Nonprofit Brings Free Arts Learning Experiences to Five Locations throughout Fairfax County
ArtsFairfax is expanding the Artist Residency Program to new locations throughout Fairfax County. Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the ArtsFairfax Artist Residency Program will embed professional performing and visual artists at a Fairfax County park, library, school, community center, and an affordable housing community to bring interactive arts opportunities to neighborhoods underserved in the arts.
As the nonprofit designated as Fairfax County’s local arts agency, ArtsFairfax offers services to support arts access throughout the county. For 2022-23, ArtsFairfax partners with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS), Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL), Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA), and Wesley Housing to reach participants of all ages in areas with limited arts programming.
“Everything we do to increase access to the arts is rooted in the belief that meaningful arts experiences are transformative for all of us, regardless of age or lived experiences. We are so grateful to the County agencies for their partnership in helping ArtsFairfax expand our reach into the communities that need it the most,” said Linda S. Sullivan, ArtsFairfax President & CEO.
“Arts and humanities go hand-in-hand to spark the imagination and nurture creativity. We’re thrilled to launch ArtsFairfax Artist Residencies at the John Marshall Library to inspire and engage the community with visual art,” added Kevin Osborne, Deputy Library Director of Fairfax County Public Library.
Through residencies ranging from one to four months, participants of all ages will benefit by working side-by-side with professional artists and receiving arts instruction that otherwise might not be available to them. These free, interactive arts experiences will provide participants with a creative outlet, help them gain skills in the arts, and foster intergenerational engagement and collaboration.
“I’ve worked with all ages on creating carved ceramic relief tiles inspired by personal stories. It has been remarkable and joyful to see middle school students participate so openly and to see older adults illustrate important memories and life events. I feel so fortunate to have the support of ArtsFairfax to share my talent and promote empathy by helping my community make connections through art,” says Suzy Scollon, a professional visual artist based in Fairfax.
Registration for the ArtsFairfax Artist Residency at John Marshall Library opens November 17
To register or to learn more about the artists, visit ArtsFairfax.org/ArtistResidency.
The ArtsFairfax Artist Residency Program was designed to provide high-quality arts experiences to fill opportunity gaps for marginalized communities throughout the county. To that end, the program trains Fairfax County professional artists in community engagement, creative aging, and creative youth development, including best practices in anti-racism, anti-ageism, and anti-ableism. The training also connects artist peers in the program to strengthen their collective knowledge.
Through previous placements at Fairfax County public middle schools and senior centers, ArtsFairfax Artist Residencies have demonstrated the benefits of interactive learning experiences through the arts: in the school setting, artist residencies enhance students’ learning skills in creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration; and at senior centers, older adults participate in social situations, self-expression and learning new skills.
The ArtsFairfax Artist Residency is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Dimick Foundation, among others.
ArtsFairfax is the nonprofit designated as Fairfax County’s local arts agency. Dedicated to the belief that arts are essential to a thriving community, the ArtsFairfax mission is to expand support for and access to arts and culture opportunities for Fairfax County’s more than 1.2 million residents. By offering informational, financial, and programmatic services, ArtsFairfax promotes the role of arts and culture to deepen social engagement, create a sense of place, and fuel economic growth. Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) since 1964, ArtsFairfax provides these services to all who contribute to and experience arts in Fairfax County, and is funded in part by the County, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as corporations, foundations, and individuals.
[Source: ArtsFairfax press release|