Closings and cancelations have taken place across the country and arts organizations and artists are facing an uncertain economic future. COVID-19 is having disastrous financial consequences on the arts sector, an essential part of Fairfax’s local economy. The lasting impact is unknown, but predictors indicate many small nonprofits arts organizations will close their doors, leaving individuals unemployed and a hole in the culture of our community.

A statewide survey from the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) found that 35% of artists and arts organizations are expecting to close their doors. The Fairfax County government, organizations, and individuals are responding to the needs of the arts community with grants and individual donations and providing opportunities for you to help.

Matching Fund for Individual Artists

Community arts supporters Pat and Steve Macintyre have announced a charitable $10,000 matching challenge donation through ArtsFairfax to benefit individual artists impacted by COVID-19. Funds raised will support individual artists who continue to see the economic crisis escalate with canceled performances, exhibits, festivals, classes, residencies resulting in the loss of ticket sales, contract income, employment and the closure of arts venues. Donations may be made directly at Donors are encouraged to meet the donation match by August 31, 2020.

Visit and search the Arts Directory to learn more about the many artists and arts organization in our community you can support.

ArtsFairfax Honors Two Artists

Individual artists play an essential role in creating artistic offerings and opportunities in Northern Virginia. ArtsFairfax Artist Grants recognizes Fairfax County artists’ who have achieved individual success and demonstrated a history of accomplishment. This year ArtsFairfax awarded visual artist and Falls Church resident Sarah Hardesty and Fairfax writer Diane Zinna with the 2020 Artist Grant. Each recipient receives a 5,000 award. 

Hardesty is an Assistant Professor of Art at Marymount University. She has received recognition for her work, including her over 50 solo and group exhibitions, nine awards, and residences and 11 grant awards. 

Zinna’s Artist Grant recognizes her writing and long-standing involvement in mentoring young writers, and her own artistry as an author. Her first novel, The All-Night Sun, is about a journey through grief and loss, will be published by Random House in August. 

An Artistic Response Guide

Surviving, responding to and engaging the community through the arts is becoming more the norm.  The arts bring creative, effective and social responses to communities during and after a crisis.  The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture has created a guide, “Art Became The Oxygen: An Artistic Response Guide” for artists, emergency management agencies, policy-makers and communities.  The guide targets artists, resource providers and those on call when the crisis occurs. Readers will learn first-person experiences and guidance from those who engaged in artistic responses from Katrina to Ferguson and includes links to art projects and emergency resources.  

Summer Fun with the Arts

Are you looking for summer arts fun?  Summer arts programs are happening online in Fairfax.  There are many programs to choose from including Ballet Nova, Workhouse Arts Center, Creating Cauldron and so many more.  Visit to check out a list of online camps, summer drive-ins and drive-by theater to keep you entertained.

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