Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
May 2019
Joy Heyrman
Dear Friends of VCCA,

Greetings from Mt. San Angelo, where blossoms and greenery abound. Before too long, it will be time to swim in Sweet Briar Lake once again.

We have been focused on Strategic Planning for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. This deep dive into our current status and business model, into trends in the field and in the world around us, and into our aspirations for the future, is energizing work for everyone involved. Our mission, so clear and true after nearly fifty years of supporting artists in the creation of their work, is at the base of it all. 

We’ve set the course forward by refreshing the language of VCCA’s mission statement to reflect our core values as well:

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) provides national and international artists of talent and promise time and space to bring forth their finest work, because the arts are vital, diversity is a strength, and creativity is essential.
Some impressive wordsmiths were on this task. Thank you to Peggy Ingraham, poet, Fellow and current President of our Board of Directors; Steven Petrow, writer, Fellow and Board member; Rone Shavers, writer, Fellow and Fellows Council Executive Committee member; and Sheila Pleasants, Deputy Director, who all worked with me in an exemplary telephonic collaboration. While many such statements typically focus only on what an organization does and how, we believed that ours also should be a constant source of inspiration and energy. We chose to answer the question “Why?” as well.

There are more steps to come before the final Strategic Plan is in place this fall. The challenge of balancing aspiration with resources will always be before us. There are exciting times ahead and I look forward to working together to make VCCA the very best it can be!

Warm regards,
Joy Peterson Heyrman
Executive Director
On May 2, 2019, VCCA hosted its Spring Soirée at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Over 200 guests raised significant funds in support of VCCA. The event honored Fellows Mary Page Evans, Marilyn Kallet, Sandell Morse, and Joelle Wallach, each of whom has been awarded 25 or more residencies and has demonstrated outstanding support for this community.

We are deeply grateful to our event sponsors for their generous support of VCCA and to everyone who attended this lively spring gathering.
Fall Application Deadline Only a Week Away

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is  currently accepting applications from writers, visual artists, and composers for fall residencies (October - January).

Through the generosity of our donors, VCCA is offering three new fully-funded fellowships. The Sara Pennypacker Fellowship , open this year to child-focused writers, is for a two-week residency and includes $500 for travel and expenses. The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Fellowship is open to visual artists of African-American or Latinx descent and includes a fully-funded three to four-week residency along with a $1,000 honorarium for travel and expenses. The Richard S. and Julia Louise Reynolds Poetry Fellowship provides three-week residencies for poets.

In addition, VCCA is again grateful to donors and funding agencies for making available the Goldfarb Family Fellowship for writers of creative nonfiction, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship for artists from New York, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia, the Montana Fellowship which provides a one-month residency to a writer, visual artist, or composer from Montana, and the NEA-funded Collateral Reparations: Artist Residencies for Military Veterans   program.
Deadline for all applications is May 15, 2019 .
VCCA and Sweet Briar College seek Fellow to teach
three-week Land Art course this August/September

The collaboration between VCCA and Sweet Briar College reached a new level with the VCCA-SBC Teaching Fellowships that were inaugurated this year. As this year's course winds down this week, another course in this collaboration is envisioned for the August/September three-week term. 

"Site Specific Art in the Sweet Briar Landscape" will be offered from August 22, 2019 - September 12, 2019 and offers an exciting opportunity for the selected applicant to teach about this important field on Sweet Briar College's extraordinary 3,250-acre campus. The instructor will also work with students to create large-scale, site-specific temporary work/s.

Compensation includes a fully-funded four-week residency at VCCA to overlap with the course dates and a stipend of $5,000. Applicants do not need to have previously been in residence at VCCA. All interested applicants should apply online. The deadline is June 15, 2019.
This month, VCCA Fellows Courtney Balestier, Shea Hembrey, and Aaron Wyanski are teaching "A Multiplicity of Narratives" to 25 Sweet Briar students during the three-week spring term. The course culminates in a public presentation on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Babcock Gallery at Sweet Briar College.

"The course was a one-of-a-kind experience for an artist: to develop your dream class, teach it to enthusiastic and intelligent students, and then spend time with your own craft in the serenity of VCCA," says Fellow Courtney Balestier. "Carrie Brown at Sweet Briar was a wonderful shepherd and facilitator who took great care of us as guest instructors, from tech support to facilities assistance. I am grateful for the opportunity and the additional gift of time to tend to my writing."
Recently Awarded Fellowships
Alonzo Davis Fellowship
The 2019 Alonzo Davis Fellowships, providing fully-funded residencies for outstanding American artists of African or Latinx descent, have been awarded to Judy Bolton-Fasman and Crystal Z Campbell. Bolton-Fasman, a writer of creative non-fiction and memoir from Newton Center, Massachusetts, will be in residence at VCCA in November 2019 and Campbell, a multidisciplinary artist and writer from Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be in residence in January 2020.
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Fellowship
The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Fellowship has been awarded to Sharon Norwood of Dunedin, Florida. Norwood is a interdisciplinary artist whose work spans several media including painting and ceramics. Norwood holds an M.F.A. in studio art from Florida State University and a B.F.A. in Painting from the University of South Florida. Her work creates a dialogue that speaks in nuanced ways to issues of race, gender, class, and difference.
Steven Petrow LGBTQ Fellowship
Daniel Handal has been awarded the third annual Steven Petrow LGBTQ Fellowship. Handal is a Honduran-born artist who lives and works in New York. He received his B.S. in Applied Sciences from Rutgers University and studied Photography at the International Center of Photography. Handal's work centers on portraiture and explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community.
Inaugural Anne Spencer Fellow
Shaun Spencer-Hester, Chip Walton, Donna Hemans, Elizabeth Logan Harris, Frankie Slaughter, and Lyall Forsyth Harris at Hemans' reading for the University of Lynchburg and Anne Spencer House and Museum.
VCCA's inaugural Anne Spencer Fellow, Donna Hemans, read from her forthcoming novel T ea by the Sea  (Red Hen Press, 2020) at the University of Lynchburg on April 17, 2019. Hemans also answered questions about her creative process and signed copies of her previous book. The presentation was free and open to the community, presented in partnership with the Lynchburg College of Arts and Sciences and the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum. Spencer's granddaughter Shaun Spencer-Hester facilitated the event and introduced Hemans. The audience included Elizabeth Logan Harris, Frankie Slaughter, and Lyall Forsyth Harris--who established the Anne Spencer Fellowship--as well as Chip Walton, Dean of the Lynchburg College of Arts and Sciences, students, faculty, community members, VCCA Fellows, and staff.
VCCA says Goodbye and Thank You to Lindale Dawson

Longtime Kitchen Assistant Lindale Dawson has retired from VCCA. Lindale trained many of our kitchen staff, including newest employee River Elliott. "We will be forever grateful to Lindale for setting the tone of welcome that our kitchen staff embody," noted Executive Director Joy Heyrman.
Staff recently gathered to wish Lindale well and toast her dedication to VCCA. Pictured are newest employee River Elliott with Lindale Dawson, Sous Chef Bijoana Booker, Head of Food Services Jenny Botea, and Kitchen Assistant Crystal Dixon.
In Memoriam: Katherine Min
VCCA marks with sadness the passing of three-time Fellow, Katherine Min. In her final months, she was an amazingly positive and constant presence on social media, taking us on her journey and, with insight and eloquence, showing us how to leave this world gracefully. See the VCCA blog for a full obituary.
Prominent Master Composer to be featured at Etchings Festival
Kaija Saariaho, renowned Finnish composer, will join Francesco Filidei, John Aylward, and Martin Brody as faculty for this year’s Etchings Festival of Contemporary Music in Auvillar, June 24 - July 1, 2019 . Saariaho's compositions have been performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera. The Etchings Festival, where accomplished composers mentor their emerging counterparts, is in its 11th year.
New Trees in Auvillar

This spring, Moulin à Nef staff planted two trees in memory of VCCA friends.

A mimosa tree was chosen to honor Eva de Coligny who was instrumental in establishing VCCA's location in France. The mimosa was planted a s the harbinger of spring, to be seen by all coming down the hill or over the bridge and into the port, announcing the commencement of the Moulin à Nef season.

A persimmon tree was chosen to honor Robert Fran ç ois, a longtime friend and volunteer at Moulin à Nef. Resident Director Cheryl Fortier stated, "The vibrant orange fruit are not only beautiful aesthetically and as subject matter for artists and writers but the fruit can be eaten and enjoyed, making it as practical as was our friend Robert." The persimmon will burst into color in late fall, announcing the end of another season at Moulin à Nef.
As the end of the fiscal year approaches in June, please consider a gift to the Annual Fund. Our single most important source of revenue, the Annual Fund provides for the operations, staff, and maintenance necessary to provide this service to artists.

Thanks to the generosity of Fellows and friends, the Studio Barn kitchen renovations are underway!

Your continued support makes possible
the improvement of our facilities and program.
Fellows & Friends Gathering

Thursday, June 20, 2019
6 - 8 p.m.
Durham, North Carolina

Join us at the Durham Fruit Company to connect with
VCCA's North Carolina Fellows and friends. For more information, email Emily Joseph .

Open Studios

Sunday, July 14, 2019
4 – 6 p.m.
154 San Angelo Drive, Amherst, Virginia
Free and open to the public

Open Studio days are a rare opportunity to look into the studios of writers, visual artists, and composers in residence at VCCA. Talking to them about their work and experiencing the creative process first-hand is interesting and inspiring. Join us!
Save the Date
Fellows & Friends Gathering

Thursday, September 12, 2019
New York, New York

Reunite with Fellows and friends to celebrate and support VCCA and 48 years of fostering artists by providing uninterrupted time and space.
VCCA | 434-946-7236 | |
VCCA is grateful to the following organizations for their recent financial support.
Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band • J&E Berkley Foundation
 The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation •  Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation
Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation • The Charles Jacob Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation