Advocacy Overview

The Arts Council advocates for continued and increased support for the arts at the local, state and federal levels. Each year, the Arts Council collaborates with the Fairfax arts community to present testimonies and performance vignettes at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ annual budget hearings. The Arts Council consults quarterly with its Arts Advisory Committee, which provides critical feedback from our arts constituents and ensures that we are meeting the needs of the arts community. Also, the Arts Council worked with Fairfax County and the Cities of Falls Church and Fairfax to help Americans for the Arts produce the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) study. Learn more about the AEP5 study results and the economic impact of the arts in Fairfax.

On the state and federal levels, the Arts Council participates in and promotes Virginia’s annual Arts Advocacy Day at the State Legislature in Richmond, Virginia, and National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

“The arts contribute to so much more than tax revenues. They help to make Fairfax what the United States Conference of Mayors calls a ‘livable community.’ A place that you want to call home. A place where you just don’t sleep, but where you go out to play, shop and live.”Jay H. Dick, Advocacy Committee Chair, Arts Council of Fairfax County

Nonprofit Arts Organizations in Fairfax County

The Arts Council of Fairfax County is the only umbrella arts organization in Fairfax County serving one of the most populous jurisdictions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Fairfax County has a population of 1,081,726, and is home to more than 200 nonprofit arts organizations, in all disciplines, large and small. For a full list of nonprofit arts organizations in Fairfax County, click here.

Festivals in Fairfax County

With a population of more than one million residents, it has long been known that Fairfax County, Virginia is the most populous jurisdiction in the National Capital Region. However, what may surprise both residents and visitors is that the County is also home to nearly 100 annual outdoor festivals, most of which have very strong arts and cultural components.

Not only do festivals contribute to the quality of life for Fairfax County residents, but they act as a major draw for visitors from both the region and nation.

"Tourism in Fairfax County is a $2.7 billion industry. Our visitors have numerous opportunities to attend many arts and cultural events, including festivals, and they significantly contribute to Fairfax County’s overall tourism experience."Barry Biggar, President and CEO of Visit Fairfax.

When communities attract cultural tourists, local businesses reap the rewards. A study done by Americans for the Arts found that nearly half of arts and cultural event attendees live outside of the destination, and their event-related spending is more than twice than that of local residents.

For a directory listing of all festivals click here.