Courtesy of The Art League
Courtesy of The Art League

Budding Artists

When it comes time to sign up for seasonal activities, sports aren’t the only option. Throughout Northern Virginia there are a variety of programs to entice the creative mind of a child. While this round-up is not a comprehensive listing, it offers a multitude of options that foster the writer, artist, performer and scientist in your child.

By Lynn Norusis and Sophia Rutti


Writopia Labs
Programs through Writopia Labs bring the professionals to your child. Seasonal sessions for children 6 to 18 years old meet for 10 weeks for an hour and a half and cover different genres each week—science fiction, fantasy, memoir, humor, poetry, etc. Writopia also offers workshops geared toward college essays along with filmmaking and video game writing at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. / Falls Church


Northern Virginia Writing Project
For almost 30 years, George Mason University’s Northern Virginia Writing Project has fostered the love of the written word in over 7,000 youths, and they continue to do so with Saturday workshops each fall and spring. With acute directives in all genres of writing, the one-day sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Programs are offered for those in grades 5-12 in the fall and 4-12 in the spring. / Fairfax


Treehouse for Creative Kids
At Treehouse beginner students are instructed through different projects each week using multiple mediums such as pastels, colored pencils, charcoal, watercolors, graphite and acrylics. Intermediate and advanced level artists focus on creating original works, and they receive guidance in refining skills. There are also specific classes for animation and cartoon drawing. Treehouse also offers classes in acting, vocals and creative writing. / Ashburn


The Art League
This Alexandria nonprofit art center offers a range of classes for a range of students age 5 through teenagers. Programs include a focus on painting, drawing, manga and cartooning, clay animation, sculpting and more. / Alexandria


Arlington Arts Center
Creating starts with observation, and at Arlington Art Center this basic instruction is brought into all of the children’s art classes that introduce the students to two- and three-dimensional media. Each week different skills such as drawing, painting and sculpture are taught. / Arlington


Music Together
For the littlest music lovers from infants to kindergartners this school offers classes that have the children getting hands-on experience with pianos, guitars and their own bodies as instruments. Parents join in the fun too, for 45 minutes every week in the fall, winter and spring. / Multiple NoVA locations


Potomac Music Academy with GMU
Choose a music class—piano, voice, guitar, composition, violin/strings, percussion and ensembles—for a person of any age from under 8 years old to 55 and up. There are a wide variety of classes offered in the fall and spring. / Fairfax


Bach to Rock
Bach to Rock, or B2R, is a music school for kids of all ages. After school kids can get excited about music by taking individual or group classes on any instrument (guitar, drums and piano) or discipline. / Multiple NoVA locations


Global Music Academy
Learn how to play any instrument that you can think of, not to mention music theory, all types of dance and voice training at Global Music Academy. Group or individual classes for kids of all ages are offered throughout the year, and transportation from nearby schools is offered for the academy’s after school programs. / Fairfax Station


School of Rock
This school has taught kids from around the country how to rock out, but if rocking isn’t their thing, there are options from learning the piano to jazz vocal training. And practicing in the area isn’t the only option. Students from School of Rock have the chance to go on tour with the School of Rock Allstars. / Multiple NoVA locations


Acting for Young People
Professional actors, directors and artists lead acting programs at AFYP. Participants polish their acting skills in fall and winter classes and through workshops, camps and in-school programs. They put them to the test in seasonal showcases and touring shows. / Fairfax


Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre
Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre brings drama to children through in-school programs. Session run for eight weeks for an hour to an hour and a half and bring attention to theater jargon and practice through improvisation and games with a final presentation for friends and family. The company also holds spring break and summer camps and auditions for their seasonal productions. / Alexandria


Encore Stage
Their mission is to “build a lifelong appreciation for live theater,” and at Encore Stage children ages K-12 are instructed by professionals to bring about their love of the stage. Early actors are enticed by Disney Dance, Magic School Bus Pixar Pals and American Girl classes while older students participate in SNL skits, broadway bootcamp and famous scenes instruction. / Arlington


Synetic Theater
While the company may be best known for bringing contemporary productions to the stage, Synetic grabs future actors at a young age through theater programs incorporating all types of movement such as gymnastics, dance, mime and more. The focus of the seasonal classes is to teach the fundamentals of acting. / Arlington


Courtesy of Ideaventions/photo by Saraya Cheney
Courtesy of Ideaventions/photo by Saraya Cheney

Ideaventions is an open lab for young scientists. The company focuses its programs on science, technology engineering and math, which has students engaging in everything from robotics and prototyping to chemistry and digital construction. Ideaventions, a 2,000-square-foot science center with four laboratories, even has mini museum. / Oakton


Curiosity Zone
Pique the interests of your children with time at Curiosity Zone where science is brought to them through stories and labs. Science classes are geared toward ages 2 through 5th grade, and the music program, in partnership with CZone, is offered for children ages 0-6. Young scientists will learn about animals, earth through backyard adventures and kitchen science and more, while the older set delves into aerodynamics, earth sciences and forensics. / Ashburn


Mad Science
With seven different eight-week sessions to choose from, budding scientists learn all about the earth through hand-on experiments such as creating indoor storms, bending light and learning how sound travels. The programs teach children to be inquisitive about their environment and learn about a multitude of science specialties. / Multiple NoVA locations


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(March 2015)