June 1, 2023, is the deadline for submissions to the Fairfax County History Commission’s award programs. They include four categories of recognition awards: Distinguished Service, Cultural Heritage Engagement, Mary Fahringer Memorial, and Lifetime Achievement. Except for the Mary Fahringer Memorial Award, these are non-monetary. More than one award may be granted yearly.
The commission also offers seven Fairfax Heritage Awards. Prizes range from $100 to $1,000. One program is the Jack L. Hiller Photography Prize. According to the commission, it is given for an original photograph or photographic essay that best captures the spirit and history of Fairfax County, its places, and its residents. The award is named for educator, photographer, and long-time History Commission member Jack L. Hiller. There are two categories in the Hiller award: photos taken before and after 2000. The winner of each category will receive a $250 prize.
According to the awards program, Hiller "created a legacy of greatness" on the commission. Among Hiller’s many accomplishments during his 35 years of service on the commission, he helped place 53 historical roadside markers throughout Fairfax County. Hiller’s love of photography led to his involvement in the US Civil Rights Movement. Still, it was his passion for history and conviction that "all people are created equal" that he and fellow Virginia Educators Teaching Association members held that ETA’s charter should omit the words "whites only." After much backlash, ETA dropped them and allowed and encouraged membership integration.
A completed application and the submitted work must be delivered to the Fairfax City Library's Virginia Room by June 1 to be reviewed by the Awards Committee for the calendar year. All winners will be announced at the annual Fairfax County History Conference in November. Awards will be presented at that time. Applicants will be notified in writing in advance.
For more information on all the awards, visit the Commission's website at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/history-commission/awards-programs.