sales had many predicting vinyl’s looming extinction.

Daly is about to move to his second Alexandria location, from his current shop in North Old Town, which is part of a block that’s slated for redevelopment, to Mt. Vernon Ave. in Del Ray. Daly’s story is told by local freelance author Andrew Dunbar.

Dance instructor Sara Lavan is currently executive director of Local Motion Project, which seeks to create movement experiences that engender social change and personal growth. Expression and human connection, vital elements of successful artistic endeavors in any medium, are prioritized at LMP. Former Alexandria Times Editor Olivia Anderson relates the story of Lavan and LMP.

Alexandria actor Pat Nicklin has returned to her first love, the stage, after a remarkable career in the nonprofit world that included helping found the National Points of Light Foundation, running the National Parks Foundation and helping launch the No Kid Hungry campaign at the nonprofit Share our Strength. While Nicklin still runs her own nonprofit consulting firm, she revels in stage roles at the Little Theatre of Alexandria and elsewhere. Freelance writer Kim Jackson, a former on-air TV reporter, tells Nicklin’s story.

Local author Taylor Baldwin Kiland in her book “Unwavering: The Wives Who Fought to Ensure No Man Is Left Behind” describes the important work done by a group of women who bucked norms of the 60s and 70s to change U.S. policy. These women, including John McCain’s first wife Carol, pressured the U.S. government to find and free their husbands, children and fathers who were captured or missing in action while serving in the U.S. military. Freelance journalist Kerry Boyd Anderson penned the piece about Kiland.

We have just scratched the surface in telling the stories of artistic innovators with a connection to Alexandria. There are dozens more who write books or songs, dance or teach ballet to kindergartners. They create or curate art. They act, write plays and sing. We look forward to relating their accomplishments, and their artistic philosophies, to you in each semiannual edi- tion of City Creatives.

Discerning readers may also notice that the entire newspaper this week is printed on thicker, higher quality newsprint to en- hance the colors and print quality. While the cost is prohibitive for us to do this every week, we wanted to highlight the signifi- cance of this section by making it as visually vibrant as possible.

Alexandria is many wonderful things, including a true city of creatives.