Are you an artist or arts organization looking for a place to perform? ArtsFairfax had you in mind when it released its Creative Spaces Toolkit—a handy roadmap to interim activation and use of vacant buildings and spaces and a tool to help create collaboration between the arts sector, property owners, and government officials. While a publication of ArtsFairfax, the toolkit provides step-by-step instructions that be used by artists and arts organizations beyond Fairfax County, Virginia.
As Linda Sullivan, president and CEO of ArtsFairfax, indicated, “The arts are needed to rebuild and heal our community as we emerge from the pandemic.” Artists and arts organizations can help “to not only activate vacant spaces but catalyze the recovery.”
Why a connection between the arts and economic recovery after the pandemic? In Fairfax County, the arts have become an economic engine of about $300 million in economic activity and have generated approximately $20 million in local and state government revenue each year according to available research. ArtsFairfax indicates that the nonprofit arts industry also serves over 93,000 Fairfax County students annually.
With ever-increasing diversity and with over 1.1 million residents, Fairfax County has the largest population among DMV jurisdictions. Of note, Fairfax County ranks as the seventh-richest county in the nation based on median household income. The median household income for county residents was $122,277, almost two times the national figure.
Unfamiliar with ArtsFairfax and its mission? It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, incorporated in 1964 as Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency. The mission of ArtsFairfax is to be the voice of the arts, dedicated to fostering dynamic and diverse local arts, ensuring that arts thrive by providing vision, leadership, capacity-building services, advocacy, funding, education, and information.