“10 Questions” with Helen McIlvaine, Director of Housing, City of Alexandria

With the rental protection moratorium lifted, so many Alexandrians are in danger of eviction. What is the City of Alexandria doing to help them? What is the city doing to decrease the delta between our residents who are eligible for affordable housing, and the few available? How does the City make housing affordable for young professionals and first responders? And finally, what was the baddest thing that Helen McIlvaine, Director of Housing, City of Alexandria, ever did, or at least what she’ll admit to? Watch our Z-TV Live show below and our follow-up “5 More Questions” to find out!

“10 Questions” with Mary Lee Anderson, Executive Director, Senior Services of Alexandria

So when are you “old”? What are the signs of dementia? What is the biggest issues affecting older adults in Alexandria? And most importantly, what Hollywood hunk is the celebrity crush of Mary Lee Anderson, executive director of Senior Services of Alexandria? Find out that and more when our executive director, Jane Hess Collins, interviews Mary Lee in The Zebra’s “10 Questions” Z-TV Live! Show and her “5 More Questions” follow up!

“10 Questions” with Jordan Costen, Executive Director, Safe Space NOVA

Our founder and executive director, Jane Collins, asked way more than “10 Questions” with Jordan Costen, founder and executive director of Safe Space NOVA. Jordan created this nonprofit to give LGBTQ+ youth a welcoming and supportive place to be themselves. In our “10 Questions” we talked about LGBTQ+ safety, stereotypes, and scholarships, we met his adorable rescue dog “Bo” and we learned Jordan’s alter ego if he ever went into the witness protection program! And in our “5 More Questions” story we talked about his favorite restaurant … one you should definitely try!



Hunter, Carly, Stephanie, Megan, Kelly, Heather, Friends of Guest House, July 23, 2020

May you never

                let anyone dull your light.

May your mind be at ease

                Clear from distractions that used to ground you.

May you allow yourself to humble.

May you listen to your longing

                And fight to give yourself what you covet.

May you know that Love is alive in you.

“10 Questions” with Dr. Stephen Haering, Director, City of Alexandria Public Health Office

Masks! Masks! Masks! Yes, Dr. Stephen Haering, Director of the Alexandria Health Department, and I talked about masks – when to wear them, how to wash them, and what are his favorites! And we talked about a whole lot more during our “10 Questions with Dr. Haering and our follow on “5 More Questions with Dr. Haering.” He’s an interesting guy – his advice to Alexandrians on how to make our community stronger was SO not what I expected from a public health doctor, as was his guest list for his dinner party for six. Take a look!

“10 Questions” with Brandi Yee, Chief Program Officer, ACT for Alexandria

Actually it was way more than 10 questions … our Z-TV Live “10 Questions” was closer to 20 questions, and I’m really hoping that Brandi will make me some yummy dessert now that I know what an amazing baker she is in her spare time! And I found out something we had in common with our “5 More Questions.” Find out about ACT for Alexandria, Brandi’s favorite Friday night treat, and our shared avoidance of math!



Chris, Carly, Hunter, Betsy, Stephanie, and Michelle, Friends of Guest House, July 9, 2020

Be inspired

                by the flame

but set your own fires.

The path that I have chosen

                could be the answer.

I am far from over.

My future holds no bounds.

The small things seem large.

Having faith

                is what gives me life.

today I am stronger,

                Smarter, a survivor.

“10 Questions” with Jaqueline Tucker, City of Alexandria Race and Social Equity Officer

What a powerful interview with Jaqueline Tucker, the City of Alexandria’s Race and Social Equity officer. It was insightful and fun at the same time (loved playing “Two Truths and a Lie” with you)! Jaqueline, thank you for being the perfect guest, for your candor, and for sharing with us how we can each begin to dismantle systemic racism. Missed the show? Watch it now! Then take a few minutes to read “Five More Questions with Jaqueline Tucker” to learn even more about her, and how to dismantle systemic racism.

Happy Hour

Our might Heard team had a virtual happy hour last week, and our poet Wendi led us through a group poem. What fun it was, and what a great way to connect. And of course, we all think it’s brilliant!


By Jane, Solveig, Alexa, Danielle, Nina, Sharmila and Wendi

Looks like a brown polar bear.

I want to binge watch

Sex and the City.

My golden retriever says

“enjoy your coffee.”

The dead-glass clock,

a sweet souvenir.

Through books I transport

to unknown places.

This laptop is full

of my great ideas.

The lamp lights the way.

Nonprofit ‘Heard’ to Teach Art and Creative Writing Classes on Zoom with Alexandria Jail Inmates

“Creative writing nonprofit Heard is still finding ways to make noise.” Love that opening sentence! Our thanks to ALXnow editor James Cullum for featuring us on June 24, 2020. And yes, we’re excited to start virtual classes again at the Alexandria Detention Center! Here’s our executive director, Jane Collins (second from right) with Sheriff Dana Lawhorne (far right) and a few of the winner from the 2019 Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest.