City of Fairfax, Commission on the Arts

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"The Dancer" Public Art Sculpture  Commission on the Arts Logo 


 The City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts was established in 1979 by the City of Fairfax Council to encourage, promote and to provide opportunity for artistic expression within the city. Since then, the Commission on the Arts has been working to continue the enrichment of the community through funding, information, encouragement, exhibits, education and co-ordination.

Fundinggrants to arts organizations in the City of Fairfax

Information—marketing and publicity of upcoming events.

Encouragement—funding to aid and assist emerging arts groups

Exhibits—provide opportunities for exhibitions 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

To learn more about the Commission on the Arts, its goals and missions, please see the Cultural Arts Strategic Master Plan.

Commission Meetings

Commission on the Arts meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday each month at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center, beginning at 7 p.m.

Please see the City Calendar for the latest information on scheduled events and meetings.


Commission Members


Molly Grimsley
, Chair
An almost lifetime resident of the City, Molly Grimsley 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.

Pat Gallagher

Patricia Gallagher
, Vice Chair
Pat Gallagher 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.


Geoffrey K. Seffens
, Treasurer
Geoff 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.

Ruth Bandler

Ruth Bandler
, Secretary
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.

L Hills

Dr. Laura Hills
, Immediate Past Chair
Dr. 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.

COA Member

Clayton Austin
, Old Town Hall Performance Series
Clayton Austin moved to Fairfax City in 1993 to teach theater at George Mason University. Over the following 23 years he taught courses in technical theater, designed scenery for the Mason Players, was the Production Manager and served as Chair of the Theater Department (2002-2010). Before arriving in Fairfax, Clayton worked in regional theaters across the country, including Virginia's own Barter Theatre. Currently, he is a substitute teacher in theater, art and other subjects for Fairfax County Public Schools.

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
Sharon Clark Chang was 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



Kelly 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 Photo

Mary Lechter
, George Mason University 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.


Stephen Latourette
Steve Latourette moved to Northern Virginia in 1992 and to Fairfax City in 2003. He got his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University in 1991, and worked as a video producer/director/editor and 3D animator for a number of years before learning computer programming, becoming a multimedia web developer. Steve has been involved with music all his life, singing, playing trombone, composing, and arranging. More recently he's been involved with singing and arranging for a cappella. He's currently finishing up a sonata for tuba and piano.

Commission Email:  
Commission on the Arts

Staff Liaison: Megan DuBois, Cultural Arts Manager

How to Join

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 on the Arts, please join us for one of our meetings and bring or send a letter of interest with resume of pertinent experiences to:

Megan DuBois, Cultural Arts Manager
10455 Armstrong Street Suite 123
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-273-6097
Fax: 703-246-6321