Cultural and Recreational Opportunities

Outcome Statement

Fairfax County is a place where all residents, businesses and visitors are aware of and able to participate in quality arts, sports, recreation and culturally enriching activities.



About the Sections

Each priority area includes the following:

  • Outcome Statement: The aspirational future state for Fairfax County.
  • Introduction/Summary: Context about the priority area.
  • Challenge Questions: Describe the problem/opportunity people are experiencing informed by evidence, data, subject expertise, outside perspectives and realities.
  • Indicators: Ways to measure progress, both for the community at large and for county government. They are clear, quantifiable and they help manage progress.
  • Metrics: Specific data points to track whether Fairfax County is making progress.
  • Strategies: Actions that need to be taken to address identified challenges that “move the needle” on indicators and metrics.


Cultural and recreational opportunities promote vibrant, thriving and inclusive communities. These opportunities are foundational to our community because they foster economic strength, social connectivity, diversity and healthy lifestyles.

With reduced demand for large cultural events during COVID-19 because of social distancing requirements, the creative economy is one of the sectors most impacted by the pandemic. Arts and culture help drive regional economies through the sale of goods and services, employment, and events revenue. Any lasting damage to the creative sector will drastically undercut Fairfax County’s culture, well-being, and overall quality of life.

Temporary measures are insufficient to effectively address the negative impact of COVID-19 on cultural and recreational opportunities available in the community. A collaborative recovery strategy is required, driven by public-private partnerships between the county and regional partners, including arts and culture organizations, economic development entities, community groups, philanthropic institutions, schools and private businesses.

The strategies in this section emphasize the strength of the community’s diversity and the need to celebrate that diversity through a variety of cultural offerings. The strategies seek to enhance the delivery of programs with a focus on quality, equity, program awareness and the removal of barriers to access. By positioning Fairfax County as an inclusive and thriving place for all to enjoy well-maintained, safe and diverse offerings, the county will help create a culturally rich environment that benefits generations to come.

Challenge Questions

1. How can we effectively and reliably connect the community to cultural and recreational opportunities?

2. How do we ensure equitable access to and utilization of the arts, parks, trails, open spaces and recreational opportunities regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, gender, age, education, geographic location and income level?

3. How do we inclusively honor and preserve Fairfax County’s unique and diverse culture, history and traditions?

4. How does the county maintain, grow and support enriching and quality cultural and recreational opportunities?

5. How might we measure whether people have a “quality” cultural or recreational experience when that is such a subjective assessment?

6. How can the county best contribute to realizing new and/or renovated arts, cultural and recreational facilities that align with people’s needs?


1. Access to Cultural and Recreational Opportunities

2. Awareness and Appreciation of Diverse Cultures

3. Satisfaction with Cultural and Recreational Opportunities

4. Representation and Promotion of Diverse Cultures


Indicator: Access to Cultural and Recreational Opportunities


• % of residents engaged in a cultural and recreational experience in Fairfax County within the past 12 months

• # of acres [or square miles] of recreational space available in the county

• % of residents who visited a park in Fairfax County within the past 12 months

• % of residents living within a half-mile walk of a park entrance

• % of residents who are satisfied with their proximity to a park

• % of residents living within a half-mile walk of a cultural/recreational center

• % of residents who feel cultural/recreational opportunities in the county are affordable to them

• % of residents who feel that county-sponsored cultural/recreational opportunities are offered at convenient times

• % of residents who indicate that it is easy to access information on cultural/recreational opportunities

• % of community organizations that feel Fairfax County Government is a trusted partner

• # of non-Fairfax County residents visiting a county-owned facility, park or attraction for a cultural/recreational opportunity


Indicator: Awareness and Appreciation of Diverse Cultures


• % of individuals attending a county-sponsored cultural/recreational opportunity who found it enriching

• % of residents who feel welcome at county-sponsored cultural/recreational opportunities

• % of residents who report that they attended a cultural/recreational opportunity in the past year that represented their culture(s)

• % of residents who say they have gained a greater understanding/appreciation for other cultures in the past year

• % of residents who believe their feedback on county-sponsored cultural/recreational opportunities is considered/valued/heard


Indicator: Satisfaction with Cultural and Recreational Opportunities


• % of residents who are satisfied with the amount/variety of cultural/recreational opportunities available in the past year

• % of residents saying they are satisfied with the quality of cultural/recreational opportunities offered by Fairfax County

• % of individuals participating in a Fairfax County cultural/recreational class/program/facility who report being satisfied with that class/program/facility

• % of residents who are satisfied with the cleanliness of county recreational facilities or parks

• # of social media geolocated tags/engagements in a county-sponsored cultural/recreational location or event


Indicator: Representation and Promotion of Diverse Cultures


• % of residents who feel the county is acknowledging, protecting and preserving their historical and cultural heritage

• % of Fairfax County cultural/recreational opportunities that are offered in languages other than or in addition to English

• # of county-sponsored cultural/recreational opportunities that are held in non-county spaces


Improve Availability and Access to Cultural and Recreational Opportunities

  • CRO 1. Collaborate with the business community to determine best practices to cross-promote programs/events at shared spaces.
  • CRO 2. Evaluate and address barriers (including transportation, language, virtual access and technology gaps) to cultural and recreational opportunities.
  • CRO 3. Evaluate the existing business models for agencies and organizations that support cultural and recreational opportunities with the goal of devising a consolidated funding methodology that ensures more affordable and equitable access.
  • CRO 4. Ensure land development practices integrate the needs of the community to achieve the equitable (and culturally and racially sensitive) development of cultural and recreation facilities, areas and venues.

Heighten Awareness, Appreciation and Promotion of Diverse Cultures

  • CRO 5. Ensure cultural and recreational amenities are included in placemaking designs for development and/or revitalization in targeted areas.
  • CRO 6. Regularly inventory and evaluate cultural and recreational programs provided by the county and its partners based on how they address identified service gaps and how well they positively impact equity.
  • CRO 7. Build awareness of volunteer opportunities and recruit a diverse volunteer base to support cultural/recreational opportunities.
  • CRO 8. Provide varied modes and forums (including virtual platforms) to engage and involve diverse community voices to determine the types of offerings/programming/supports the community is seeking. Utilize the feedback to modify programs to ensure greater participation.
  • CRO 9. Provide comprehensive, up-to-date, accessible information to the public about local artists, creative cultural industries, places of cultural and natural heritage, events and spaces and facilities.

Provide Quality Programs

  • CRO 10. Evaluate and strengthen standards for agencies to establish and sustain quality cultural and recreational opportunities.

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Fairfax Virtual Assistant