“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty
which every good citizen owes to his country.” –
George Washington


On April 29, 2020, the arts community submitted official testimony to the Board of Supervisors for the Fiscal Year 2021 arts funding. COVID-19 is having disastrous financial consequences on the arts sector, an essential part of Fairfax’s local economy. The arts are people, and it is people who fill our lives with art, creating our vibrant and engaging community. Please enjoy meeting a few of the many individuals committed to the arts in Fairfax.


Be The Voice For The Arts

ARTSFAIRFAX educates at the local, state and federal agencies and elected officials on the policies, initiatives and funding that impact the arts community.




ARTSFAIRFAX defines advocacy as the process of educating the general public and decision-makers in the public and private sector, who influence policy and resource allocation at the local and national level.  Government decision-makers deserve to be well-informed as they craft policy and appropriate funding.


When the community provides success stories, data analysis and information about the needs,
goals, and outcomes of art programs, they are providing key information that contributes to effective solutions and building strong communities.


Click here to find your local, state and federal representatives in your area.


What It Means To Be An Arts Advocate

The arts provide social, cultural and entertainment value and have a major impact on the economy. Art helps our communities thrive, support education for all ages and serve as a primary way to preserve and celebrate culture. Community support is critical to ensuring the arts are strong and vibrant.

Educating the public and elected officials on the true impact of the arts is the primary goal for all arts advocates. Arts advocacy allows you to share your views, opinions, success stories and struggles with elected officials who make decision impact your arts community or organization.


Effective advocacy depends on your continuous education and communication with your
supporters and decision-makers at the local, state and federal level.

Make A Difference

One voice has considerable strength, especially when expressed collectively. Educating and advocating for the arts can occur through many ways:

  • In public forms including candidate rallies, composing emails and letters, attending official government meetings and offering testimony.
  • Interacting with decision-makers and their staff.
  • Inviting elected-officials to programs or events and providing a private tour.



Being An Arts Advocate Means Your Educating Decision-Makers On Why The Arts Matter

Here is how you can be the voice of the arts:

IN FAIRFAX COUNTY: Join ARTSFAIRFAX at their annual Arts Advocacy Day in early April. For this event, we invite the general public and the arts community to show their support of the arts at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ annual budget hearings.

Contact Dana Stewart for more information.

AT THE STATE: ARTSFAIRFAX engages with state elected officials to encourage their support of arts funding and policies that benefit the arts. We collaborate with Virginians for the Arts to promote participation in the January Arts Advocacy Day at the State Legislature in Richmond, Virginia

NATIONALLY: ARTSFAIRFAX advocates for federal funding of the arts. We also encourage attendance to and partake in National Arts Advocacy in March in Washington, DC.

Get Prepared To Educate your Decision-Makers

Knowing your community makes you the best advocate for the arts. Knowing the facts shows that you are not only passionate but understand how the arts impact our local, state and national economy and culture.

ARTSFAIRFAX conducts studies and surveys and partners with other leaders to gather information about arts activity and impact. Please share our recent studies:

The AEP5 study by Americans for the Arts gives a quantifiable economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as their audiences. In 2015, Fairfax County arts and culture organizations supported over $271 million in direct economic activity, supported 6,220 fulltime equivalent jobs, and generated nearly $20 million in local and state government revenue.

Download the reports:

ARTSFAIRFAX conducted a survey in 2015 on arts education programs and activities for K-12 audiences offered by 34 non-profit arts organizations in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. This survey revealed that the non-profit arts industry serves over 93,000 Fairfax County students annually. Download the full report here.

The 2015 Creative Industries Report by Americans for the Arts offers a research-based approach to understanding the scope and economic importance of the arts in Virginia. The results indicated that Virginia boasted 17,381 arts-related for-profit and nonprofit businesses employing 68,554 people. In Fairfax County, there were 3,128 arts-related for-profit and non-profit arts businesses employing 13,075 people.

Download the reports:

The 2012 Local Arts Index by Americans for the Arts provides a set of measures to understand the breadth, depth and character of cultural life of individual communities as measured at the County level. It is composed of a series of arts indicators, including secondary sources from the U.S. Census Bureau, Claritas Research, Scarborough Research, the National Center for Charitable Statistics, and others. Download the Local Arts Index report here.