25 February 2015

New Funding Opportunity to Support the Arts and Humanities in Wheaton, Maryland

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Launches a New Grant Category to Fund Artists and Cultural Nonprofits in Wheaton’s Growing Multicultural Arts District.

SILVER SPRING, MD— The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) is pleased to announce the creation of The Wheaton Cultural Grants, a new funding opportunity that will support creative and cultural projects in Wheaton, Maryland. This recently created grant category is funded by the FY15 Budget for Montgomery County which provided over $5.5 Million in funds for local arts and culture, including a special $90,000 allocation for the Wheaton Cultural Grants.

Nonprofit arts and humanities organizations and individual artists and scholars are invited to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for Wheaton cultural projects. To be eligible for these grants, applicants must be based in Montgomery County, MD and proposed projects must take place in Wheaton, Maryland between May 15, 2015 and June 30, 2016. The application deadline for this opportunity is Thursday, April 9th 2015.

“Wheaton Cultural Grants will contribute to the cultural life of the residents of Wheaton through support of cultural projects in all disciplines, genres and styles,” says Suzan Jenkins, AHCMC CEO. “This new funding opportunity helps AHCMC build capacity within Montgomery County’s arts and humanities community and, given the great diversity that we see in Wheaton, also helps advance a very important conversation about inclusion and equity in the arts.”

To help interested parties apply for these new grants, the Arts and Humanities Council will host a free grant preparation workshop on February 26th, 2015. The public may register for this event and view the complete Wheaton Cultural Grants Guidelines, atwww.creativemoco.com.


Established in 1976, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County is the County’s designated

For more information on the Wheaton Urban District, visit www.wheatonmd.org.

28 January 2015

Senator Madaleno Visits WUDAC

WUDAC had the honor of hosting Maryland State Senator Richard Madaleno, Jr., at our recent January 13 WUDAC monthly meeting. Specifically, WUDAC had the opportunity to explain to Senator Madaleno about the importance of Wheaton's Arts & Entertainment District designation, and the importance to continue this designation as Wheaton must reapply in 2016. Our thank you letter to Senator Madaleno is available here.

19 January 2015

Meeting Agenda Tuesday January 13th, 2015

Please Silence Your Mobile Devices


Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC)

2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902



Tuesday – January 13th, 2015 – 6:30pm-8:00pm


       I.            Call to order & Introductions                                            6:30pm – 6:32pm 


   II.            Approval or correction of minutes                                   6:32pm - 6:35pm


III.            Community Concerns                                                     6:35pm - 6:45pm


IV.            Guest Speaker                                                                 6:45pm – 7:15pm

a.      State Senator, Richard Madaleno


    V.            Reports of Officers                                                                   7:15pm – 7:40pm

a.      Council Staff Report

b.     RSC Director

c.      Chair

d.     Community Character Chair

e.      A&E Chair


VI.            Old Business                                                                             7:40pm - 7:50pm

a.      WUDAC Mid-Year Discussion and 2015 Outlook New Business        

VII.            New Business                                                                 7:50pm – 8:00pm

VIII.            Adjourn                                                                          8:00pm




This information is available in an alternative format by calling 240-777-8104. Sign Language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If you need other services or aids to participate in this activity, please call 240-777-8101.

Meeting Minutes, tuesday December 09,2014

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Regional Center, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday December 09, 2014

Members Present:  Devala Janardan(Chair), Tom Stanton(Vice Chair), Dan Thompson, William Moore, Mirza Donegan, Derry Goberdhansingh, Leah Haygood, Carlos Perozo, Rick Kessler


Staff Present: Ana Lopez van Balen, Director Mid-County Regional Services Center


Guests:  Chris Gillis, Senior Legislative Aide to Council President George Leventhal

                Marian Fryer, Resident

                Henriot St. Gerard, MCCAB


Call to Order:  6:32pm by Chair Devala Janardan

A motion was made and passed to approve the November meeting minutes without changes.


Council Staff Report: Chris Gillis, legislative aide to Council President Leventhal, briefed WUDAC on proposed taxi cab regulations, including creation of a central dispatch, changes to age limits on cars, and new rules for Uber and Lift. He also noted the bleak fiscal outlook for the county with weak home sales and a potential $96 million deficit and a court case which could cost the county $100 million. He will try to get Council President Leventhal out to brief WUDAC.


Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director of the Mid-County Center, also mentioned the deficit noted above.  She updated WUDAC on Wheaton Redevelopment including the SBDC’s continued outreach to the community and small businesses (handout) and the County Council’s decision to extend the deadline to finalize regulations for the Small Business Assistance Program. (Handout) Discussion then followed on the SBDC assessments and Navarro Bill 6-12 and regulation 24-12.


Ana also informed WUDAC that the Arts and Humanities Council had held their first charrette and that it went well.  There are two more scheduled this month. The BRT nomination process has closed.  They hope to have their first meeting in February or March.  She also stated that the urban district has completed the replacement of some light poles and that has allowed the installation of more holiday lights including new snowflakes! Also, they are finalizing funds for two new gateway signs.  Lastly, she noted an upcoming MCCAB budget forum scheduled for Jan. 22, 2015 and stated that this is a chance for Wheaton to voice needs and concerns.  She felt Wheaton did not have a strong presence at the forum last year.


Chair Report:  Devala Janardan led a review of the progress of the first four months of this term. (handout).  He shared that State Senator Richard Madaleno will speak to WUDAC in January and that he is on the Maryland State Arts Council.  Devala also briefed WUDAC on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Areas (BiPPA) meeting held Nov.24th at the Mid-County Center.  (handout)


Community Character Subcommittee: Mirza Donegan reported on a joint presentation with the Wheaton/Kensington Chamber of Commerce. She suggested that a WUDAC member attend Chamber meetings and report back to WUDAC as a way to further cooperation between the two groups.


A & E Subcommittee:  Tom Stanton spoke briefly on the need to draft a mission statement. The subcommittee has a goal of creating one by Dec. 15th and would like WUDAC member input.


Old Business: There was further discussion of the Chamber/WUDAC mixer.  Dan Thompson stated that there needed to be more participation.  It was proposed that Casey Wilson be invited to speak at a future WUDAC meeting.  Devala said he would call Casey.


Devala then turned the discussion to last month’s Westfield plea for support in their negotiations with WMATA to void an easement which is hindering development of that corner.  Concerns evolved around whether WUDAC should get involved with private property development or should just look at the connectivity issue.  Dan Thompson volunteered to draft a letter to be considered at the January meeting.


New Business: Lastly, Devala handed out notes from our retreat for discussion.  He will talk about the possibility of an evening walking tour this year at our next meeting.  He asked members to consider the items on the list and whether they would like to put them on our January agenda. 


Adjourn: 8:00pm   

Meeting Minutes, Monday November 17,2014

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Regional Center, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes, Monday November 17, 2014


Members Present:  Devala Janardan(Chair), Derry Goberdhansingh, Carlos Perozo, William Moore, Mirza Donegan, Leah Haygood, Dan Thompson, Rick Kessler

Members Absent: Tom Stanton

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center

Guests:  Henriot St. Gerard, MCCAB.   Andrew and Mary Rollo, residents. Jim Agliata, Westfield.  Tami Axelrod, resident.

Call to Order:  6:35pm By Chair Devala Janardan, followed by introduction of members and guests.  October meeting minutes were approved with minor changes.

Community Concerns:  Andrew Rollo, resident, voiced two concerns.  The first issue related to a crumbling retaining wall behind the Giant food store.  Jim Agliata, an official from Westfield, was present and said he would look into it.  His next question was about the Capital Bikeshare coming to Wheaton.  Ana Lopez van Balen answered that when the Town Square opens they hope to participate but what we have now is due to grants.  She mentioned that there is a meeting on this next week.

Westfield Presentation:  Jim Agliata, a manager at Westfield, gave WUDAC an update on projects at the shopping center.  They are about a month away from signing an agreement with an upscale(unnamed) movie chain.  He then when on to highlight the ongoing negotiations with WMATA concerning a ramp to their garage which is impeding redevelopment of the old Ourisman site.  WUDAC members then gave feedback on the connectivity of Westfield to the Urban District and traffic improvements they felt were necessary.

Directors Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen reported that the Small Business Development Center from the University of Maryland has begun the education process with the businesses located around lot 13, urging them to attend upcoming meetings that will begin in January.  So far only about 30 businesses have signed up.  She asked all affected businesses to be part of the process now for you need to know if you qualify and not wait for the actual funding to appear.

She then continued with mention of the work of Alex Cartegena who is working for the county to assess the needs of the Artists in the Wheaton Community.  There are three meetings scheduled in December:

12/3 Hollywood East 6-9pm.  12/10 Limerick Pub 12-3pm. 12/13 Regional Service Center 10am-1pm

These informational meetings are critical for grants.

Ana then reported on an upcoming DOT meeting next Monday at 6pm during the WUDAC subcommittee meeting.  The topics will include infrastructure, bike lanes, and pedestrian enhancements.  She also noted that the Director of Permitting Services will speak tomorrow during the MCCAB meeting about Recipes for Success, e-plans and green codes and other topics.  Ana passed out Volunteer Registration forms for WUDAC members to complete and briefly noted an upcoming meeting on Ebola at the Silver Spring Civic Building on Nov. 25, 6-8pm

SubCommittee Reports:

Character:  Mirza Donegan spoke briefly about a draft letter to the County Executive concerning funding priorities for the Urban District.  A copy was handed to WUDAC members for review and later discussion

Arts & Entertainment:  Devala spoke of the need to get a list of artists for Alex Cartegena.  He noted that our A&E designation was in danger.  We need to discuss what is necessary to retain it.

Old Business:  Discussion then returned to the Funding Letter.  Some concerns were that we needed to request specific dollar amounts and also define certain wording in the document.  A motion was made and passed to send the letter with some edits.

Devala then reminded members of the upcoming mixer with the Wheaton & Kensington Chamber of Commerce and made note of those WUDAC members who would be attending.  He passed out an informational sheet which will be shared with those attending the mixer.  Lastly, Devala mentioned that the next subcommittee meetings are scheduled for December 15th.

Other Business:  Mirza Donegan reminded WUDAC that nominations for the BRT Corridor Advisory Committee are due by November 19th.

Adjourn:  8:00pm

Meeting Minutes Tuesday September 09, 2014

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee

Mid-County Regional Center, 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton MD 20902

Meeting Minutes, Tuesday September 09, 2014


Members Present:  Devala Janardan(Chair) Tom Stanton(Vice Chair), Henriot St. Gerard, Marian Fryer, William Moore, Jeannette Feldner, Dan Thompson, Mirza Donegan, Rick Kessler

Members Absent:  Luis Bonilla

Staff Present:  Ana Lopez van Balen, Director, Mid-County Regional Center

Guests:  Brent Wise, Manager, Westfield Wheaton.  Adam Fogel, Staff to Councilmember Navarro.  Derry Goberdhansingh, resident

Call to Order:  6:04pm by Chair Devala Janardan.  Brief welcoming remarks were followed by member and guest introductions.  July Meeting Minutes were approved without changes.

Community Concerns:  In the absence of community concerns, Devala introduced Brent Wise, Manager, Westfield Wheaton

Westfield Wheaton: Brent Wise addressed WUDAC.  He started with brief background information on himself.  He then updated the status of the various stores and the merchandise mix and noted some of the recent newcomers.  He indicated that their Costco is one of the busiest on the East coast. He stated that Westfield is interested not only in national brands but also some regional players.  They are in talks concerning the old theater space.  He feels it’s important to attract a theater and more restaurants although he doesn’t think anything will happen along restaurant row until 2016.  He then took questions from WUDAC members.  Some issues of concern included the connectivity to the Triangle area and the clogged entryway into the shopping center.  Brent noted that 40% of traffic comes by Metro.  WUDAC member Henriot St. Gerard asked Brent to be aware that the closure of the Triangle during redevelopment may necessitate using Westfield for events such as the Taste of Wheaton.

Chair Report:  Devala Janardan spoke briefly about a Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Program. There will be hearings in the Fall.  He announced that our retreat will be Sept.  22. WUDAC member Tom Stanton announced that the event WonderFall Wheaton, scheduled for Veteran’s Park in October, will not go forward due to lack of business interest.  He would like to discuss at the retreat.

Director’s Report:  Ana Lopez van Balen spoke of some initiatives to benefit the business community.  She passed out a draft of a Business Toolkit for members to look at.  Also, she mentioned a project at DPS, Recipes For Success, a guide to help entrepreneurs open restaurants.   Ana mentioned that business owners should come to DPS for a design consultation before you sign a lease.  Other items she mentioned: a reminder that the FY2016 Budget process has begun, a law requiring landlords of a building over 50000sq feet to benchmark its energy use, a culinary walking tour on Sept. 20 hosted by Janet Yu, a Food Truck Fest on Sept. 27 and a community mixer with the Chamber of Commerce on Nov.19.  She also noted that TGIF was a big hit.  Family movies were the most popular and they hope to focus more on that next year.  Lastly, she shared that WUDAC member Nadia Sesay has resigned due to a new job.  A search for a new WUDAC Chamber of Commerce representative has begun.

County Council Update: Adam Fogel briefed WUDAC that the Council is back in session and had a meeting today.  Some issues coming before the Council will include public campaign financing, cybersecurity, real property transfer taxes, and sick leave. In addition, they will review recommendations from the Right to Vote task force and work on the  Fair Criminal Records(Ban the Box) legislation.  The Council will also discuss help for small businesses impacted by Wheaton Redevelopment for the FY2016 budget.

Old/Unfinished Business:  Devala opened the discussion of the Walking Tour by noting that we sent notes to Joe Callaway so that he could direct concerns to the correct department for action.  Next, the discussion turned to the formulation of a letter to elected officials about the Tour.  Devala passed out a handout highlighting our findings from the event.  A discussion followed about the structure of the letter and also whether there should be two letters.  A motion was made and passed to draft a letter to the County Executive and Council to thank them for attending the Walking Tour and highlight our takeaways and requests in conjunction with the Urban District requests for the Budget.

New Business: Devala talked briefly on the upcoming September 22 retreat.  It will be from 6-8pm. He asked that members think on goals to be accomplished this year.  Devala stated he is working on a master list and to please get him items that we feel should be a priority for WUDAC.  He envisioned that the agenda for the retreat will be 90 minutes discussion and then a 30 minute breakout.

Adjourn:  7:30pm

08 October 2014

World of Montgomery Coming to Wheaton - Sunday, October 19th

The World of Montgomery Festival at Westfield Wheaton on Sunday October 19th, from Noon - 5pm, will celebrate the diverse cultural heritages which play an active role in the lives of Montgomery County residents and communities. The festival showcases this rich diversity through food, music, dance, traditional arts and hands-on projects for children and families. Sponsored by Fund for Montgomery and organized by KID Museum, the festival includes an international village, a global kitchen with chef demonstrations of traditional ethnic food, a craft market, a Parade of Cultures, two performance stages of traditional dance and music, traditional arts and fun activities for the whole family. The festival also will include immersive exhibits focusing on four countries with some of the largest immigrant populations in Montgomery County: China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India.  Each country will be showcased in a large tent with artifacts, photographs and demonstrations of traditional arts.  The day will also feature a wide range of music, dance and cultural performances on two stages, and numerous hands-on activities for children and families and an international craft market.

The event will take place at Wheaton Westfield, on the parking lot between JCPenney and Metro. 

23 September 2014

Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival This Weekend (Sept 27th)

Come to the Wheaton Triangle (between Grandview Ave and Reedie Drive) for the Trucktoberfest Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival on September 27th, from Noon - 7pm!

A similar event was held last year, and this year's event looks to gave a great lineup of food trucks from around the DMV, a craft beer garden by the Limerick Pub, live music, and a kid zone. The live music includes the following acts: Kickoman, Flex Matthews, Trevor Martin, Magnetar Flares, and the Very Small.

The event was a success last year, and we are expected even higher attendance for this year. The weather forecast looks to be in the low-80s, and sunny!

More information is available here.

16 September 2014

Message from the Chair

Dear Wheaton Friends,

As the new Chair of the Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC), I’d like to welcome you to the new WUDAC year. Wheaton is a wonderful community, full of great retail and restaurants, award-winning parks, a large regional shopping center, and most importantly, a genuine spirit. I’m proud to call Wheaton my home, and I’m honored to be WUDAC Chair. 

As many of you know, Wheaton is in the midst of a transformation. In just the past year, three large apartment projects have opened, adding almost 1000 new units to the Wheaton rental market. On the retail side, the Costco at Wheaton Westfield opened less than 18 months ago. This may be news to many of you, but the Wheaton Costco is already the 4th busiest on the entire east coast. The coming years will bring even more change to Wheaton, particularly with the new town square and the development of Lot 13.  

Obviously, there is more to discuss than just redevelopment. WUDAC’s successful walking tours have shown there are plenty of day-to-day issues that need to be addressed, on issues related to signage/way-finding, lighting, trash collection, landscaping, pedestrian safety, sidewalks, and more.

The bottom line is that WUDAC will continue to play an important advisory role in relaying the community’s wishes to county officials for all of these redevelopment and revitalization issues. And this is where you come in.  For WUDAC to fulfill its mission, we need to hear from the community on the issues that are important to you and Wheaton. There are a number of ways you can do this. First, WUDAC physically meets on the second Tuesday of every month (except August), starting at 6pm. Our next meeting is Tuesday, October 14. Every WUDAC agenda includes time for members of the community to speak.

Alternatively, I invite you to contact me via e-mail at wudac@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Finally, please make sure you continue to follow this blog. I admit that posting has been slow in the past few months, but be assured, we will post important Wheaton developments to this site.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve Wheaton. I hope to see you at a future WUDAC meeting.   


Devala Janardan

08 September 2014

WUDAC September Meeting Agenda

After no meeting in August, WUDAC gets back into gear with the first meeting of WUDAC's year.

Please Silence Your Mobile Devices

Wheaton Urban District Advisory Committee (WUDAC)
2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD 20902

September 9, 2014

       I.            Call to order & Welcome Back                                         6:00pm – 6:05pm 

   II.            Approval or correction of minutes                                   6:05pm - 6:08pm

III.            Community Concerns                                                     6:08pm - 6:15pm

IV.            Discussion w/ Special Guest: Brent Wise, Westfield                   6:15pm - 6:35pm

    V.            Reports of Officers                                                                   6:35pm - 6:45pm
a.      Chair/Vice-Chair
                                                              i.      Update on WonderFALL Wheaton – Stanton
b.     RSC Director
c.      Council Staff Report

VI.            Old/Unfinished Business                                                          6:55pm - 7:15pm
a.      Follow up Wheaton Walking Tour/Letter

VII.            New Business                                                                 7:15pm - 7:30pm
a.      Sept 22 Retreat

VIII.            Adjourn                                                                          7:30pm

This information is available in an alternative format by calling 240-777-8103. Sign Language interpreter services will be provided only upon request with notice as far in advance as possible but no less than 72 hours prior to the event. If you need other services or aids to participate in this activity, please call 240-777-8101.