Fine Arts Overview

Fine and Performing Arts ... where every child discovers value, vision, and voice.

The Fine Arts program provides a comprehensive, sequential and cumulative arts education for over 150,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12. Elementary art and general music instruction are provided to all students in kindergarten through grade 6. In addition, band and orchestra instruction is offered at the elementary level. Band instruction is offered to students in grades 5 and 6. Orchestra instruction is offered to students in grades 4 through 6, and to students in grade 3 at seven schools. At the middle and high school levels, a wide range of elective course offerings in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts are available for students. Additional fine arts experiences include the following school board sponsored student programs, 6th grade All County Choral Festival, Cappies Critics and Awards Program, fine arts field trips for students in grades 4, 6, and 7, Institute for the Arts, Instruments for All, and the Scholastic Art Awards Program.

Annual Programs

  • 6th Grade All County Choral Festival

The Sixth Grade All-County Choral Festival is a two-day event that involves over 900 students from elementary schools across Fairfax County. Students are selected by audition and participate in extra choral rehearsals leading up to the event. The choral festival culminates with a spectacular student concert led by a conductor who specializes is working with children’s choirs. The festival and concert promote the highest level of choral skill and performance at the elementary level and provide teacher leadership opportunities.

The Cappies, "Critics and Awards Program," is a program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. The Cappies Gala is the culminating event where individual students, casts, and school productions are recognized for achievement.  The program serves 24 FCPS high schools and approximately 2,500 students.

  • Fine Arts Field Trips

The Fine Arts office coordinates and funds field trips for approximately 25,000 students annually, including all 4th grade students to attend a National Symphony Orchestra performance, all 6th grade students to visit an art museum, and all 7th grade theatre students to attend a live theatrical performance at one of the many professional theatres in the Washington, DC metro area. 

E-IFTA is a weekly arts camp for students who love to sing, dance, act, perform, make, and create. Classes are taught in a friendly and fun environment by licensed FCPS teachers. Class content changes every week. Registration is available by week, a combination of weeks, or for the entire program.

The Institute for the Arts (IFTA) is a four-week summer enrichment program for students interested in the performing and visual arts. Students are scheduled into four 70-minute classes that they select from over 90 course offerings. Many of these classes are unique to IFTA and are not available to students during the regular school year. Classes are taught in supportive and fun environment where students are encouraged to be themselves and pursue their artistic talents.

  • Instruments for All

IFA is a centrally managed program that provides 11,000+ rental instruments to eligible students on an annual basis and ensures access to the instrumental music program.

The Scholastic Art Awards promotes rigor in visual art programs and brings regional and national recognition to secondary art students in Fairfax County.  All FCPS middle and high schools participate in the program and approximately 4000 entries are submitted annually.