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Dominion Energy ArtStars

The Dominion Energy ArtStars awards recognize arts organizations in Virginia that successfully combine arts and education in their community.

Organizations providing arts education to students of all ages in Virginia may apply for consideration.

One Shining Star Award ($10,000 each) may be awarded in each of the five Virginia regions to an organization with (i) a qualifying arts and education program and (ii) an annual budget of less than $1 million.


September: Open for application

October 31: Entry deadline at 5 p.m

November: Judging

January: Winners announced: all applicants will be notified by email about the status of their entry

Recent Award Recipients

Arts for Learning - woman being photographed
Arts for Learning – (Norfolk, Va.) for their Take 10 digital series which provided live and recorded arts programming for students learning from home. Take 10 featured 12 different art forms from a great diversity of cultures and traditions.
Art for the Journey - girl being photographed
Art for the Journey – (Richmond, Va.) for their “The Creative Corner” program, regularly aired on Virginia’s Home for Public Media (VPM). The Creative Corner provides a wide variety of arts education through public television and media. This innovative thinking allows Art for the Journey to provide quality educational instruction to reach thousands of students without access to reliable high speed internet and to provide educational resources like SOL’s and vocabulary words online to teachers and students receiving education at home.
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra - children with recorders

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra – (Fairfax, Va.) for their Link Up program and partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools. They have expanded to offer the program virtually and provide high-quality music instruction to their community.

Halestone - dancers

Halestone Foundation – (Lexington, Va.) for providing dance education for all ages that is inclusive and student-focused. These innovative virtual and outdoor classes continue to reach their community this year.

The Origin Project - child writing

The Origin Project – (Big Stone Gap, Va.) for their arts programming. The Origin Project works with schools to help students express their inner voices through the art of writing. Their curriculum highlights the value of diversity through a multitude of voices as they encourage students to discuss their origins, culture, and history of the region.

Eligibility & Guidelines

To be eligible to receive a Dominion Energy ArtStars Award, organizations MUST:

  • Meet the ArtStars definition of an arts organization: organizations that produce, present, or support dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theater, visual, and related arts including art therapy.
  • Be headquartered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Be registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
  • Operate at least one qualifying arts and education program

NOTE: Previous ArtStars Awards recipients from the most recent year are not eligible to apply, and prior winners must wait one awards cycle before they become eligible to re-apply.

Each entry must include the following information:

  • A summary of how the organization and its arts and education programs meets each of the criteria.
  • One additional attachment, if desired (1 page max.), such as letter of recommendation, media coverage, patron comments, marketing piece, etc.; and
  • A copy of the organization's total budget, as well as the percentage of funds used on all of its educational outreach programs and initiatives.

Also, the entry must specifically address each of the criteria below, as instructed:

  • Adhere to eligibility, formatting and content requirements.
  • Submissions must be approved by the organization's top executive (e.g., Executive Director).
  • Online applications must be submitted by October 31, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Note: Entry Forms not adhering to the above directions will be disqualified.

Judging Criteria

Entries must address each of the following criteria in order to be considered. Strong entries will include detailed, specific examples of how your organization meets these criteria and documented program evaluation and impact measures.

  1. Arts Education Program — Contributions, Merit and Innovation
    • Describe how your organization engages students in your community. Include program name(s), core elements, types of students involved, outcomes, etc.
    • Describe your program(s) in terms of its artistic merit (the perceived quality or value of program content and its participating artists and educators).
    • Describe your use of innovation and/or adaptation during the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., new technology, new teaching methods, art therapy, saves/sustains resources, etc.).
  2. Extraordinary Community Impact
    • Describe how your program addresses the needs of your community.
    • Describe what changes you have made during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to each your community.
    • Provide specifics about the impact your organization has on the community (economic statistics, revitalization efforts) and how it lifts our spirits/enhances the community (e.g.,cultural, economic improvements).

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