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.

In the 2016-2017 school year, the Arts Council worked with Fairfax County Government Channel 16 on a video about the Artist Residency Program.  Click here to view the video which will be aired on the Channel 16 County Magazine Program in October 2017.

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 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 multi-day training includes information sharing and peer networking in a small group environment.

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.  Originally developed for artists selected for the Art Council’s Artist Residency Program, this year a limited number of slots were available to additional teaching artists.

Seminar participants are 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 have been funded in part by Carnival, Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, The Dimick Foundation, Dominion Foundation, Jean Schiro-Zavela and Vance Zavela, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts with institutional resources committed by the Arts Council and FCPS.

Artist Directory


CarnivalCrusies logo

Claude Moore Charitable Foundation

The Dimick Foundation

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Jean Schiro-Zavela and Vance Zavela

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Artist Residencies


Robin Carroll, Program Coordinator
(703) 642-0862


Artist Seminar Handbook