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New Art To Spotlight This Year

Four-week festival opens in Fairfax this weekend.

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The Fairfax festival is a spotlight on the arts, and not just in name only. Think of it as a month-long scavenger hunt: find all these scenes in Fairfax, beginning this weekend.

Call it the rule of fours. Spotlight on the Arts features four categories of entertainment: music, dance, theatre and visual art. Joanna Ormesher, the cultural tourism and marketing manager for the City of Fairfax, is coordinating the festival for the fourth year — and she has events scheduled for the next four weeks. Not to mention, of course, that “Spotlight on the Arts” is four words.

The annual festival is both exhibit and fund raiser, according to Ormesher. “We raise money that goes to young people for scholarships — city and county students — for the arts, but we also showcase people in the arts.”

Featured artists are professionals, community groups and area students. Spotlight for the Arts, which officially runs from April 18 through May 6 but includes events into mid-May, is proof of the City of Fairfax’s commitment to the arts, according to Ormesher. “The importance of arts in the city, it’s fantastic,” she said. “On a very personal level, it is so good for the community.”

This year, Ormesher said more groups asked to be included in the festivities. “I’m really excited about this year because of the new people who are coming here.”

A reception and musicale performance on Friday, April 18, 8 p.m., at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, is the Spotlight’s start. The weekend will include opera, orchestra and bluegrass performances, along with the opening reception for a Fairfax Art League and Fairfax High School exhibit. Later highlights include a “Snow White” ballet, German and Irish dancing, Fairfax High School theater’s presentation of “Beauty and the Beast” and a handful of outdoor events, including a musical petting zoo, “Jazz on the Lawn” and the opening day for the downtown Fairfax farmer’s market.

Ormesher thinks this year’s Spotlight of the Arts will be an improvement from last year due to several new performers and a different tone in the festival. “Last year, we had a very unusual year with the Virginia Tech shooting,” Ormesher said. “There was something that didn’t feel quite the same as usual … It was terribly, terribly, terribly tragic, and I think everyone felt it.” Many people are still feeling stress this year with economic and political uncertainty, but Ormesher hopes the festival can serve to lighten the mood. “We can’t change things," she said. "Things are tough, we’ve got all this stuff going on, but you know, 90 percent of these events are free of charge, so if someone wants to come and sit down and enjoy it, they can. We’ve got a lot there for people to enjoy.”

For more information on any of the events, as well as updates to the schedule, visit www.fairfaxspotlight.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

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Spotlight Events

Art

A student all-media art show continues through April 25 at the Verizon Gallery of the Ernst Community and Cultural Center on the NVCC Annandale Campus, 8333 Little River Turnpike. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit www.nvcc.edu.

Fairfax Art League exhibit and Fairfax High School student art show, April 19 through May 5, at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Opening reception is 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, and includes Art League presentations and refreshments from the American Association of University Women. Call 703-352-ARTS or visit www.fairfaxartleague.com.

The Chesapeake Lace Guild Festival will be Saturday, April 26, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. The day includes a free lecture at 11 a.m., “Christening Gowns – History, Styles, Materials and Embellishments” by heirloom sewing instructor, Regina Madory Walters, followed by lace demonstrations and instruction. Visit www.crig.org.

Art in the Park at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax, Saturday, May 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. includes A Class Act – Acting for Young People performing “Doister 2000,” followed by a musical petting zoo with the City of Fairfax band and an afternoon art workshop before the artists from the Fairfax Art League work in the Kitty Pozer Garden. Call 703-352-ARTS.

Dance

Polka ‘til You Drop with the German band Alte Kameraden, 8 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. German beers and pastries add to the atmosphere. Free. Call 703-978-8642 or visit www.fairfaxband.org.

The Virginia Ballet Company presents “Snow White,” Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27, 2 and 7 p.m. both days at the Ernst Cultural Center Theater, NVCC Annandale Campus, 8333 Little River Turnpike. General admission tickets are $25, students 13-22 are $20, children 12 and under and seniors are $15. Seating is reserved, to purchase tickets call 703-249-8227.

Head over Heels Swing Dance, Wednesday, April 30, 7 p.m. with Mike and Tina Foley and Thursday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. with the Natty Beaux band. Both events are at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Admission is $10. Call 703-424-1745 or visit www.headoverheelsdance.com.

The George Mason University dance company performs Thursday through Saturday, May 1-3, 8 p.m. at the university’s dance performance studios. Tickets are $10 adults, $7 students and seniors. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

Dance Ireland Dance, and Irish Ceili with Irish big band and country & step dancing with the Bog Wanderers Ceili Band, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3 at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Free. Beer and refreshments available. Call 703-978-8265.

Dancers, gymnasts and actors perform as Diavolo, Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 at 8 p.m. at the George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $22, $36 and $44. Call 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com.

Music

Classic Gems and a World Premiere by the NVCC Annandale Symphony Orchestra, Friday, April 18, 8 p.m. at the Ernst Cultural Center Theater, NVCC Annandale Campus, 8333 Little River Turnpike. Program includes work by Beethoven, Schubert, Khachaturian, Sibelius, Bizet and the premier of “21,” a composition by student Philip Quy Mai as a tribute to Washington Redskins player Sean Taylor. Tickets are $15, $10 students and seniors, children are free. Contact 703-569-0973 or joseph@pincus.org.

The Virginia Opera presents “Lucia di Lammermoor” Friday, April 18, 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 20, 2 p.m. at the George Mason University Center for the Arts concert hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $44, $72 and $86 Friday, $48, $78 and $94 Sunday. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

The Fairfax Saxophone Quartet and Friends present “FSQ On Broadway,” Saturday, April 19, 8 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Program includes work by Cohan, Gershwin, Berstein, Berlin, Porter and Huff. Call 703-978-4370 or visit www.fairfaxband.org.

The Fairfax United Methodist Church’s children’s choirs present a musical version of the story of David and Goliath, “The Rock Slinger and His Greatest Hit,” Sunday, April 20, 9:30 and 11 a.m. at the church, 10300 Stratford Ave., Fairfax. Call 703-591-3120 or visit www.fairfaxumc.org.

Bluegrass Bonanza, Sunday, April 20, 6 p.m. at the Auld Shebeen Irish Restaurant and Pub, 3971 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax. Reservations are recommended. Featured bands are A Taste of Bluegrass, Speedy Tolliver and the New Old Time String Band and Skystone Bluegrass Band. Cover charge of $10. Call 703-293-9600 or visit www.theauldshebeenva.com.

Peter McCory’s One-Man Band is part of the Old Town Hall Children’s Series, Monday, April 21, 10:30 a.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Free. Visit www.fairfaxarts.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

The George Mason University chamber ensembles perform, 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 at the Harris Theater at the university, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Visit www.fairfaxarts.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

Laura Jackson and friends, Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Visit www.fairfaxarts.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra performs a program of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Beethoven, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts concert hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Tickets range from $25 to $55. Call 703-563-1990 or visit www.fairfaxsymphony.org.

An Appalachian Spring with the Celtibillies, Sunday, April 27, 2 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Visit www.fairfaxarts.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

The MusicLink recital features area students, 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27 at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Call 703-845-0544 or visit www.musiclinkfoundation.org.

“The Three B’s: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms,” is the Northern Virginia Chorale’s program Friday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts concert hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Advance tickets are $15, $10 for students, and $5 additional at the door. Children are free. To purchase, call 703-239-2180.

George Mason University’s Opera performs 8 p.m. Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 at the Harris Theater at the university, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 students and seniors. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

“Jazz on the Lawn” at the Veterans Amphitheater on the lawn at City Hall, Armstrong Street, Fairfax, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 4. Bring a chair or blanket. Several community and school groups will perform. Visit www.fairfaxarts.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

2008’s George Mason University Scholarship Concert will be at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts concert hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, 7 p.m. Sunday, May 4. The performance features the University Symphony Orchestra, choirs and concerto soloists. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 students and seniors. Call 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

The City of Fairfax Band closes its season in a concert Sunday, May 4, 7 p.m. at Kena Temple, 9001 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax. Featured performers are pianist Elena Ulyanova and clarinet Sarah Dickson. Tickets are $13 for adults, $7 for seniors and students. Call 703-757-0200 or visit www.fairfaxband.org.

The American Youth Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble performs Sunday, May 4, 2 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Admission is free and a reception will follow. Call 703-642-8051, ext. 22 or visit www.ayporchestras.org.

Mr. Skip, Fairfax’s Music Man, is part of the Old Town Hall Children’s Series, Monday, May 5, 10:30 a.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Free. Visit www.fairfaxarts.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

Journey through sound with the Classical Kids Club and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Monday, May 5, 2-3 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Free. Call 703-993-ARTS or visit www.fairfaxsymphony.org.

George Mason student Adrianna Sgarlata, soprano, performs her graduate recital “An Afternoon of Song,” Monday, May 5, 4:30-5:30 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. Visit www.fairfaxarts.org or call 703-352-ARTS.

Theater

“Measure for Measure” with the George Mason University Players – Mainstage at the TheatreSpace at the university’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. Performances are 8 p.m. April 24, 25 and May 1, 2 and 3 and 2 p.m. April 26, May 3 and 4. Admission is $12 adults, $8 students and seniors. Call 703-993-2787 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.

A Class Act – Acting for Young People presents “Doister 2000,” Saturday, May 3, 11 a.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. The show, for ages 8 and up, mixes verse and modern language for a fresh take on a play by Nicholas Udall. Admission is free. Contact Mary Lechter at 703-307-5332 or visit www.actingforyoungpeople.com.