Wolf Trap: A Haven for Performing Arts Education

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Image of Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill connects with President and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation Arvind Manocha sitting in front of microphones.


On the May episode of the “Connect with County Leaders” podcast, Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill talks with President and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation Arvind Manocha to talk about Wolf Trap and its mission “to present and create excellent and innovative performing arts programs for the enrichment, education and enjoyment of diverse audiences and participants.”


Wolf Trap is a national park for the performing arts, and it’s perhaps one of the country’s best-kept secrets in our backyard located in Vienna.

Why is Wolf Trap so special? For starters, it's an open-air amphitheater surrounded by woods and walking trails, providing a stunning backdrop for world-class concerts and performances. The park boasts multiple venues – The Barns at Wolf Trap, the Center for Education at Wolf Trap, the Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods.

Wolf Trap is also deeply invested in educational programming. Their Early Learning Through the Arts program provides research-based, arts-integrated instruction to young children in Fairfax County Public Schools, while the Wolf Trap Opera program trains the best opera artists in the country. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that many of the top opera voices in the U.S. today have come through the Wolf Trap program, so even if you don’t consider yourself an opera fan, attending a show at Wolf Trap could mean witnessing the next international superstar in action.

“Even if you’re not an opera person yet you live in Fairfax County, it’s in your backyard,” said Manocha. “You are almost guaranteed to be hearing young voices who are going to be international superstars in the next five to 10 years.”

But it’s not just the performances and educational programs that make Wolf Trap special. It’s the sense of community and inclusivity that the park fosters. The staff at Wolf Trap work tirelessly to ensure that everyone feels welcome and valued, and they strive to make the park accessible to all. They also partner with community organizations and the Park Authority to bring amazing arts programming to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.


"I see a lot of people who come and explore an art form that they may not be familiar with because we try to make it easy and accessible." -Arvind Manocha



The “Connect with County Leaders” podcast is a monthly opportunity to meet and connect with Fairfax County leaders, to learn about the latest county news and information, and hear more on specific Fairfax County programs and services. Listen to past episodes of “Connect with County Leaders” or watch on YouTube (playlist).

For other Fairfax County podcasts, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/podcasts, and for additional audio content, tune in to Fairfax County Government Radio at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/radio.

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