The County’s Art Buzz – October


Arts Buzz- October

By Dana C. Stewart

The 2019 Arts Awards

Fairfax County will celebrate excellence in arts and give tribute to arts visionaries at the 2019 Arts Awards on Friday, October 18, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Fairview Park Marriott. This year’s awardees have increased access and created opportunities to expose art to audiences in Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. Bikki Stricker, a potter that specializes in crystalline glazes, designed the awards for honorees Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Chairman Sharon Bulova, Margaret and Shashi Gupta, artist Foon Sham, NextStop Theatre Company and philanthropist Stephen Roberts. The event is a fundraiser for the arts and open to the public, but tickets are required.

True Stories of Seven Women 

“Seven” is the theatrical experience telling the true stories of seven women who have fought to create lasting change in their communities. Seven acclaimed playwrights collaborated to weave together the struggles and triumph of these inspiring women who hail from Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia and Cambodia. Each story shares the threats and obstacles faced in their quest to improve the lives of girls and women in their home country. Some content may not be suitable for young audience members. Tickets are required for the October 18, 8 p.m. showing at the George Mason University’s (GMU) Center for the Arts.

Star Wars Red Carpet at the Washington West Film Festival

Anthony Daniels will headline the opening night of the 2019 Washington West Film Festival, set to take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in Reston, Virginia. The actor and writer – best known for portraying C-3PO in all of the Star Wars episodic films – will participate in an hour-long In Conversation Q&A event, followed by an exclusive screening of Star Wars: A New Hope.

“Washington West has built a national and international reputation among film festivals, not only for the quality of our programs and special events but especially our unyielding passion that ‘Story Can Change the World,'” said festival founder and President, Brad Russell.

The Washington West Film Festival is a non-profit organization that celebrates the transformative power of film. This year’s showcase features selected shorts, documentaries and fictional films that highlight a variety of perspectives. The Festival runs October 24 – 28. Check for a complete screening schedule.

 Arts Highlights for October

The Virginia Opera opens its 45th season with “Tosca” at the GMU’s Center for the Arts on October 12, 8 p.m. and October 13, 2 p.m. Aspiring actors in grades 4 through 12 can hone their skills in Traveling Players movement classes starting October 13 through December 15th, registration is required. Amadeus Concerts presents Washington Symphonic Brass at St. Luke Catholic Church, McLean on October 13, 4 p.m. The Bluegrass Barn Concert Series presents a concert by Nothin’ Fancy at Frying Pan Park on October 13 and Colebrook Road on October 27 at 7 p.m.  Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia presents Judy Wengrovitz – A Retrospective from October 16 through December 2. Enjoy Chinese circus arts with Cirquie Mei at GMU’s Center for the Arts on October 19, 2 p.m.

The County’s Art Buzz – September

Arts Buzz- September

By Dana C. Stewart

September may mean it is back to school for students, but it doesn’t mean an end to creative exploration for all ages.  So, who is ready to play?  This month, residents can explore the intersection of public art with play, learn about creativity in the classroom and celebrate visionaries in the art field.

Public Art and Placemaking

Public Art presents an opportunity to strengthen the connection between residents, stimulate interaction and generate community growth. Placemaking plays a vital role in inspiring people to reimage public space with art, and organizations, including ARTSFAIRFAX, are doing this with playful temporary projects.

On Friday, September 13, 8 – 10:30 a.m., the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia invites the public to an Innovation Breakfast Series discussion of public art and placemaking with Katarzyna Balug, Co-founder of the Department of Play in Boston. The event features panelists Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, Public Art Project Manager, Arlington Arts, Holly Koons, Executive Director, Arlington Arts Center; Lisa Mariam Director of Grants and Services, ARTSFAIRFAX and Marly McFly, Public Artist. Visit for more information and to register.

Think Like An Artist

ARTSFAIRFAX invites the public to their annual arts education panel, ”Think Like An Artist: Creativity in the Classroom” on Saturday, September 14, 8:30 – 11 a.m. Dr. Kimberly Sheridan, Associate Profession of Educational Psychology at George Mason University and Julie Carmean, Museum Educator and Coordinator of Professional Development at the National Gallery of Art will discuss the arts and critical thinking and collaboration skills in the classroom.  Fairfax County Public Schools, K-12 Theatre and Dance Educational Specialist Tara Taylor will moderate. Visit for more details and to register.

NextStop Theatre, Foon Sham and Stephen Roberts To Receive 2019 Arts Awards

ARTSFAIRFAX announces NextStop Theatre Company as the Emerging Arts Award recipient. The award recognizes NextStop for their continuous broad engagement with the community and for producing quality arts programming.  See NextStop’s latest performance, “Beehive,” through September 22nd.  Also being recognized is internationally renowned visual artist Foon Sham as the Arts Achievement recipient.  Sham’s current work, ‘Mushroom’ was commissioned by the Smithsonian Garden near the National Museum of American History and can be experienced through 2020.  ARTSFAIRFAX will present the Arts Philanthropy Award to Stephen Roberts for his commitment to foster the development and growth of the arts through the Ross-Roberts Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Jinx Hazel Award recipients Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Chairman Sharon Bulova and Shashi and Margaret Gupta, will be honored for their impact on the arts and quality of life in Fairfax County.  Tickets are available at to the Friday, October 18 Arts Awards at the Fairview Park Marriott Hotel from 12 – 2 p.m.

ARTSFAIRFAX Grant Deadline

Nonprofit arts organizations based in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax and City of Falls Church are eligible to apply for ARTSFAIRFAX’s Organizational Professional Development Grants. These grants are designed to strengthen capacity, improving management practices to support creating healthy, successful and resilient arts organizations. The application deadline is September 25, 2019. Visit for more information.

The County’s Art Buzz – July

World Premiere Event

The Hub Theatre presents the world premiere of ‘American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables’ by playwright Sam Hamashima on July 12 and runs through August 4 at NextStop Theatre. The presentation of an original play highlights the dedication of small, local theaters to bring high, quality art to Fairfax County.

Known for performances that highlight humanity and commonality and productions that rival the thought-provoking theater of New York City, The Hub’s recent loss of performance space has not deterred its’ ambitious commitment to bring ground-breaking theatre to Northern Virginia.

The play, directed by Helen Hayes award-winning director, Kathryn Chase Bryer, follows a Japanese-American family as they learn of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Hamashima’s story mixes family and charm to examine what it means to be a family.

“Sam Hamashima’s sparkling play examines a difficult chapter in our nation’s history through one American family’s struggle to protect themselves against a sudden wave of distrust. This production maintains The Hub’s mission of bringing people together through art that uses specific stories and innovative storytelling to discuss universal experiences with heart, humor, and hope for a better way forward, despite the darkness that pushes against our collective humanity,” stated Matt Bassett, Artistic Director.

Hamashima work as a playwright has been produced or developed by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Post Shift Theatre, National Queer Theater and in venues throughout Washington, D.C. and New York City.  Visit for tickets for dates and times.

Visit Public Art in Springfield

ARTSFAIRFAX and Epigram artist team present INOUT:Springfield, a public art installation that reflects the opinions and photos of people who live, work, and play in Springfield.

“A very up to date project with regards to photo apps, selfie moment, and sharing who you are and what you do! INOUT is a fun installation that connects you with your local community and can be viewed by your friends and family anywhere! Come participate, be featured and invite your friends from elsewhere to be part of the art in Springfield,” says Epigram artists Julieta Guillermet.

The art installation will be at Old Keene Mill Shopping Center, July 13 – August 9, and Springfield Town Center, August 10 -23.  INOUT:Springfield is part of ARTSFAIRFAX’s Imagine Art Here projects which are designed to engage the community and give them a voice and an opportunity to experience public art.

 Grant Opportunity

ARTSFAIRFAX will host a grant information session for arts organizations interested in applying for an Organizational and Professional Development Grant or the new Next Step Grant on July 31 in Mosaic District at 2985 District Avenue, Suite 100, Merrifield. Organizational and Professional Development Grants encourage the advancement of the arts in Fairfax County by improving the organizational management of nonprofit arts organizations within the boundaries of Fairfax County and the Cities of Falls Church and Fairfax and provide grants from $1K to $5K. Next Step Grants award up to $25,000 to an organization for a capacity enhancement project. The Letter of Interest for the Next Step Grant is due August 30, and the application deadline for both grants is September 25, 2019.  For more information, visit

Arts Highlights for July

The 3rd Annual Logan Festival of Solo Performances occurs July 11 -21 at 1st Stage Theatre and features national, award-winning solo performers. Visit for tickets and times.   Take the kids to The Hunter Mill Melodies presented free every Wednesday throughout July from 10 to 10:45 am at Frying Pan Park’s Visitors Center pavilion.  The Hunter Mill Melodies presents entertainment for the whole family with The Reunion Jazz Orchestra on July 11, Whiskey Wildfire on July 18 and Bumper Jacksons on July 25.  Each performance is from 7:30 – 8:30 pm at Frying Pan Park, Kidwell Farm.

Viva! Vienna!

Viva! Vienna! is a family and community-oriented celebtraion of Memorial Day and the greater Vienna Community spirit. There are amusement rides, food, crafts, vendors, and entertainment for all ages. Vendors include handcraft artisans, retail vendors, professionals, political parties and candidates, and community and non-profit organizations. 100% of proceeds go to charitable, community, and humanitarian organizations.

Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival

“Eat local, drink local” has become a mantra of both quality and sustainability among foodies and oenophiles, and nowhere is this more easily and more enjoyably put into practice than the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival. In it’s 34th incarnation, this cornerstone event has grown from its early beginnings in 1982 into an opportunity to taste from nearly half of Virginia’s homegrown wineries, from the oldest and the largest to the smallest boutiques and exciting new players.  A Virginia Wineries Association event, Vintage Virginia is promoted and produced by Virginia’s premier event company, Across-the-Way Productions, dedicated to the art of the outdoor festival.

Vietnamese Heritage Festival (VietFest)

The theme of VietFest this year is Vietnamese Americans: Past, Present, and Future. Through programming, decorations, and exhibits, the National Organization of Vietnamese American Leaders (NOVAL) will chronicle the journey that their community took from the moment they first arrived in this country to where they are today.

Vienna Oktoberfest

Join the Town of Vienna for a traditional Oktoberfest Festival with drinks, food, entertainment, and games for families. Get ready for brats, strudel, beer, and polka!

Taste of Vienna

Within the VVFD parking lot, Taste of Vienna showcases the many excellent restaurants the Vienna area has to offer. Restaurants will offer choices for all tastes from the food critic to the picky eater.

Taste of Reston

Taste of Reston, produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, is the largest outdoor food festival in the area and was voted 2012, 2013, and 2014 “Northern Virginia’s Best Food Festival” by Virginia Living magazine. Join the fun this June at the Reston Town Center for two days of restaurants and community vendors, live entertainment on three stages, a carnival, the Family Fun Zone! and the Wine ‘n’ Dine area.

Taste of Merrifield

Celebrate Derby Day with the best food in Merrifield, live music, a beer garden by Port City Brewery, children’s activities and a live showing of the race.

Taste of Annandale

The first-ever Taste of Annandale celebration will showcase local restaurants during a daylong family-friendly event aimed at building community spirit, engaging young people, and promoting local businesses.

A portable stage will be set up offering live entertainment from music and dance groups representing a mix of cultures. Other activities being planned include a chili cook-off pitting Fairfax County police officers against firefighters; cooking demonstrations; and a children’s corner with games, crafts, and storytelling.

The idea for the Taste of Annandale grew out of the Annandale Youth Engagement Community Planning Group, which has been working on developing an initiative targeting local youths. Revenue generated by the Taste of Annandale will benefit the newly created Annandale Youth Fund, which will support youth-led projects to enhance the quality of community and civic life in Annandale.

Reston Multicultural Festival

The Reston Multicultural Festival is a celebration of the diversity and community spirit that is found in Reston. This annual event brings together the people of Reston to celebrate the rich medley of cultures. Come and share with family, friends, and neighbors the music, entertainment, dress, food, and cultural treasures from all over the world that are all right here.

Oktoberfest Reston

Oktoberfest Reston is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and is Northern Virginia’s largest fall festival at Reston Town Center featuring the best in autumn brews with delicious traditional Oktoberfest fare from area restaurants. Enjoy food, wine, beer, live entertainment, and a carnival.

Nowruz Festival

Hundreds of Persian-American artists, musicians, singers, dancers and traditional players will assemble to ring in the Persian New Year (Nowruz) on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Tysons Corner Center, in McLean.  Combined with more than 75 vendors offering traditional foods, jewelry, crafts, books and other traditional products, the Nowruz Festival will offer a family-friendly venue for the celebration.

What is Nowruz?
Of all the Persian national festivals, the New Year celebrations are at once the most important and the most colorful. This festival embodies a wealth of ancient rites and customs, and is about the only one in Persia which is not confined to the traditions of only one religious group. It symbolizes that continuity of the ancient Persian culture which has survived so many adversities and vicissitudes.

In harmony with the rebirth of nature, Nowruz always begins on the first day of spring marked by vernal equinox, or Tahvil. On that day -which may occur on March 20 – 21 or 22 – the sun crosses the celestial equator.

As far back as records go, Nowruz has been, either in fact or by intention, a celebration of early spring, when the sun begins to regain strength and overcome winter’s cold and darkness and when there is a renewal of growth and vigor in nature. Zoroastar’s people were demonstrably animatists, that is, they apprehended a cognitive spirit, mainyu, in all things, tangible or intangible. So for them this return of spring would have represented an annual victory for the spirit of the sun; and Zoroaster saw in it also, it appears, the symbol of a still more glorious victory to come. This was the special hope which he offered his followers, that the present struggle between good and evil, on all planes, physical, moral and spiritual, will end in total victory for the good.

Northern Virginia Summer Brewfest

The Summer BrewFest is a craft beer festival featuring summer seasonal brews from regional craft breweries. This is a great opportunity to try your favorite local and regional breweries’ spring and summer brews. Adult admission is for thise 21 years of age and older. A valid ID must be presented. A sampling glass and 6 beer sampling tickets are included in the cost of admission.

Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest

The Fall BrewFest is a craft beer sampling festival that provides a great opportunity to try fall, winter, and holiday seasonal brews from local and regional craft breweries. Included in the price of adult admission is a sampling glass and 6 beer sampling tickets. There is also wine provided by the Lone Winery, available for purchase by glass. Adult admission is for those 21 years of age and older and a valid ID must be shown.

MPA Art Fest

On the first Sunday in October, MPAartfest will transform McLean Central Park into a lively landscape of mini art galleries showcasing and offering for sale the work of a diverse group of 50 juried artists. There will be music and great food and much to do and see for the whole family.

Mount Vernon Colonial Market & Fair

The annual Colonial Market & Fair at Mount Vernon features dozens of America’s finest craftspeople and plenty of family fun! Fifty colonial-attired artisans demonstrate 18th-century crafts and sell traditional wares. “General Washington” will be on hand overseeing the lively Revolutionary War military drills and the 18th-century entertainment, including music, fireworks, sword-swallowing, puppet and magic shows, plus hearty specialty food for sale on site. This weekend only, 40-minute sightseeing cruises on the Potomac River, courtesy of Spirit Cruises and Potomac Riverboat Company, are free of charge (while supplies last).

Merrifield Fall Festival

The Greater Merrifield Business Association is pleased to offer their Annual Fall Festival. The festival is an outdoor community event that is free to the public. The festival, held in October, typically features: food vendors, a pumpkin patch, a beer garden, musical entertainment, craft vendors, local artists, children’s activities and rides, a car show, and sports celebrity appearances.

McLean Day

McLean Day is an annual festival featuring carnival rides, live entertainment, pony and kid rides and an arts & crafts show.

McLean Chocolate Festival

Calling all chocolate lovers! The McLean Community Center will be filled with vendors selling all your favorite chocolate delights! Candy, Cakes, Cookies, Ice Cream, Cupcakes–If you can make it out of chocolate you can find it at the Festival. Taste the specialties of area chocolatiers. Enjoy fun and games for the whole family.A refreshment room will provide an area to relax and eat your treats on site. Students from the Rotary’s Interact Clubs at McLean and Langley High Schools will be conducting chocolate-related games for children in the game room. 25% of all proceeds will go to support local community organizations.

Herndon Labor Day Festival

Join the Herndon community for the annual Labor Day Festival featuring great music, a craft show, food, twelve wineries, and micro-brew and culinary demonstrations.

Herndon Festival

Attracting an average of 80,000 people each year, the outdoor festival creates a dynamic family experience by combining the fun of an outdoor concert series with the thrill of a summertime carnival. Throughout the four-day event, there will be two fireworks displays, a craft show with 115 artisans, business expo, 10K/5K race and fitness expos, and a Kids’ Alley where children can have a hands-on art experience.

Herndon 4th of July Celebration

Join the town of Herndon on Saturday, July 4 for a family-fun event featuring games, patriotic arts and crafts activities, bingo, food, face painting, balloon artists, and of course, fireworks choreographed to music.

Fort Belvoir Oktoberfest

MWR hosts one of the most anticipated events of the year, Fort Belvoir’s 20th Annual Oktoberfest at Fremont Field! Oktoberfest is a four-day festival, highlighting authentic German food, beverages, music and dancing!  Enjoy an exciting carnival, the Krazy Krieger 5K challenge, the Volksmarch 10K Walk, kinder korner activities, prize raffles at sponsor tables and more.  A fun-filled weekend for the whole family!

Falls Church Annual Memorial Day Parade and Festival

Memorial Day Parade and Festival is an annual tradition in Falls Church. The parade is one of the highlights with marching bands, live music, amusement and pony rides, arts and crafts, food, civic and business booths, a 3K run and so much more.

Fall for Fairfax / Kidsfest

Enjoy exciting, interactive and education programs, entertainment and activities. Fall For Fairfax KidsFest is specially designed for families with elementary & Pre-K aged children. Activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, petting zoo, model trains, instrument petting zoo, and the KidWay MidWay (with more than a dozen rides and attractions). And more than 75 exhibits, activities, and great festival food!

Fall Festival, City of Fairfax

What started out as a small market for artisans to display their wares has grown to a festival with over 500 arts, crafts, information, food & gourmet food vendors, children’s activities and three stages of music and entertainment for all ages. Even though the festival has grown up, it retains its hometown character.

Fall Festival and Taste of Falls Church

The annual Fall Festival and Taste of Falls Church is held each September in Cherry Hill Park. Features include live entertainment, pony rides, amusement rides, crafters, businesses and civic organizations, and cuisine from city kitchens. The children’s activity tent offers face painting and craft projects. The Fall Festival is held rain or shine.

DMV Punjabi Mela Festival

The DMV Mela Festival offers a welcoming environment for families and visitors of all ages to enjoy the open air event featuring essential aspects of the local Indian & Pakistani heritage and culture. Guests will enjoy high energy Bhangra, Gidha, and contemporary dances in colorful costumes, interactive performances, Indian and Pakistani food, children’s games, and crafts from local vendors.

Claude Moore Colonial Market Fair

The 18th Century Colonial Market Fair, held three times a year, is a favorite among regular and first-time visitors alike who come from across the country and around the globe to sample the foods and merchandise of the Market Fair.

Celebrate spring at the first Market Fair of the season. Purchase herb and flower plants and shop for the latest fashions in clothing, jewelry, potions and lotions. Play games and watch a children’s puppet theatre. Lunch might be fresh vegetables, roast chicken, sausages and bread. Lemonade and sugar cakes from the Sweets stand and wine or ale from the Tavern provide a break from shopping and the other business of the Fair.

In the summer, sit in the shade and savor roast chicken and spicy sausages, enjoy dancing and singing with the fiddler, test your water color and writing skills with Mr. Andrews at the Stationer. Muster with the militia and re-outfit your home in furniture from the Cabinet Maker. Only at Market Fair can you catch up on the latest news from the frontier, and trade stories while enjoying local ale and porter at the Tavern. Try hands-on crafts such as spinning and dyeing, and shop for goods from the finest merchants in the colonies.

In the fall, warm yourself by the fires and enjoy the splendor of autumn with crisp local apples, warm savory meat pies and hearty breads. Let Market Fair entertainers, tradesmen, and the militia amuse and educate you. Allow Mistress Barrow and Mr. John to entice you with their goods at the Dry Goods and the Gentlemen’s Goods stands. Learn to dip candles or turn a piece of wood on the carpenter’s lathe. Stop by the tavern for a cup of mulled wine before you begin your holiday shopping at the many tradesmen’s and merchants’ stalls.

Chocolate Lover’s Festival

The Chocolate Lovers Festival, an annual two-day festival held on the first full weekend of February, features activities for all to enjoy. Join us for the Taste of Chocolate, the Chocolate Challenge, the ever-popular Kiwanis Chocolate Chip Pancake Breakfast, open houses at historic buildings, and much more.

Chantilly Day

The annual Chantilly Day festival celebrates the Chantilly community. The event will include a business expo, children’s fair, performance stage, Taste of Chantilly and more. The event will benefit the local schools, including Chantilly High and Westfield High.

Celebrate Fairfax

Celebrate Fairfax! is Northern Virginia’s largest community-wide celebration. The annual festival hosts tens of thousands of visitors during the three-day run. The 25-acre site at the government center is magically filled with fascinating sights and sounds of more than 300 exhibitors, food vendors, crafters and interactive activities. Celebrate Fairfax! showcases live concerts on eight stages, ExxonMobil Children’s Avenue, a petting zoo, the Fairfax County Karaoke Championship, carnival rides, and great festival foods. Mainstage performances include the Kongos, 3 Doors Down, and The Amish Outlaws. Nightly fireworks are a highlight of the festival and one of many great family programs.

Car Show and Labor Day Festival

The Clifton Labor Day Car Show is an open show featuring street rods, foreign, customs, antiques, trucks, muscle cars, motorcycles and more! Join the fun in historic City of Fairfax, Virginia, for great cars, food, and music. There will be raffles as well as “Participant Pick” awards and specialty trophies. The first 250 show vehicles receive dash plaques.

Annual Ukulele Festival

July marks the annual ritual when ukulele fans head to the waterfront at Lake Anne and enjoy the tranquil tunes when the plaza hosts its popular Lake Anne Ukulele Festival.  The free festival, in its 6th year, features performances by several internationally known and local ukulele musicians, music demonstrations, an open to the public jam session, festival vendors, and other family friendly activities.  This festival is the only ukulele festival in Northern Virginia, and it has brought thousands of people to Lake Anne from across the region for this event.

Annandale Fall Festival

The Annandale Fall Festival will offer something for everyone in the family and will be held in conjunction with the annual parade for a fun-filled day! Watch as storybook characters, marching bands, clowns, antique cars, and international dancers make their way from the historic white church in Columbia Pike and the Annandale Shopping Center near Gallows Road to the Bowling-Alley Safeway. There will be one hundred vendors including numerous artisan handcrafts in the Community Market and the Kids Zone will host rides and interactive games appropriate for all ages.