Honoring the Legacy of Women in Fairfax County’s Arts History

Honoring the Legacy of Women in Fairfax County’s Arts History

Honoring the Legacy of Women in Fairfax County’s Arts History

Fairfax County, located in Virginia, has a rich history when it comes to arts and culture. Throughout the years, numerous women have made significant contributions to the county’s artistic landscape. These women have been talented artists and passionate advocates for the arts. In this article, we will explore some of these remarkable women and the impact they have made.

Shu Chen Cuff: Celebrating Dance and Community Engagement

Shu Chen Cuff, the Artistic Director and Founder of Gin Dance Company, has left a lasting impression on the Fairfax County arts scene. Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Shu Chen Cuff received extensive dance training in various forms, including ballet, modern dance, and Chinese folk dances. After immigrating to the United States, she continued her education and training, eventually establishing Gin Dance Company in 2011.

With a strong desire to create refreshing and vitalizing works for the community, Shu Chen Cuff has collaborated with numerous artists and organizations, both locally and internationally. Her works have been featured in well-known publications and media outlets, such as the Washington Post and FOX5 DC News. She has also been commissioned to create works in response to renowned sculptures and has performed at prestigious events and festivals around the world.

In addition to her artistic accomplishments, Shu Chen Cuff is passionate about passing on her knowledge and love of dance to aspiring dancers. She has taught and choreographed works at various institutions and dance schools, including Towson University and George Mason University. Shu Chen Cuff’s commitment to both artistic excellence and community engagement is truly commendable.

Jaynelle Hazard: Curating Art for Accessibility

As the Executive Director and Curator at Tephra ICA, Jaynelle Hazard has played a crucial role in bringing contemporary art to Fairfax County. Under her leadership, Tephra ICA has undergone a visual identity program that reflects the organization’s core values of accessibility and new perspectives. The clean and contemporary visual identity, along with a vibrant green color, symbolizes growth, renewal, and the generation of new ideas.

Jaynelle Hazard’s dedication to curating thought-provoking exhibitions and engaging the community in meaningful artistic experiences has made Tephra ICA a prominent institution in the county. Through collaborations with other artists and organizations, Tephra ICA continues to push boundaries and challenge traditional notions of art.

Jeanne Harrison: Nurturing Young Artists and Celebrating Theater

Jeanne Harrison, the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Traveling Players, has created a nurturing and rigorous artistic community for young theater students. With over 35 years of teaching experience, Jeanne has worked with renowned institutions such as The Folger Shakespeare Library and Loyola University. She brings her expertise in physical training for actors and mask-making to her role as a director, often doubling as a choreographer and sound designer.

Not only has Jeanne Harrison directed numerous productions, including adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, but she has also presented workshops at national conferences and served as a judge for theater awards. Her distinctive fusion of physical and classical theater has garnered recognition, including the Strauss Artist Award by ArtsFairfax.

Through her work at Traveling Players, Jeanne Harrison has not only nurtured the artistic talents of young performers but also instilled in them a love for theater that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Tammy Call: Preserving Army History and Tradition

As the Director of The National Museum of the United States Army, Tammy Call plays a vital role in preserving and interpreting the history and traditions of the Army. The museum provides a comprehensive portrayal of Army history through the eyes of the American Soldier, offering visitors invaluable learning opportunities.

Tammy Call’s leadership ensures that the museum’s operations run smoothly across its seven divisions. Her commitment to preserving artifacts and creating engaging exhibits allows the museum to bond the American people to their oldest military service. The National Museum of the United States Army stands as a testament to the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in the Army.

Anne Myslewski: Enriching the Arts through Opera and Classical Programming

As the Vice President at Wolf Trap Opera, Anne Myslewski has significantly contributed to Fairfax County’s classical music scene. She has been instrumental in casting and programming for Wolf Trap Opera for over a decade, hearing thousands of auditions and ensuring the highest level of artistic excellence.

In addition to her work at the opera, Anne Myslewski has developed partnerships with various organizations, including the Shakespeare Theatre and the National Orchestral Institute + Festival. Her efforts to bring classical music to new audiences through innovative programming have enriched the cultural landscape of Fairfax County.

Leila Gordon: Cultivating Arts and Culture in Reston

As the Executive Director of Reston Community Center, Leila Gordon has been instrumental in providing arts and cultural programming for the Reston community. The Reston Community Center, funded by a special tax district, delivers a wide range of programs and activities for the leisure time experiences of Reston residents.

Leila Gordon’s leadership has allowed the Reston Community Center to offer diverse programming that caters to the interests and needs of the community. From arts and culture to leisure and learning, the center plays a vital role in fostering creativity, education, and community engagement.


The legacy of women in Fairfax County’s arts history is one of talent, dedication, and passion. From the dance performances of Shu Chen Cuff to the educational theater experiences curated by Jeanne Harrison, these women have made indelible marks on the county’s artistic landscape. Their contributions, along with those of other women in the arts, deserve to be celebrated and honored.

As we continue to appreciate and support the arts in Fairfax County, it is important to recognize the organizations that make it all possible. ArtsFairfax, the local arts agency funded in part by Fairfax County, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, plays a crucial role in supporting artists and organizations. Together, let’s honor the legacy of women in Fairfax County’s arts history and continue to support and participate in the vibrant arts scene in our community.