Artist Residency Program

About the Program

The Arts Council, in collaboration with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), launched the Artist Residency Program in the 2014-2015 school year.  Now in its fourth year, the Artist Residency Program provides Fairfax County professional artists with training on FCPS's teaching philosophy and effective practices for working with middle school students, assistance with the development of artist residencies, and placement in Fairfax County middle schools.

In addition to providing opportunities for artists to share their expertise through unique arts education programming that supplements the FCPS curriculum, the Artist Residency Program engages middle school students in cross-curricular learning through the arts. The artists connect their creative processes, whether through architecture, design, music, new media, film, literature, poetry, theater or visual art, with the core curriculum areas of social studies, language arts, mathematics, and sciences, to enhance students’ skills in creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

Visit the Artist Directory to learn about the nine artists as well as their residencies.
To book an artist residency for your middle school, contact Robin Carroll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

masks demonstration

Students at Whitman Middle School put on their masks for the presentation in the auditorium. Photo Credit: USA Capitol Media

Teaching Artist Professional Development Opportunity
September 26-29, 2017
Interested in conducting artist residencies?  Interested in learning how to write effective lesson plans? Participate in a four-day training seminar designed to help professional artists link their expertise with curriculum standards in the arts. Deepen your experience in inquiry-based instruction, lesson plan design, and student engagement, reflection, and collaboration. Develop a residency proposal and unit plan. A limited number of slots are available at a special rate of $99.00. Interested artists of all disciplines should send their resume highlighting their teaching experience to Robin Carroll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Tuesday, September 5.

Teaching Artist Seminar
The teaching artist seminar introduces professional artists to Fairfax County Public Schools Fine Arts teaching philosophy. Participants examine middle school learner characteristics, see how to meet learner needs and appeal to their interests, and explore ways to connect their artistic expertise with curriculum standards. Focus is placed on the development of a residency program that promotes cross-curricular learning and 21st century skills. Interactive sessions include investigation of ways of knowing, lesson planning guidance, and methodologies for student engagement and reflection. During the seminar, artists develop and refine a residency proposal and unit plan.

The seminar is led by Bettyann Plishker, an arts educator with over 35 years of experience who has been working with the Arts Council of Fairfax County since the onset of the Artist Residency Program in 2014. Currently, a consultant on diverse art education related topics for local school divisions her expertise includes professional development training, curriculum development, mentor oversight, and arts administration. She has been an adjunct instructor teaching methods in art education for George Mason University and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies of the University of Virginia.

Seminar dates are Tuesday, September 26, 2017 – Friday, September 29, 2017 from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Arts Council of Fairfax County office located at 2667 Prosperity Avenue, Suite A, Fairfax, VA 22031. A syllabus and daily agendas will be made available in September. The multi-day training includes information sharing and peer networking in a small group environment.

Originally developed for artists selected for the Art Council’s Artist Residency Program, this year a limited number of slots are available to teaching artists at a special rate of $99.00Artists of all disciplines with teaching experience wishing to offer an Artist Residency in a school are invited to apply. Living or working in Fairfax County is preferred but not required. Resumes, highlighting teaching experience, should be sent by Tuesday, September 5 to Robin Carroll  at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seminar participants will be better prepared to market their expertise as teaching artists to conduct residencies in schools and make application to the Virginia Commission for the Arts Teaching Artist Roster.  Note: Seminar participation does not imply assistance in placement, funding, or guarantee acceptance to VCA’s Teaching Artist Roster.  For more information on the VCA Teaching Artist Roster, visit

Questions about the Artist Residency Program and the Teaching Artist Seminar should be directed to Robin Carroll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Artist Residency Program and Teaching Artist Seminar has been funded in part by Carnival, Dominion Foundation, Jean Schiro-Zavela and Vance Zavela, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts with institutional resources committed by the Arts Council and FCPS.

Artist Directory

FY16 Sponsors

CarnivalCrusies logo

dominion logo

Jean Schiro-Zavela and Vance Zavela

VCA LOGO color

Artist Residencies


Robin Carroll, Program Coordinator
(703) 642-0862


Artist Seminar Handbook