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Falling for Art at the Bethesda Row Arts Festival

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walking date, where you can figure out if your date has any taste at all.”Gann and Taglauer are longtime friends and collaborators who, since 2019, have been co-directors of the 24-year-old juried annual arts show.

The duo’s intuitive rapport and sense of camaraderie shines even during a half-hour chat over Zoom.Case in point: Gann immediately picks up on Taglauer’s subtle cue to improvise a worst-case date scene at the festival.“You like that?!?” Gann says, in an exaggeratedly dramatic fashion.

Taglauer retorts, “I’m sorry, I leave you right here at Georgetown Cupcake. Adios.”Even if such a walking date fizzles out, there are worse things than spending a fall afternoon surrounded by an impressive and diverse assortment of high-caliber art and crafts on display in a pedestrian-friendly stretch of high-end retail and dining that’s a short drive or easy Metro ride from D.C.Although neither Gann nor Taglauer currently live in Bethesda, each have strong ties to the area.“We used to live there at some point in our lives,” says Gann, who grew up in Silver Spring with Bethesda and the White Flint Mall, which closed in 2015, as his youth stomping grounds.“I lived on the north side off of Battery Lane up until last year,” Taglauer responds. “And Jon lived there way back when it wasn’t even a Battery Lane yet.

It was just a Coal Lane.“It’s just so crazy to see how different the neighborhood is,” Taglauer continues. “But Bethesda Row now is just as old as the show. [And the Row] has had a nice sort of refresh over the last year [with] a lot of new businesses, and tons of places to eat, unique to anywhere else, not just in Montgomery County, but the DMV.

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