Fairfax County’s Hidden Gem – January

Fairfax County’s Hidden Gem

Special to the Fairfax County Times, Jan 11, 2019

Welcome to the first column dedicated to the arts in Fairfax County. It has long been known that the Fairfax County arts scene is a hidden gem treasured by residents, but its talent and vibrant offerings for professional artists, students and patrons make it a destination for everyone’s entertainment.


The Fairfax County arts community is brought together by ARTSFAIRFAX, a nonprofit organization incorporated to be Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency. ARTSFAIRFAX has been the voice of the arts since 1964. The organization rebranded in 2018 from the Arts Council of Fairfax County to better serve Fairfax County – growing exposure to the many arts opportunities in our community, increasing equity, inclusion and access to art for all.

ARTSFAIRFAX serves Fairfax residents and visitors, the arts community, local government and private sector arts supporters. ARTSFAIRFAX is your resource for Fairfax County art information. Our website provides an events calendar and a county arts directory helping you find the arts in your community.

We work to strengthen our arts community by providing professional development workshops, job listings, public arts, and an Artist Residency Program in Fairfax County Public Schools. We aid the County by distributing county funds for the arts and collaborating on a Creative Aging Festival and County Master Arts Plan. Organizations funded in part by ARTSFAIRFAX’s grants offer some exciting events in January. Don’t miss ArtSpace Herndon’s “Three Moves to Divine Exhibit,” NextStop Theatre’s “[title of show],” American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, Reston Community Players’ “Superior Donuts” or 1st Stage Theater’s “The Brother’s Size” to highlight a few.

Operating Support Grant information workshop, Feb. 22

In Fiscal Year 2018, ARTSFAIRFAX awarded 64 grants in the following categories: Operating Support, Organizational and Professional Development, Project Support, Fast Track and Artist Grants. Fairfax County artists and arts organizations are encouraged to apply for FY20 funding. An Operating Support Grant information workshop will be held on Feb. 22.

Awards nominations from the public are accepted until Feb. 14

The arts are an important part of our community. Each year, ARTSFAIRFAX strives to recognize the hard work, effort and dedication of artists and those who support the arts through its annual Arts Awards luncheon in October. The Arts Awards brings together the arts, businesses, civic communities and elected leaders to celebrate the arts in Fairfax County. This year, ARTSFAIRFAX is accepting nominations from the public until Feb.14 in the following categories: Arts Philanthropy, Arts Achievement, and the Emerging Arts Awards. For more information and to learn how you can participate, visit the ARTSFAIRFAX website or call 571-395-4619.

ARTSFAIRFAX is funded by Fairfax County, corporations, foundations, individuals, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit ARTSFAIRFAX.org to learn more about the arts in Fairfax, find an arts event, information on applying for a grant, or submit an Arts Awards nomination.
Make participating in the arts your new year’s resolution and visit our column monthly to learn about the arts in Fairfax County.
Don’t forget to stay connected to the arts by following and tagging ARTSFAIRFAX on Facebook.

Music for Life

Music for Life provides free music education opportunities to low income youth in Fairfax County and throughout the metropolitan DC area. We operate three programs:

After-School Guitar: providing lessons in the neighborhoods
Band & Orchestra: providing lessons and expense support at school
STEM Guitar: teaching the science of operation and guitar building

Starlight Cinema

Once an icon of American social life, drive-in theaters entertained millions of avid moviegoers in the comfort of their cars with feature films shown on big screens. Now, courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority and its sponsoring business partners, you can relive those magic days of yesteryear at Starlight Cinema. Every Saturday night in August, the fun begins before the opening credits roll, with music, food and children’s activities at 6-8pm. Then the movie begins at dark. Starlight Cinema’s home is Trinity Center located on Rt. 29 just south of Interstate 66 in Centreville – 5860 Trinity Parkway, Centreville, VA 20120.

Gates open at 6pm, admission is FREE and the feature films are appropriate for family audiences. Coolers, blankets and lawn chairs are permitted so you can bring a picnic supper and leave your car to sit under the stars. Spaces in front of the screens are reserved for lawn seating; compact cars get the front rows, and SUVs and vans must park in the rear spaces. Consumption of alcohol is not permitted.