Arts Digest

This is the arts & culture blog for Fairfax County, Virginia.

2016 Creative Aging Festival Features Diverse Line-Up

BMD PDClassThe 2016 Festival offers diverse interactive arts experiences ranging from African drumming, hands-on pottery, improv theatre, dance and healing, to American acoustic roots blues music.

The Arts Council of Fairfax County selected seven outstanding artists, ranging from arts education, dance, music, storytelling, and theatre, who will be part of a diverse line-up at the 2016 Creative Aging Festival, during the month of May, coinciding with Older Americans Month. Fifty activities and events are planned at fourteen senior centers throughout Fairfax County.

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July - October District Arts Update

tysonstiles trolley 1As the representative for artists and arts organizations within Fairfax County, we feel it is our role to serve as the connection between the arts and local government. We publish a District Arts Update every four months in an effort to share the successes and the needs of the arts community with the local government. 

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Visual Arts This Week

Falls Church Art CriTique

CriTiqueOn Tuesday, June 16 at 7:30pm ArtSpace will hold its next Falls Church Arts CriTique session. This is a chance for artists to share observations, comments, and suggestions about one another's artwork (including paintings, photographs, sculpture, poetry, stories, and performance).  All styles and levels of experience are welcome to this open, informal, and friendly meeting. 

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Your Guide to Summer Festivals

sideimage-b-000The winter frost has melted away, jackets are stowed in the back of closet, and people are venturing outside. Summer is here. And with summer (and well into fall) comes a slew of outdoor festivals. Here is an overview of the festivals in Fairfax County happening in June, July, and August. 

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District Arts Updates

Every four months, ab2ap3_thumbnail_DAU_logo.jpg detailed District Arts Update is published highlighting news, events, and creative assets in the respective magisterial districts in Fairfax County. The April – June 2015 issue includes information on:

Organizational and Professional Development Grant Recipients,
Fast Track Grants Recipients,
2015 Arts Awards Nominations,
Summer Arts Camps,
Public Art, and
the 2015 Helen Hayes awards.

To check out the arts news in your district, visit http://artsfairfax.org/news/districtartsupdate/321-april-june-2015

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Arts Council Awards Grants

b2ap3_thumbnail_acfc-logo.jpgOn behalf of Fairfax County, the Arts Council awarded eight organizations with a total of $24,986 in Organizational and Professional Development Grants in FY15 to improve e-commerce capabilities, financial management, marketing initiatives, and website development:

American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
Fairfax Choral Society
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
McLean Project for the Arts
The Fairfax Ballet Company
The Hub Theatre
Voce Chamber Singers
Washington Balalaika Society

Classical Ballet Theatre was also the most recent recipient of a fast track grant.

For more information on grants offered by the Arts Council of Fairfax County, visit http://artsfairfax.org/grants/programs.
For more on the organizations receiving grants, check out their District Arts Update at http://artsfairfax.org/news/districtartsupdate/321-april-june-2015.

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District Arts Updates

b2ap3_thumbnail_50anniversary.jpgNew Initiative for the Arts Council

Every four months, a detailed District Arts Update is published for each district and the county as a whole.  These new publications:

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No match required for the FY15 Organizational and Professional Development Grants

For organizations familiar with applying for an Organizational and Professional Development grant, you will notice a significant change in the FY15 O&PD guidelines and application – No match required.  Initially the grant required a two to one match by the applicant.  This meant that the Arts Council would provide no more than one-third of the total expenses of the proposed activity, program or project.  The Arts Council has received additional funding from Fairfax County, which does not require a match.  Therefore, the Arts Council is able to pass that benefit on to arts organizations throughout the county.   

The Organizational and Professional Development Grant Program grants are non-recurring grants used to support eligible nonprofit arts organizations in Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church in developing the business aspect of the arts. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, staff training, strategic planning, board development, and financial management activities. These grants will not fund operating expenses. Organizational and Professional Development Grants are intended to support both established and developing arts organizations.

The application deadline for the FY15 Organizational and Professional Development grant is September 10, 2014. A grant preparation workshop will be held on August 5, 2014.  To  register, select the following link:

http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EA57D981854C3A


The guidelines and application are available online at http://artsfairfax.org/grants.

For questions, contact the grants department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.';document.getElementById('cloak9d4f9a2d82b92c86bb4198a6767ef872').innerHTML += ''+addy_text9d4f9a2d82b92c86bb4198a6767ef872+'';
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Fairfax County Home to 100 Festivals

Fairfax County Home to 100 Festivals

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 $2.9 billion industry," says Barry Biggar, President and CEO of Visit Fairfax. "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," according to Mr. Biggar. 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.

"People come to festivals for one thing, maybe the arts and crafts, are then introduced to forms of art they never would have experienced otherwise, and often are inspired to seek out new arts experiences in the future," said Carole Rosenstein, Associate Professor of Arts Management at George Mason University, who worked on the 2010 National Endowment for the Arts study - Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals.

Fairfax County's diverse offering of festivals showcases everything from the arts, to culinary, to seasonal festivities, to film, and theatre works, nearly every month of the year on an annual basis. Holly Koons McCullough, Executive Director and Curator at the Greater Reston Arts Center helps run the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival which will be held every year in April/May. The fine arts festival showcases more than 200 juried artists nationwide and draws 30,000 patrons to Reston. "The festival provides a personal experience; visitors have the opportunity to view, purchase, and interact directly with the featured artists," says McCullough.

Other community-wide festivals bring locals and visitors together to celebrate our ethnic diversity. The annual DMV Punjabi Mela Festival, which will be held at Bull Run Regional Park, draws over 10,000 attendees and celebrates Indian & Pakistani heritage and culture.

"Festivals offer diverse and creative venues for experiencing the arts and create opportunities for meaningful exchange of ideas," says Linda Sullivan, President & CEO of the Arts Council of Fairfax County.

For more information on the arts and cultural festival listings for the entire calendar year, visit the Arts Council's website at www.artsfairfax.org/resources/festivals.




Image:  Patrons visiting the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which is produced by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE). Credits: Greater Reston Arts Center

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200 Free Family Friendly Summer Events

Fairfax County Park Authority Presents
200 Family Friendly Performances, Concerts and Movies Throughout the Summer

FPA-Summer-Series-banner

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Arts Council Receives $50,000 Our Town Grant from NEA

On July 17, 2013, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced 59 Our Town grant awards totaling $4.725 million and reaching 34 states in the Our Town program's third year of funding. The Arts Council of Fairfax County is one of 59 grantees and will receive $50,000 for Imagine Art Here, a public art community engagement project in Tysons, Virginia. A temporary, portable work of art will be designed to engage people in the discussion of public art and the role of art in Tysons. The project will be installed at 4 locations near the new Silver Line Metrorail stations in Tysons over a one year period.

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Three Strauss Artist Awards Announced

The Arts Council has selected three Fairfax county artists to receive the 2013 Strauss Fellowship grant.   Diane Coburn Bruning, the team of Susan Eder and Craig Dennis, and Rebecca Kamen will each receive $5,000.

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Colvin Run Mill Site to Host Ceramics Show - November 3 and 4

ColvinRunMill.jpgOn November 3 and 4, 2012, visitors to Colvin Run Mill Historic Site can shop for unique clay creations for the holidays and beyond. The Kiln Club, an organization of more than 90 Washington D.C. area artists, will show and sell decorative and functional handmade ceramic giftware and tableware from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.each day.

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