Happy character beckoning to the innocent at Workhouse Haunt, Workhouse Arts Center. 


October reminds us that the seasons are changing, and it feels good to have a slight nip in the air. The hardships facing so many in our community remain present in our minds. As we move forward, acknowledging those facing difficulties, we must also celebrate our traditions and culture. It is our diversity and traditions that help bring us together as a community. Americans for the Arts recognized this need and more than 30 years ago dedicated October to celebrating our nation’s cultural offerings. 

National Arts & Humanities Month is a month-long celebration of culture in America. Northern Virginians have the privilege of so many art offerings throughout our locale - Wolf Trap, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, George Mason’s Center for the Arts, NextStop Theatre Company, 1st Stage, and many more – who are eager to engage audiences of all ages.  

You can celebrate our local and national cultural offerings every day in October. Join ArtsFairfax and Americans for the arts in the #ShowYourArt2021 Challenge. Individuals and organizations can share images and videos on your Instagram grid, stories, and reels following the daily unique themes—and whether you post once or 31 times, you’re a part of the celebration. 

Also, this month the region welcomes the long-awaiting opening of Capital One Hall who will feature three Fairfax County arts organizations in October: Fairfax Symphony Orchestra on October 9; Gin Dance Company on October 15; and Virginia Chamber Orchestra on October 23. Visit for a complete listing of local and national productions. 

Local artists bring a unique perspective and vision to their creations. This month The Arts of Great Falls is highlighting seven different talented local artists. You can visit each from the comfort of your home by visiting  

You don’t have to venture far to explore a new literary author. This year Fall for the Book offers a hybrid option where participants can watch a live, interactive event or attend in person. The festival runs through November 2 and presents authors covering a broad spectrum of topics from fiction, nonfiction exploration of the environment and big tech, and new authors. A bonus this year is a Fall for the Book podcast. Visit for more information.

If movies are your passion, local favorite Washington West Film Festival is open October 21 through 25th. This year, the festival is expanding beyond its flagship location of Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center to include Capital One Hall and the ShowPlace Icon Theater at the Boro. The festival celebrates 10 years of highlighting innovative filmmakers and the timely topics they explore. Tickets are required for each screening and can be found at

You can’t close out October without experiencing the art of Halloween. Workhouse Haunt is not for the faint at heart. Set on the grounds of the former District of Columbia’s Correction Facility, Workhouse Haunt is a spooky, spectacular Halloween experience for all ages. The annual Haunt runs through November 7. Tickets are required, and days and times vary. Premium nights October 16, 23, 30, and 31 will feature live entertainment. Pricing varies. Visit to see times, purchase tickets, and learn more.

Whatever your interest, enjoy the art and culture in your community.

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