The Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS) recognized an event hosted in 2020 at the Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center in Purcellville, Virginia. The award was presented to the Loudoun County Department of Parks Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) at the VRPS annual conference held last week in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Over 400 delegates, exhibitors, speakers and volunteers from around the state attended the annual event, which provides an opportunity for recreation and park professionals to discuss areas of common interest. The conference awards program honors individuals, departments and organizations throughout Virginia that have demonstrated excellence in several areas during the previous year.
Judged by a jury of its peers, PRCS received an award for Best New Special Event in the population category of greater than 200,000. The event was a three-part performance series of anti-racism programs titled, “You’re So Articulate.” The Arts Center created the three-part series – “One Nation,” “The Band-Aid” and” Caste Away” - in partnership with actor, spoken word poet and Emmy Award-winning producer Mike Ellison.
The event, designed to inform, challenge and create conversation about anti-racism, included a multimedia presentation, live performances and a panel discussion. Panelists from the Loudoun community, including the Purcellville mayor, a retired Black history teacher, a young Black business owner and members of the local Black Historical Society, shared their unique personal and professional experiences and answered audience questions. The performances were offered on a pay-what-you-can basis to encourage participation and eliminate cost as a barrier. Due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time of the event, audiences were capped at 50.
“I could not be prouder of Art Center staff who overcame pandemic related and other challenges to bring this timely, important event to the Loudoun community,” stated PRCS Director Steve Torpy.
For information about PRCS programs and events, visit Loudoun.gov/prcs. For information about VRPS, visit vrps.com.
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