On May 20 and 21, 2017, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival—held at the Reston Town Center and organized every year by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE)—was a big success. The event helped support GRACE, the largest non-profit in Reston devoted solely to the visual arts. According to Lily Siegel, executive director and curator at the Greater Reston Arts Center, a crowd of an estimated 20,000-30,000 people attended the festival over the course of the weekend, raising half of GRACE’s operating budget for the fiscal year.
“The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is a marquee cultural event for the area, and it is also GRACE’s largest fundraiser,” said Siegel. “GRACE does not receive funds from sales of artwork, but it does receive other sources of event income – from sponsorships to in-kind donations and cash collected at the gates and information booths.”
The festival featured works from more than 200 juried artists, dance performers, a children’s crafts area, and fun activities for the entire family.
Attendees were able to enjoy a vast array of works of art, including painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, jewelry, and decorative home artifacts.
“For artists, this is one of the most competitive fine arts festivals in the country to gain acceptance into, and it shows,” said Siegel. “Response from the public and the artists was overwhelmingly positive. We repeatedly heard that this year’s festival had the highest quality of work on display yet; it continues to get stronger every year.”
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival was named one of “America’s Best Art Fairs,” in the 3rd Annual “America’s Best Art Fair Awards” competition.
GRACE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Reston, and its mission is to ensure access and opportunity for engagement in the arts to all residents, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or income. Admission to the GRACE gallery is always free, as are many of its programs.
“This all goes hand-in-hand with the mission of making the festival an extension of the gallery experience available to the public throughout the year at the Greater Reston Arts Center,” said Siegel.
Mark your calendar for next year: The 27th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival will be held on May 19-20, 2018.
For more information about GRACE and its programs, please visit www.restonarts.org.