AOB Reveals New ‘Knee Wall’ in Montgomery County

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County Executive Ike Leggett’s team and Arts on the Block staff and student apprentices unveil one of twenty mosaic designs on knee walls across the county. This one’s at the corner of Hungerford Drive and Jefferson Avenue in Rockville. Students from Rockville, Wheaton, and Richard Montgomery high schools competed to have their mosaics chosen.

“It definitely helped me out with team bonding, which was something I previously lacked in. So, getting an opportunity to work with others helped me out a lot,” sad Joanna Vigil-Coello, the student apprentice behind the newly designed knee wall called “Furry Ball.”

There are more than 400 knee walls in the county. They are designed to keep wheelchairs from rolling into busy streets.

Arts on the Block receives a $10,000 NEA Challenge America Award

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Arts on the Block receives a $10,000 NEA Challenge America Award  

Will fund a Wheaton High School project

 KENSINGTON, MD.   February 4, 2016 — Arts on the Block (AOB) is proud to receive a $10,000 Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  The grant will help underserved students in Montgomery County develop their passion for art and gain valuable workforce skills to help them achieve career goals.

NEA’s Challenge America awards support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from Arts on the Block offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

AOB will use the grant to launch the “Claiming the Courtyard” project within its flagship Pour Your ART Out (PYAO) program where teen apprentices artists will design seven mosaic tile inserts for courtyard benches that are part of the new Wheaton High School campus construction.   The benches will reflect the school’s cultural diversity, openness and spirit.  The nine-month project will complement Wheaton High’s project-based teaching and learning that is a core component of the school’s curriculum. Two of these mosaic tile designs will be fully constructed by August of 2016.

Jan Goldstein, Arts on the Block Founder and Executive Director said, “We’re very excited to receive the NEA’s Challenge Award.  It’s going to help our young artists develop their talents, learn more about the intersection of art and business and give back to their communities.” PYAO apprentices have created 150 commissioned artworks that are on display in government buildings, businesses, homes and neighborhoods throughout the DC-Metro area.

AOB is a 501(c)3 non-profit serving local Maryland communities for the past 13 years. For more details about AOB and/or this project, please contact us at 240-645-0730,,,  or Facebook

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to



Second Annual Wine Tasting A Success!

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_DSC1703Our second annual Wine Tasting Gala went off with a bang this past Saturday, October 18 at John Hopkins University’s Rockville Campus. With the rich rhythms of Charlie Plunkett in the background, more than 100 of our closest friends and family enjoyed the flavorful wines, delectable foods and delightful conversation. Many thanks to our event sponsors whose generosity made the evening possible: Rex Smith of Hearts & Homes for Youth, Apex Home Loans, Kathy Lally, Gordon Architects, GPN Titles, June Linowitz and Howard Eisner, and Cady Susswein.

Our Silent Auction was also fully stocked with items ranging from mosaic light boxes to multi-media paintings, jewelry, sports paraphernalia, weekend getaways, self-pampering and more. A big thank you to our donors who provided these enticing array of prizes: AOB Art Apprentices, Total Wine, Elaj Aveda Day Spa, Homestead Bed and Breakfast, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Beer, Wine & Co., Westwood Aquarium, Sandi Cave, Nancy Weisser, Richard Dana, June Linowitz, Joan Samworth, Elizabeth Casqueiro, Gary Rosenthal, AOB Apprentices, Brodhead Flyfishers, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Wolfe Hockey, Imagination Stage, Pyramid Atlantic Art, Washington Nationals, Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, Baltimore Orioles, SPAGnVOLA, Headlines Hair Design, Plaza Art, Gail Kaplan, Bethesda Dog, Cleverdog and Petsmart. And a big thank you to all who attended.