Group meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub in Del Ray.
Fair Trade Alexandria, a group promoting the sale and use of products in the city where equitable prices are paid to producers in developing countries, is seeking new members. The group is meeting at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray. “We would like to invite the community members that are interested in this program to our meeting,” said Nora Partlow, owner of St. Elmo's. Partlow is a member of the group, which was launched in May 2012 by Kate McMahon, manager of Old Town’s Ten Thousand Villages. For more information about Fair Trade Alexandria, check out Fair Trade Towns USA on the web and the Fair Trade Alexandria Facebook page. For the quickest updates, "like" Del Ray Patch on Facebook and follow @delraypatch on Twitter.
Del Ray Artisans proved integral in revitalizing Mt. Vernon Avenue in the 1990s.
A lot has changed since a small group of artists and their friends refurbished a storefront on Mt. Vernon Avenue and invited the neighborhood to a slide show and lecture called "What is Functional Art?" It was the first official event staged by the fledgling group, known then as the Del Ray Artisans Cooperative, and the year was 1992. At the time, dive bars and drug houses marred Del Ray's prime thoroughfare, boarded-up shops were commonplace and neighbors didn't have much reason to stroll the main street. Now, the group that began with just 30 members boasts about 300. The primary focus on functional arts—furniture, woodworking, ceramics and such—evolved into an emphasis on the fine arts like painting, photography and collage. And, most …