by Alexandra Chalupa
President, Friends of Forest Hills Playground
On the last Friday in June, the Friends of Forest Hills Playground (FoFHP) invite you to pack a picnic dinner and enjoy an evening of festive music, fun and friends at our first “Picnic in the Park” concert of the summer.
Join us at the beautifully renovated park on Chesapeake Street Friday, June 26th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The live performance will begin around 6 p.m. And it’s free.
These “last Friday of the month” events planned for June, July and August (and tentatively September) will spotlight local artists that neighbors of all ages can enjoy:
Friday, June 26th: Marsha Goodman-Wood (Click her name to hear her music; read on to learn more about her and her terrific “kindie rock”)
Friday, July 31st: Bob Perilla’s Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Friday, August 28th: Downwire – rock, blues, soul and Motown
The Forest Hills “Picnic in the Park” concert series could also extend to the final Friday in September, featuring a unique band that includes a Forest Hills neighbor.
The series is sponsored by Friends of Forest Hills Playground, the local non-profit that helps oversee the park’s care and maintenance. FoFHP was heavily involved in the redesign of the new park, working alongside ANC 3F04 Commissioner Sally Gresham and the Department of Parks and Recreation. FoFHP made certain to create a “community circle” with picnic benches, shade structures and performance space with an electrical outlet for the very purpose of hosting these types of community events. FoFHP also organizes the playground’s well-attended and long-established Halloween Party.
Please look for our information table at the event, and stop by to learn more about the concert series, sign up to be a FoFHP member, enter your kids in a contest to design new Forest Hills Playground t-shirts – or just to say hello! For park news and more information about upcoming events, please follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.
And because we’d like to keep our park clean, we’re seeking volunteers to stay a few minutes after the festivities end to help pick up any trash and lost-and-found items left behind. Sign up here to help.
And now, more about the concert series’ first performer, the amazing Marsha Goodman-Wood. Goodman-Wood’s brand of music is called “kindie rock.” Kindie stands for kids independent music, and the genre is defined by music that is entertaining for adults as well as kids. On June 26th, Goodman-Wood will perform her fun original songs mixed with familiar favorites for all ages.
Goodman-Wood is a well-known local performer, music teacher, and mother of three, who performs frequently in the DC/MD/VA area and occasionally further afield. She has appeared at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the National Children’s Museum, and the Long Island Children’s Museum. She’s a regular in the Capitol Hill area Boogie Babes series, at Busboys & Poets Rise+Rhyme series, and plays at venues such as The Avalon Theater, Jammin’ Java, and at libraries, schools, fairs and festivals.
Her concerts are fun, playful, and educational. As one recent reviewer noted, “Goodman-Wood was no ordinary children’s singer…She was very, very good. Her clear voice reminded me of Carole King, as did her very curly hair. Her stage presence was lively without being grating, a highly delicate balance for a children’s performer.”
She has been a Washington Post Going Out Guide editors’ pick and has received songwriting awards in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. Her debut album, Gravity Vacation has received radio airplay in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, as well as online on Pandora and other internet stations. School Library Journal praised Gravity Vacation for its “nine original songs that are a unique blend of science and positive social messages encompassed within toe tapping melodies and sing-along worthy lyrics.”