5 Fun Facts About Wolf Trap
1. Arts Meets Parks
Did you know that Wolf Trap is the ONLY National Park dedicated solely to the performing arts? The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is the official partner to the National Park Service in providing concert and performance programming within the Park. Wolf Trap's majestic and beloved Filene Center provides the Washington, DC metropolitan area with a magical outdoor venue for world-class performances of every genre.
2. A Gift to the Nation
The late Catherine Filene Shouse founded Wolf Trap through a donation of 100 acres of her Vienna, Virginia farmland to the U.S. Government, as well as funds for construction of a 6,800-seat indoor/outdoor theatre. Operated in partnership with the National Park Service, the Filene Center houses over 90 performances annually from late May to early September, as well as a variety of education programs, artist master classes, special events, and a yearly Holiday Sing-A-Long for families and friends throughout the community.
3. Birth of The Barns
Made up of 2 adjacent 18th-century barns, The Barns is a gift from Wolf Trap's founder, Catherine Filene Shouse, and is also home to Wolf Trap Opera in the summer. Impressed by the acoustical quality of the wooden barn after attending a concert in one in Maine, she wanted to bring the same informal and acoustical setting to Wolf Trap. She commissioned Richard W. Babcock of Hancock, Massachusetts, a master craftsman and barns historian, to identify 2 barns for relocation at Wolf Trap. He found the barns in upstate New York and restored and rebuilt them on their present site using only the 18th century "block and tackle" methods, gin poles, ropes, and manpower. Both barns are made of hand-hewn beams and panels, and the exterior walls have been reversed to show more than 200 years of weathering.
4. Nationwide Education
The Wolf Trap Foundation reaches 78K+ children, families, care-givers, and teachers nationwide through its acclaimed arts education programs. In addition, The Wolf Trap Opera company was founded in 1971 and has since emerged as one of the nation's premier residency programs for young singers.
Across the meadow from the Filene Center, literally tucked in the woods at Wolf Trap National Park, the Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods has been a summer tradition for generations of children and families. Performances range from music and dance to puppetry and storytelling-interactive, educational, and fun. All shows are about an hour long and are perfect for children ages 4 and up.