Presented by the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, the awards recognize citizens or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the city’s arts community and cultural life.
Valtin-Erwin, who lives in Rosemont, founded the Modern Dance Society at T.C. Williams High School.
“This is a huge honor,” Valtin-Erwin said upon receiving the award from Mayor Bill Euille. “I am graduating this year, so hopefully the company will continue to run next year.”
When T.C. Williams was rebuilt in 2007, the school gained a dance studio but had no program. Valtin-Erwin, who has studied dance locally since 1998 with the Choreographers Collaboration Project and The Ballet Studio, took it upon herself to start a program. The society offers free dance classes to all T.C. Williams students regardless of previous training.
“It was actually pretty easy,” said Valtin-Erwin, who will attend Hampshire College in Massachusetts in the fall. “I just started working together with some other students creating and improvising some dances.”
The Little Theatre, founded in 1934, is the oldest community theater in the Washington area. It has staged more than 350 full productions and has hosted classes, children’s camps, competitions and fundraising endeavors.