At the beginning of 2020, the Vienna Arts Society identified an ambitious “Art of Kindness” program as its community outreach focus for the year. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 and associated social distancing requirements, many of the centerpiece events of the program had to be cancelled, including a culminating community-wide show with works by both VAS artists and the public that we had hoped to hold at the Community Center in October. Instead, the VAS refocused on several smaller events that could be carried out in a socially distanced manner. Art of Kindness Events during 2020 included:

June 2020 – the revamped Kindness program kicked off with a “Chalk the Walk” initiative. Members of the community were invited to chalk Kindness-related messages on their driveways and sidewalks and submit photos to the Vienna Arts Society for publication. VAS artists chalked the sidewalks leading into the Vienna Community Center.

July 2020 – VAS recycled signs used by candidates in the Vienna mayoral race and provided them to interested members of the community to paint with Kindness themed messages and place in their yards.

August/September 2020 – The VAS collaborated with local Girl Scouts to paint stones for “Rock Your August with Kindness,” the Vienna Arts Society’s (VAS) third summer project. Rocks painted by the Scouts, VAS members, and the public were displayed in front of the Vienna Community Center and on the Town Green. The Girl Scouts will then regift these painted rocks to nursing homes, preschools, etc.

August/September 2020 – “Little Bits of Kindness” exhibit – Artists from the VAS contributed their time and talent to create a set of almost fifty 10X10-inch canvasses reflecting our artists’ response to the word “Kindness.” They will be on display at the VAS Village Green Gallery, located in the Village Green Shopping Center at 513 Maple Ave W, Vienna, through Saturday October 3. The art is a bargain at$50 each, with proceeds from the sales going to support the Vienna Arts Society. Also showing: “Plus More”, a collection of individually priced larger paintings following the Kindness theme by VAS artists.

As we move toward the end of this unusual calendar year, we are now wrapping up the Art of Kindness program and want to thank the Girl Scouts, the Town of Vienna, and all the local businesses and individuals who made these small events successful, and VAS artists who donated their time and talents to highlight the kindness in our town.