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 and play, learn about creativity in the classroom and celebrate visionaries in the arts.

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, Sept. 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 that is located 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, Sept. 14, 8:30 – 11 a.m. Dr. Kimberly Sheridan, associate professor 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.

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Internationally renowned visual artist Foon Sham was recognized as the Arts Achievement recipient by ARTSFAIRFAX.


Stephen Roberts is the recipient of the Arts Philanthropy Award for his commitment to foster the development and growth of the arts through the Ross-Roberts Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

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 Sept. 22. 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 Supervisors 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, Oct. 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 Grant program. These grants are designed to strengthen capacity, improving management practices to support creating healthy, successful and resilient arts organizations. The application deadline is Sept. 25, 2019. Visit for more information.

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