Email signup

Local teachers win grants from Wolf Trap Foundation for performing arts projects

Left to right: Fairfax High School teacher Meredith Barnes, Groveton Elementary School teacher Karine Chapdelaine and Robinson Secondary School band director Tiffany Hitz (headshots courtesy of the individuals)

Three Fairfax County Public Schools teachers will now be able to pursue unique arts projects with their students, thanks to financial assistance from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

A nonprofit that supports and programs Wolf Trap National Park, the foundation announced on Feb. 20 that it has awarded 13 grants from an annual program for D.C. area educators who teach music, dance or theater at public schools.

This year’s FCPS recipients were Fairfax High School dance arts teacher Meredith Barnes, Groveton Elementary School music and orchestra teacher Karine Chapdelaine-Walker, and Robinson Secondary School’s middle school bands director, Tiffany Hitz.

In addition to getting funding for their projects, the grant winners get to bring their classes to Wolf Trap for a “celebratory day of learning” on April 25 that will include performances by the high school students at The Barns at Wolf Trap, according to a press release.

“Wolf Trap’s Grants for Performing Arts Teachers provides teachers with grants to fund innovative performing arts projects,” said Cate Bechtold, Wolf Trap Foundation’s director of internships and community programs. “Because of their grants, teachers can expand the scope of their projects, bring in professional artists, incorporate new technologies, or create additional resources, providing extra learning opportunities for their students.”

According to the release, Barnes requested a grant for a show called “Dance for a Change” that Fairfax High School students will develop with a dance historian and guest artists from the Bethesda-based theater organization Imagination Stage.

“Students will choreograph small group pieces by drawing inspiration from American dance icons who used their work to address injustices,” the release said. “This will allow students to leverage the power of the arts as a means of social commentary.”

Chapdelaine-Walker and Hitz are both among the recipients of the program’s first-ever middle school grants.

For her project, titled “Musicians for a Change,” Chapdelaine-Walker will work with Groveton Elementary’s sixth-grade orchestra students to create a “unique musical piece centered around student-identified social justice issues” to demonstrate music’s value “as a tool for advocacy and self-expression.”

Meanwhile, Hitz’s band students will learn the piece “All My Heart” — with its composer Michael Markowski as their mentor.

“Students will have the opportunity to connect with a professional composer and meaningfully engage with the composition process, allowing them to experience a new instrumental arrangement, and explore the composer’s experience in creating work,” the press release said.

Funded by contributions from the defense contractor General Dynamics, the Grants for Performing Arts Teachers program awards up to $5,000 to high school teachers and up to $2,500 to middle school teachers. The exact amount depends on each project’s scope and needs, but the majority “require the full amount,” according to the Wolf Trap Foundation.

Last year, the foundation awarded only eight grants, including ones to Annandale High School orchestra director Annie Ray and Mount Vernon High School music teacher Al Rodriguez. Ray more recently gained national recognition as the winner of the 2024 Grammy Music Educator Award.

In addition to the FCPS grantees, the 2024 grant recipients include teachers from D.C. and Loudoun, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Recent Stories

Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…

Pints and palettes will collide next month at the Workhouse Arts Center’s annual BrewWorks beer and arts festival in Lorton. On Saturday, May 18, from noon to 5 p.m., attendees…

Realty company Terreno Realty Corporation may have plans for a cluster of warehouses called the Fleet Industrial Park in Franconia. The company recently announced that it purchased 6584-6674 Fleet Drive,…

Fairfax County Public School Board members have finalized a first draft of the division’s new boundary adjustment policy, which is scheduled for a full board review next month. The major…

Unlike our competitors, Well-Paid Maids doesn’t clean your home with harsh chemicals. Instead, we handpick cleaning products rated “safest” by the Environmental Working Group, the leading rating organization regarding product safety.

The reason is threefold.

First, using safe cleaning products ensures toxic chemicals won’t leak into waterways or harm wildlife if disposed of improperly.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

There’s a reason Well-Paid Maids has hundreds of positive reviews from happy clients in the D.C. area.

The home cleaning company pays cleaners — who are W-2 employees — a living wage starting at $24 an hour. Plus, cleaners are offered benefits, including insurance, 24 paid days off a year, 100% employer-paid commuting costs and more.

Lexi Grant, an operations manager at Well-Paid Maids, said it best: “People deserve their work to be respected and recognized. When that happens, you love what you do, and you create the best results.”

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Dream, Design, Build: Home Expo 2024

Sponsored by ABW Appliances & Eden, join us for a one-of-a-kind Home Expo event on May 11th from 10AM to 4PM!

The DMV’s top experts — AKG Design Studio and GMJ Construction — are opening their doors to homeowners to

Ravel Dance Company presents The Sleeping Beauty at Capital One…

Be transported to the magical kingdom of Princess Aurora, where the wicked Carabosse casts a curse that dooms the Princess and her entire kingdom. Set to the spectacular Tchaikovsky score, this beloved classic will sweep you away with its beauty,


Subscribe to our mailing list