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ArtsFairfax to award Capital One Hall, GMU book festival, and more

A visitor walks into Capital One Hall in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

For a second year in a row, ArtsFairfax will hold its annual celebration of the local arts community on Oct. 28 at Capital One Hall, which also happens to be one of this year’s award recipients.

The Tysons performing arts venue will receive the Jinx Hazel Arts Award, the top honor from ArtsFairfax, the nonprofit Fairfax County arts agency announced last Tuesday (May 17).

The 2022 Arts Awards will also honor philanthropists Gary and Tina Mather, actor and former Reston Community Center assistant technical director Mark Brutsché, and George Mason University’s Fall for the Book festival, which will get a new Innovation Award.

“We are delighted to honor the remarkable contributions of this year’s Arts Awards honorees, who have all demonstrated a deep commitment to our community and to making Fairfax arts and culture more accessible,” ArtsFairfax President and CEO Linda Sullivan said in the news release.

According to ArtsFairfax, the awards ceremony draws approximately 300 patrons every year. The 2021 awards were among the first events hosted by Capital One Hall, which opened on Oct. 1 at 7750 Capital One Tower Road.

Proceeds from the awards support the nonprofit’s activities, which include artist residencies, grants, promotion of local arts and cultural organizations, and advocacy for the arts.

ArtsFairfax announced on Thursday (May 19) that it had received a $55,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to expand its artist residency program, which currently places professional artists in middle schools across the county to help educate students.

With the grant, the nonprofit says it will bring artists to a public elementary school, a public library, a county park, a community center, and an affordable housing development.

“By placing professional artists in communities with less access to arts, artists in residence can share their art form and spark creativity for participants of all ages,” ArtsFairfax said.

Here’s more from ArtsFairfax on this year’s Arts Awards recipients:

Jinx Hazel Arts Award: Capital One Hall

Capital One Hall is this year’s recipient of the Jinx Hazel Arts Award, ArtsFairfax’s premier award recognizing an individual or organization whose vision and commitment has helped shape the cultural life of Fairfax County.

Part of Capital One Center’s vibrant array of public art, entertainment, and retail, Capital One Hall opened in October 2021 and encompasses a 1,600-seat performance hall designed for Broadway productions, comedy, dance performances, and concerts; The Vault, a 225-seat black box theatre; and multiple other spaces for large and small events. In partnership with ArtsFairfax and the County, the world-class performance venue is also available for local community use. Capital One Hall is truly a beacon of entertainment and an investment in the quality of life for the Fairfax region.

Arts Philanthropy Award: Gary and Tina Mather

With the arts as a cornerstone of their philanthropic portfolio, Gary and Tina Mather are this year’s Arts Philanthropy Award recipients.

As Board members and longtime supporters of the Wolf Trap Foundation for Performing Arts, the Mathers invested in the renovation and expansion of The Filene Center and the Foundation’s education programs, ensuring the longevity of Wolf Trap, and Fairfax County, as an entertainment destination.

With the Inova Foundation Board, on which Mr. Mather serves, Gary and Tina Mather support affordable patient care and were the principal investors of the Mather Proton Center at Inova Schar Cancer Institute.

Together, Gary and Tina Mather are also strong supporters of the National Symphony, Washington Performing Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Middleburg Film Festival, as well as Safespot, Jack Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, and 100 Women Strong.

Arts Achievement Award: Mark Brutsché

Actor, director, and playwright Mark Brutsché is the 2022 Arts Achievement Award recipient for his outstanding career achievement and lasting contributions to the community.

A professional actor for the last 45 years, Brutsché has worked in film, radio, television, and on stage, including 19 years of rotating in and out of the cast of Shear Madness at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a run at the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater with the “informance” about clowning, Two Fruits without a Peel.

As the Artistic Director of the Young Actors Theatre and the former Assistant Technical Director at Reston Community Center, Brutsché brings his four decades of professional experience to educating young performers ages 7-16 in the disciplines of voice, dance, and acting. Through Young Actors Theatre, which trains approximately 150 kids annually, Brutsché encourages his young performers to participate in all aspects of mounting a production, and more importantly, inspires the next generation of arts lovers to gain the experience of belonging in a community effort.

Arts Innovation Award: Fall for the Book

New in 2022, the Arts Innovation Award recognizes an organization that has implemented nontraditional or inventive approaches to their art form and has uniquely engaged audiences in the arts. In recognition of their forward-thinking literary programming, Fall for the Book is the Arts Innovation Award’s inaugural recipient.

Based at George Mason University, Fall for the Book is the nonprofit literary arts organization redefining the notion of what a book festival can be. They annually attract 20,000 live and on-demand attendees as well as a notable roster of authors including Kristin Hannah (Firefly Lane), Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give) and Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow), among numerous others.

In addition to the Festival, Fall for the Book hosts “Pop-Up Lit Nights,” a spring series of monthly readings in the City of Fairfax. During the pandemic, they offered inventive virtual offerings including “The Extraordinary Educational Journey of Frederick Douglass,” an invaluable online curriculum resource for Fairfax County Public School teachers, and “Around the World in Five Novels,” a continent-jumping dialogue featuring authors from Chile, England, India, and the U.S. With the motto, “A Writer for Every Reader,” Fall for the Book is committed to diverse representation of writers from every genre, walk of life, part of the globe, and stage of their career, and they extend those values to other programs they’ve fostered, including a Writers-in-the-Schools program and a small press.

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