The County's Art Buzz - May

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Nicole Tong headshot
The County's Art Buzz - May

The Arts are in Fairfax
By Dana Stewart / Special to the Fairfax County Times
May 15, 2020

Fairfax Poet Laureate Announced

ArtsFairfax invites the community to celebrate the announcement of Fairfax County’s first poet laureate, Nicole Tong. The Fairfax Poet Laureate is the county’s highest honor awarded to a local poet. Selected through a competitive process, the Fairfax Poet Laureate serves a two-year term as the poetry ambassador engaging the community in the exchange of ideas, stories and culture.

“Being named the inaugural Fairfax Poet Laureate offers me an extraordinary opportunity to share poetry, which I love, write and teach, with my community. At the end of my tenure, I will have done my work if county residents understand that poetry and poets are alive in the here and now; they are not just documented in canonical books. I look forward to sharing the voices of living poets, which reflect the diverse lived experiences of all of us through a range of programs with students, educators and residents,” says Nicole Tong.

The centerpiece of Tong’s two-year term is a community service project that amplifies living poets and poetry in Fairfax County classrooms and via Twitter @PoetryLivesHere. Follow @ArtsFairfax on social media for updated announcements on her public engagement.

U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly invites students to participate in the 2020 Congressional Art Competition in the Virginia 11th Congressional District. The purpose of this competition is to offer students an opportunity to share their talents and be recognized even in difficult times. Paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures are the most common pieces submitted, but creativity is encouraged.

Visit to learn more and apply. Visit to learn your Congressional district and how to apply.

Get Outside and Be Creative Public Art Reston launched Stay-at-Home
Chalk Art initiative encouraging all ages, businesses and organizations to create chalk art in their driveways or on nearby sidewalks and then post the photo on Facebook and tag it using #AtHomeChalkArt and #PublicArtReston.
Photos are featured on Public Art Reston’s Facebook page. For more information visit

Mason Arts at Home
Mason Arts at home provides arts engagements for all ages through live-streamed performances, previously released recorded content and interactive activity from across the college. Visit for a complete program listing.

In the mood for a little theatre and humor? NextStop Theatre Company launched “Social Distance Edition” theatre with adaptions of their productions of “Fallen Angels” and “The Wolves.” The NextStop Digital Matinee takes viewers behind the scenes with conversations, including backstage staff that makes shows happen. 1st Stage Theatre invites the public to participate in their virtual community conversations. The conversations take place weekly at 2 pm on the scheduled day and include topics such as meet the staff, artistic directors in conversation and performers in quarantine.

Upcoming Workshops

What’s Next for the Arts and How to Plan For It
Linda Sullivan, President & CEO of ArtsFairfax, will moderate an interactive discussion with speakers Anne Corbett, Building Creative, Phyllis Hecht, Johns Hopkins University, and Mary Robinson Capacity Partners on how to plan for reopening. Visit for registration details.

Tools of the Trade
ArtsFairfax presents the Work-SMART: Marketing Workshop “Tools of the Trade” with speakers Rachelle Etienne-Robins and Stan “Substantial” Robinson of Substantial Art & Music on June 5, 2020. Visit for registration details.