In 2008, a group of educators, artists, and actors lobbied to change the outdated ordinances that had made Fairfax County a cultural desert. Tysons Corner’s first and only performing arts organization – 1st Stage – was born out of that effort. Each season, 120 performances engage 10,000 audience members in an intimate, 110-seat venue where modern plays, written and performed by people from diverse backgrounds, engage and excite audiences, and spark important conversations. Educational events feature local experts who connect the productions’ themes (social justice, religion, education) with issues currently affecting the Fairfax community and the nation. Young theater professionals get a head-start on their careers through fellowships in areas like artistic leadership, stage management, and arts administration, while events throughout the year, including orchestra concerts, youth theater, and visual arts exhibitions, further expand the community’s access to the arts. Winner of numerous Helen Hayes Awards, this cultural hub has paved the way for creativity in Fairfax County: let’s ensure that it continues to flourish.