Wolf Trap Selected From Over 350 State-Wide Nominees to receive “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award” from the Virginia Commission for the Arts


Wolf Trap Foundation Chief Operating Officer Beth Brummel, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, and Wolf Trap President and CEO Arvind Manocha attending a special reception in October 2017 for a Celebration of the Arts at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, Va. [credit: Michael White]

Vienna, Virginia (January 30, 2018) Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts was selected by the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), the state arts agency, to receive one of its prestigious “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” in the category of Bedrock Institutions.   

The “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” were conceived and designed by the Commission as a 50th anniversary tribute to 50 examples of programs, individuals, and organizations critical to the arts in Virginia. The designated “Arts Inspirations” may have played a critical role in the last 50 years, serve as today’s leaders and exemplars, or may be tomorrow’s visionaries, leading the way to a culturally vibrant future.

The Commission was established by law in 1968 to promote awareness of and access to the arts across the state and to support a broad range of artists, arts organizations, and arts educators. Following a statewide call for nominations, nominees for the awards in all categories were accepted for two months this spring. A panel comprised of former commissioners and arts leaders reviewed the nominations this past summer and recommended a slate to the full Board which adopted the final roster this fall. To ensure impartiality, no former commissioners and no state-elected officials were selected for the roster.

“We are indeed fortunate in Virginia to have an abundant and diverse roster of outstanding artists and organizations and their supporters spanning disciplines and decades”, said Margaret Vanderhye, executive director of Virginia Commission for the Arts. “The 50 selected winners are representative of the best, but this list is far from definitive. Every day in communities across the Commonwealth, thousands of people benefit from the creative energies and pursuit of excellence that characterize Virginia artists and arts organizations.”

“These awardees carry the banner for countless arts workers and supporters who use the arts to build a strong Virginia,” said Jo Hodgin, VCA Commissioner and 50th Anniversary Co-Chair. “We believe the arts are essential for a creative 21st century workforce, economically dynamic communities, and a culture based on wellness and accessibility,” she added.

“As Wolf Trap was founded on the core belief that the arts play a vital role in the creation of community and the health of society, we are especially grateful to be recognized by the Virginia Commission for the Arts as a Bedrock Institution,” said Arvind Manocha, president and CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation. “We salute our fellow outstanding honorees, and we look forward to working with the Commission and our peers across the Commonwealth in furthering our shared goal of creating the strongest possible arts community.”

Award recipients were honored with other state arts leaders and supporters at a special reception this fall for a Celebration of the Arts at the Executive Mansion with former Governor Terry McAuliffe and former First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe.

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. the Commission will hold a 50th Anniversary Program for arts organizations across the state at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. That afternoon the 50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award recipients will be officially recognized for their achievements. A reception will follow in the Marble Hall.

Each of the five nomination categories represents a different element of the arts in time and focus. For the Bedrock Institutions category awarded to Wolf Trap, winners have been in existence more than ten years, have demonstrated a benefit to the economic health and/or tourism in the community, exhibit artistic excellence, celebrate diversity, and showcase Virginia as a cultural destination.

For more information about the Virginia Commission for the Arts, visit www.arts.virginia.gov.


Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.

Media Information:

Emily Stout, Manager, Media Relations
703.255.4096 or emilys@wolftrap.org