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BlackRock Center to Host Open House on Saturday, Sets Opening Headliners

Ahead of the official opening of the season in September, the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown will host its annual Open House on Saturday, August 27, 2016, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The event is free and perfect for all ages. At the Open House members of the public will get a taste of all BlackRock has to offer, including sample art classes, a preview of performers coming to BlackRock and gallery exhibits on display. During the Open House, the Art League of Germantown will host a Fine Arts and Crafts sale on the BlackRock lawn.

The schedule for the Open House includes:

- A ‘Discover BlackRock’ scavenger hunt will take kids throughout the beautiful facility with guiding clues that will include various sample arts classes that explore the arts with a prize at the end of their journey.

- Music, games and face painting.

- Art exhibits in the two BlackRock galleries and on BlackRock’s front lawn.

- Focus on photography with Alexandra Silverthorne and D. B. Stovall as they lead Artists Talks and Demonstrations of old-school film cameras, including a large format view camera and processes used to create images in the exhibits in The Kay Gallery

- Hands-on art participation with artist Chee-Keong Kung. The artist describes his process in an Artist Talk, then works with patrons to create a Community Painting with the same tools and materials used in paintings for his “Line/Edges” exhibit in the Terrace Gallery.

- Meet local artists from the Art League of Germantown who will offer demonstrations and displays of fine art and craft techniques in a wide variety of media under tents on the lawn in front of BlackRock (weather permitting).

- A dynamic presentation that gives people a tour of the coming performance season and all that BlackRock has to offer the community.

Admission to BlackRock’s 2016 Open House is free. For more information, please visit blackrockcenter.org or call 301.528.2260.

Germantown’s arts center will officially open its season on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 4:00 pm with a screening of the film Sweet Dreams. The members of Rwanda's first and only all women's drum troupe, Ingoma Nshya—made up of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwandan genocide — decide to partner with two young American entrepreneurs to open Rwanda's first ever ice cream shop.

BlackRock’s official performance season will begin the following weekend of September 23, 24, and 25 with three performances from three very different artists.

The BlackRock season kicks off with Zydeco music on September 23. BlackRock will present the award-winning Nathan Williams and Zydeco Cha-Chas from Louisiana on Friday, September 23 at 8:00 pm to kick off its season and celebrate the fast and furious accordion-driven dance music known as of zydeco.

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas have been performing uplifting, exhilarating Creole music for over 30 years. Founded in 1985, the group has been a tireless ambassador of Zydeco. Bringing their unique take on Zydeco music to all corners of the globe, making them one of the most influential Zydeco bands of all time. Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2005, Nathan Williams was honored with the Zydeco Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Cha-Chas have been voted the top Festival Band in the country and have won the coveted Big Easy Award for Best Zydeco Band for several years running. They have appeared in films like The Electric Mist and The Kingdom of Zydeco, and worked with various artists like Cindy Lauper, Michael Doucet, and Buddy Guy. Recipients of the 2012 Zydeco Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Cha-Chas also won the 2012 Big Easy Award for Best Zydeco Band. Their exciting new album, A NEW ROAD is the first release on their own label, Cha-Cha Records.

Tickets for Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha-Chas are $39-$47 and can be purchased in person, by phone 301.528.2260, or by going online to blackrockcenter.org. Discounts are available for seniors aged 62 and above, patrons under the age of 25, Military/DOD personnel, Montgomery County Government and Montgomery County Public Schools employees.

BlackRock will follow up a night of Zydeco music with a night of classical chamber music as The National String Symphonia will perform on the mainstage on Saturday, September 24 at 7:00 pm.

The National String Symphonia presents symphonic string orchestra music in innovative and intimate concerts. Its programs entertain, enlighten, and excite audiences of all ages and stages. Their opening performance will feature three influential composers’ interpretations of Theme and Variations, one of the cornerstones of string orchestra music. Featured on Sting’s 2006 album “Songs from the Labyrinth,” “Flow My Tears” is the inspiration for John Dowland’s “Lachrimae”, one of the earliest string ensemble works in existence. Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus” was based on a song written around the same time period. Works by Janacek, Dvorak, and Suk will complete the program.

Tickets for The Nation