City of Fairfax, Commission on the Arts

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 "The Dancer" Public Art Sculpture

 Commission on the Arts Logo

Who are We ?

The City of Fairfax is a vibrant and thriving community with much to offer businesses, residents and artists. The City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts was created by the City of Fairfax Council in 1979 to encourage, to promote and to provide opportunity for artistic expression within the city. The Commission is working to continue the enrichment of the community through funding, information, encouragement, exhibits, education, and co-ordination.

Funding—grants to arts organizations in the City of Fairfax.
Information—marketing and publicity of upcoming arts events. 
Encouragement—funding to aid and assist emerging arts groups. 
Exhibits—provide opportunities for exhibition of works of art. 
Education—support programs designed to increase understanding and appreciation of the arts in City schools.
Co-ordination—working with area arts organizations to open new avenues and venues for the arts in the city.

Commission meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday in the month, at 7pm in the City Hall Work Session Room

September 19, 2017    
October 17, 2017    Minutes  
November 13, 2017      
December 19, 2017  Agenda    
January 16, 2018  Agenda    
February 20, 2018      
March 20, 2018      
April 17, 2018      
May 15, 2018      
June 19, 2017      

Commission Members

L HillsDr. Laura Hills (Chairman)   Laura Hills is the music specialist at Fairfax Nursing Center and other facilities in Fairfax, where she conducts music appreciation programs focusing on classic Broadway show tunes and jazz standards. Dr. Hills is the president of Blue Pencil Institute, where she provides personal and professional development for career professionals through writing, speaking, and coaching. She a City of Fairfax resident and an active member of The Rotary Club of Fairfax.  

 Claudia LewisClaudia Lewis (Vice Chair) Claudia Lewis moved to the City of Fairfax in 1963 after living in Australia for 3 years .  While attending Old Fairfax High School, she was actively involved in performing arts.  During her years of living in Fairfax, she has been a consummate volunteer - giving back to the urban village she loves.  She served as President of the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, served on the Planning Commission, was on the Board of Directors of Historic Fairfax City Inc., and involved in many other community organizations including the Garden Club of Fairfax.  She received both her BA and her Masters in International Policy from GMU.  Claudia is the Director of Community Relations for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington DC and is excited to join the other Commission members to assure that cultural arts continue to thrive in our community.  


 Geoffrey K. Seffens (Treasurer) Geoffrey K. Seffens is a native of the City of Fairfax.  He graduated from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and served as a Fairfax County Public Schools band director for 32 years, with 28 years at Sidney Lanier Middler School.  He has performed extensively in and around the Washington area as a trumpeter and conductor.




MollyMolly Grimsley (Secretary).   An almost lifetime resident of the City, Molly earned her BA from GMU in studio art.  She has worked in the arts for over 25 years at Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Museum of African Art, and currently at the National Portrait Gallery. She has been a professional member of AAM, RC-AAM, and VAM.

Ruth BandlerRuth Bandler, City of Fairfax Band Association Representative  Ruth Bandler moved to Northern Virginia in 1978, from New York and Boston, and immediately became active in the local music community, beginning with the City of Fairfax Band.  She is an Officer and Board member of the City of Fairfax Band Association and serves as the City Band’s Percussion Section Leader.  She is also a member and past music librarian of the Kings Park Concert Band.  She has performed with many groups throughout the Washington area, from symphonic bands and orchestras, to jazz bands, to community theater pit orchestras.  She supported the city’s Independence Day activities by serving on the city’s Independence Day Celebration Committee.  Ruth has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in environmental microbiology and engineering from Harvard University where she played in the concert and marching bands. In her "day job" she works at the Food and Drug Administration as an Operations Research Analyst in the Office of the Chief Scientist. 

Alice Bredin-Karny PhotoAlice Bredin-Karny.  An Elementary Art Specialist with Fairfax County Public Schools and has worked     with children from gifted to autistic; pre-K to 12th grade. She has worked with the Dept. of Education in developing Art SOL guidelines for the state of Virginia. Alice is a Fine Arts graduate of Lynchburg College and has a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a professional member of NAEA and VAEA, as well as the Fairfax Art League. As the owner of Pumpkin Seed Interiors, Inc. she offers home interior design consultation. Alice is a resident of the City of Fairfax.

C Caputo

Carol Ann Caputo, Fairfax Art League Representative.   Carol Ann Caputo is in her second term on the City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts. She is a past president of The Fairfax Art League, and current Gallery Chairman in their Old Town Hall Gallery.  Carol is a photographer who exhibits her photographs with The Fairfax Art League. She is a retired registered nurse, who now spends her time with family, friends, and the arts.


Sharon Chang Sharon Clark Chang.  Raised in Richmond, Virginia, and has lived in the City of Fairfax for many years.  After an 18 year career with the CIA's Clandestine Services in domestic and foreign assignments, she worked in advocacy for minority Americans. Still later she formed a one-of-a-kind consultancy serving minority-owned small businesses. She currently lives in the City of Fairfax, not far from the sites of the  'Escaped Alone' action.  'Escaped Alone' is her first book  - A Memoir of an Incomplete Southerner!


Deborah Dillard

Pat GallagherPatricia Gallagher  Pat joined the Commission on the Arts in 2015 with a professional background in law and accounting.  In terms of the arts, Pat has a  special interest in arts management, including grants compliance; diverse programming; and fundraising.  In terms of parks and recreation, she spent summers in high school and college working for a suburban park department, so has had a longstanding interest in supporting and advancing the use and enjoyment of city parks and recreational activities.

KellyHermanKelly Herman Kelly Herman has a dedicated history to the arts beginning with an undergraduate degree in History of Art from the Ohio State University. She later received her law degree from the University of Akron. Kelly has served as a member of various arts councils in the past.  She has been an avid supporter of the arts and patron to several cultural resources in the local area.  Kelly is Corporate Counsel in the Export/Import Law Department at Northrop Grumman.  She is grateful for the opportunity to join the other Commission members in its mission to make the City a cultural arts mecca.  


Mary Lechter PhotoMary Lechter, George Mason Representative.  Mary Lechter is a professional actress who has appeared on stage, television, film and radio. She is Founder & Artistic Director of Acting for Young People, celebrating 15 years of providing professional-level theater training to families in Northern Virginia. Mary is also Associate Director of Potomac Arts Academy at George Mason University, where she serves on the School of Theater performance faculty.


JasonJason Scadron  - Jason is a Film maker and Videographer working in the Region.  He  graduated from George Mason University with a BA in English.  he's bee with the Commission since 2005. He is currently working on the City of Fairfax Film Fest.  He was commissioned by The City of Fairfax Band to create a film of the Band and it's achievements. It currently shows at the Museum & Visitor Center



Leon Long PhotoLeon Long, Huddleston Library at Old Town Hall Representative -  Leon is a lifelong resident of Fairfax City.  He is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a Master's Degree in Political Science.  Moreover, he is the author of a book (Sometimes Even Heroes Hide) and he is interested in advancing the literary arts in Fairfax.  Since retiring, Leon has volunteered as the librarian at the Huddleson Library located in Old Town Hall.


JodySteinJody Stein, Old Town Hall Performance Series Representative - Jody took over the booking and running of the Old Town Hall Performance Series form Bonita Lestina back in 2004.  She still does all the booking, sources new and exciting artists.  She works with the artists to make sure the artistic content and programs are of a consistently high quality.  Jody has also played flute with the City of Fairfax Band since 1990.  She also plays with other Flute Choirs in the Northern Virginia area. Her husband, Larry, is a prominent City Attorney  - she has three children – all grown. A  chef, an attorney and her youngest son is studying abroad.


Do you want to be an active advocate for the Arts?

Have you been a City resident for the past year?
Are you a registered voter in the City?  

Volunteer to serve with the Commission on the Arts!
If you are interested in working with the Commission please come along to one of our meetings,  then send a letter of interest and resume of pertinent experiences to:

Joanna Ormesher  Cultural Arts & Marketing Director,  10455 Armstrong Street, Suite 123 Fairfax, VA 22030 Phone: 703-273-6097 Fax: 703-246-6321

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