December 21, 2020

A Holiday Message from the Executive Director

2020 will soon be over, and I know many wish it good riddance! None of us could have envisioned all that has occurred this past year to change our daily lives, our neighborhoods and communities, our livelihoods, and the careers we have been called to pursue.

That said, 2020 has shown us that when faced with adversity, we get up and put one foot in front of the other. We pause, to think of something in a new and different way. We ask others for help, or to join in the journey. We persevere--never giving up.

And so we carry on in 2021. Together--better and stronger. And the VCA stands ready to support in whatever way we can.

For now, please have a safe, healthy, peaceful and restful holiday season. We hope to see you all online for Art Works for Virginia 2021!

Yours in the Arts,
Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships

The Academy of American Poets has a long history of championing the role of poet laureate that includes being a resource listing local laureates and providing information to communities interested in creating new poets laureate positions.

In 2019, they expanded this work, and prizes and fellowships for poets, by launching the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships. These are $50,000 - $100,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities. 

Read more about the 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows and the 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows and their civic projects. 

Submissions for the 2021 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are accepted from December 17, 2020 until February 23, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Join us January 26 – 28, 2021, for the annual Art Works for Virginia Conference.

This year’s theme is A New State of the Arts: Reimagined, Reinvented, Restored, meant to share the most current state of the statewide network of arts organizations and artists, share what’s working among those who are finding new ways to operate, and be inspired for the possibilities ahead.

Registration for Art Works for Virginia 2021 is FREE this year, but we need to know you’ll be joining us.

Register now, and stay tuned for more updates in the weeks ahead!
Art Works for Virginia: Reimagined, Reinvented, Restored

  • January 26: 4 PM - 5:45 Pre-conference and Opening Reception
  • January 27 - 28: 9 AM - 1 PM daily
On December 15, 2020, Virginia Commission for the Arts hosted its annual Grant Application Assistance Workshop online. In case you missed it, links to the recording and slides are available online: 

This virtual workshop provided an overview of the State of the Arts, VCA's grant programs, information about Foundant (the online grant application system), updates to the Guidelines for Funding, and general tips on preparing competitive applications for consideration in FY22 (2021-2022). 

As a reminder, VCA Staff is primarily teleworking, and can be best reached via email. For assistance with specific grant applications, please contact the appropriate staff member directly. 

Catherine Welborn, Program Coordinator

Casey Polczynski, Arts in Education Coordinator
  • Artist in Education Provide opportunities for Virginia’s students to participate in and learn about the arts by working with high quality professional artists.
  • Artist in Education Express (AIEx) Grant Increase opportunities for short-term artist residencies with an open application beginning July 2, 2018 thru April 15, 2019 with the application submission six weeks prior to the planned residency taking place between mid-October through June 3, 2019 (20 hours maximum).
  • Teaching Artist Roster Identify and promote highly qualified and experienced teaching artists who have expertise in a variety of disciplines.
  • Artist Fellowships Recognize the creative excellence of individual Virginia artists and support their pursuit of artistic excellence.

Lucas Hall, Deputy Director
Virginia Commission for the Arts |