The County’s arts buzz
By Dana Stewart / Special to the Fairfax County Times
Jan 9, 2020 Updated Jan 9, 2020
ARTSFAIRFAX is accepting nominations in the categories of Arts Education, Arts Impact and Arts Philanthropy for the 2020 ARTSFAIRFAX Arts Awards until February 7, 2020. The ninth annual Arts Awards, on October 16, 2020, will recognize the visionary contributions the arts bring to Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. Arts organizations and individuals may nominate others or self-nominate.
2019 Arts Awards Master of Ceremonies Tim Sargeant, Congressman Gerry Connolly and former Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova at the 2019 Arts Awards.
PHOTO COURTESY NESHAN NALTCHAYAN
The annual Arts Awards bring together the arts community, business community and civic and elected leaders to celebrate the extraordinary contributions of artists, arts organizations and the private sector. Last year’s honorees included NextStop Theatre Company, Stephen Roberts, Foon Sham, Margaret and Shashi Gupta and former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. Visit ARTSFAIRFAX.org to submit a nomination.
Fairfax County elected officials head to Richmond in January and the arts community urges them to support Governor Northam’s budget proposal that would increase arts funding to $1 per person.
According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Virginia is ranked 41 out of the 50 states, behind West Virginia, Mississippi and Arkansas. Maryland funds the arts at $3.92 per person and Washington D.C. arts funding is $47.88 per person.
For decades, economic surveys have shown that the arts provide a 7:1 return on government funding. An example is North Carolina, which funds the arts at $.89 per person and generates arts-related tax revenue of $107 million, compared to Virginia’s $47 million.
The Virginians for the Arts’ annual Arts Advocacy Day on January 30 provides arts supporters in northern Virginia the opportunity to advocate for arts and program funding during the 2020 state legislative session. Visit vaforthearts.org or contact ARTSFAIRFAX to participate.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, the Virginia Commission for the Arts will convene its annual conference, bringing together the Commonwealth’s arts community. Keynote speaker, Bryan Doerries, artistic director for Theater of War Productions, will be joined by his musical collaborator, Phil Woodmore. The conference will emphasize the variety of ways the arts are increasingly becoming an integral part of community solutions involving the economy, community planning and development, health, education, innovation and social justice. Registration is available online at arts.virginia.gov.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company to perform “What Problem?” at GMU’s Center for the Arts on February 1 at 8 p.m.PHOTO COURTESY BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE COMPANY
The Center for the Arts at George Mason University (GMU) welcomes Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company for a town hall conversation on community, identity and art at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Dr., Fairfax on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. The community engagement is in conjunction with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company’s world premiere of “What Problem?” Additional details, including guest panelists and topics, will be announced at a later date. The event is free but reservations are requested and can be made through the center’s website.
Commissioned by the center, “What Problem?” examines the tension between belonging to a community and feelings of isolation during these divisive political times. It is set to spoken word and original live music by Nick Hallett and sung by the Mason University Singers and premiers Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. in the center’s Concert Hall. Tickets are available through the Center for the Arts’ website.