A1959 Airstream trailer may not stand out in the quirky environs of Arlington County. But if you're interested in alternative art and publishing, don't overlook the Airstream emblazoned "Projet Mobilivre" that will be parked at various Arlington sites over the next couple of days.

Projet Mobilivre -- "Bookmobile Project" in English -- is run by volunteers in Montreal and Philadelphia. The Airstream -- its interior gutted and rebuilt by a team of New York designers to showcase a rotating collection of about 300 artist-designed books, zines and other independent publications -- has been touring annually since 2000. Mobilivre also plans to make a District stop on Sunday at the Brian MacKenzie Info Shop.

"We're giving voice to individuals by taking the material to the public," says Courtney Dailey, a Mobilivre volunteer in Philadelphia, noting that the project visits about 50 cities every year. Mobilivre's Arlington visit is sponsored by the county-run Ellipse Arts Center to mark the launch of its Project Mobile Ellipse initiative. Though it won't involve an Airstream, the program is designed to include a variety of short-term exhibitions, performances and film screenings throughout Arlington. (Other Ellipse projects include a recent center exhibition featuring a functional miniature golf course designed by artists, and an upcoming "junkyard show" of art made from, well, junk.)

According to Cynthia Connolly, Ellipse's curator and manager, the center is starting the mobile program in the interests of immediacy and to increase opportunities for artists who are constricted by advance scheduling at formal venues. Ellipse is highlighting the Mobilivre visit with an event tomorrow evening in Clarendon Park, where the county recently installed Austin Thomas's "Dreamer: An Eyrie Perch" -- a gazebo-like structure that was featured in this year's Corcoran Biennial. Ellipse is also teaming up with a neighborhood association to incorporate a "headphone dance party," which enables folks to boogie en masse while using their own personal music players so they won't create a noise disturbance.

"It's sort of plopping something down, and the public has to interact with it," Connolly says of Project Mobile Ellipse. "Lo and behold, they're interacting with art."

Trawick Prize Winners

Jiha Moon of Annandale has won the $10,000 best-in-show award in the Trawick Prize art competition. Winners were announced last night at a private reception at Bethesda's Creative Partners Gallery, which is hosting an exhibition of work by 10 finalists.

Dean Kessman of Washington came in second and received $2,000. The third-place winner, Denise Tassin of Baltimore, received $1,000. Baltimore's Michele Kong, 30, won the $1,000 young-artist award.

The annual competition, now in its third year, is open to Washington, Maryland and Virginia artists. Nearly 400 artists submitted work, which was juried by Thom Collins, executive director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore; Andrea Pollan, director of the Curator's Office; and Olga Viso, director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The Trawick Prize and its sister competition, the Bethesda Painting Awards, are sponsored by Bethesda businesswoman Carol Trawick and administered by the Bethesda Urban Partnership. The finalists' exhibition opens to the public tomorrow.

D.C. Shorts Film Festival

The D.C. Film Salon, a resource group for filmmakers launched last year, is gearing up for its second D.C. Shorts Film Festival, opening next Friday. Jurors reviewed 330 national submissions before deciding on a slate of 65 films, including the work of 16 locals, notes salon founder Jon Gann. The films -- including animation, horror, musicals, documentaries and comedies -- will be shown in groups of eight to 13 over three days at Landmark's E Street Cinema and the Canadian Embassy.

"I actually prefer short films," Gann says. "If you can tell a great story in eight minutes, you've done a great job. There are a lot of 90-minute films out there that are really eight-minute stories."

Projet Mobilivre at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 S. Second St., Arlington, tomorrow 2-5 p.m.; Clarendon Park, 3100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, tomorrow 6-10 p.m.; Arlington Farmers Market, North 14th Street and North Courthouse Road, Saturday 8 a.m.-noon; Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Hwy., Arlington, Saturday 1-5 p.m.; and Brian MacKenzie Info Shop, 1426 Ninth St. NW, Sunday, schedule to be announced at www.mobilivre.org. Free. Call 703-228-7710 or visit www.arlingtonarts.org.

Trawick Prize Exhibition at Creative Partners Gallery, 4600 East-West Hwy., Bethesda, to Sept. 30. Opening reception tomorrow 6-9 p.m. Regular hours Tuesday-Saturday noon-6 p.m. Free. Call 301-215-6660 or visit www.bethesda.org.

DC Shorts Film Festival at Landmark's E Street Cinema, 11th and E streets NW, Sept. 16-18. $12 per screening, $75 festival pass. Free screening at the Canadian Embassy, 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Sept. 17 at noon in conjunction with the Arts on Foot Festival. For more information, call 800-838-3006 or visit www.dcshorts.com.

Projet Mobilivre's vintage travel trailer, showcasing artist-designed books, zines and other independent publications, rolls into Arlington tomorrow. The interior, at right, has more polish than the outside of the weathered Airstream."Lucky Red Cedar" by Annandale artist Jiha Moon, the $10,000 best-in-show winner of the Trawick Prize competition.