Virginia Commission for the Arts Recognizes Juneteenth
The Virginia Commission for the Arts joins its agency peers to commemorate Juneteeth, Friday, June 19, the oldest known commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. As Governor Northam stated earlier this week, “Since 1619, when representative democracy and enslaved African people arrived in Virginia within a month of each other, we have said one thing, but done another,”  said Governor Northam . “It’s time we elevate Juneteenth not just as a celebration by and for some Virginians, but one acknowledged and commemorated by all of us. It mattered then because it marked the end of slavery in this country, and it matters now because it says to Black communities, this is not just your history—this is everyone’s shared history, and we will celebrate it together. This is a step toward the Commonwealth we want to be as we go forward.” 

On this day, and every day, the VCA remains committed to learning and leading in the shared goal to increase equity in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the agency has taken active measures to so, most markedly with the adoption of our  Statement on Cultural Equity , on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the agency in 2018. 

To support a full creative life for all, the Virginia Commission for the Arts commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that foster a just, inclusive, and equitable Commonwealth.

Soonafter, the Commission Board created the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Committee, to design policy and funding guidelines that support the goals of the Statement on Cultural Equity. The VCA committed to increased education and awareness of IDEA and best practices, with its 2019 Art Works for Virginia annual conference, featuring Keynote and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion of Boston University,  Crystal Williams . There, in part, Ms. Williams encouraged attendants to employ "habits of mind" that support more inclusive practice across all our work and daily living. Our 2020 Art Works for Virginia Keynotes, Bryan Doerries and Dr. Phil Woodmore inspired us with the  Theater of War  model that presents community-specific, theater-based projects that address pressing public health and social issues, most notably their ground-breaking  Antigone in Ferguson  production. This work stands center to processing and learning from the events that surround us today, and we encourage you to visit their site to learn more. 

Here today, the VCA remains committed to doing all we can to champion policies and practices of cultural equity that foster a just, more inclusive and equitable Commonwealth. 
Important, Time-Sensitive Resource for Arts Leaders Regarding PPP

Even as the VCA pauses today to recognize Juneteenth, we are mindful of an important resource to aid arts organization leaders pertaining to the federal PPP program. Therefore, we wanted to share.

The U.S. Treasury and SBA recently released the  final PPP Loan Forgiveness Application , which includes the changes made in the Paycheck Flexibility Act. SBA has also introduced a great EZ Forgiveness Application version as well as a full application version. This EZ form will make it much easier to complete your forgiveness application form without doing a lot of calculations. 

Join Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund for a  PPP Loan Forgiveness and EZ Application webinar  on Monday, June 22nd at 1:00 pm EDT.  
Speakers include:

  • Sarah Mercer, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Shareholder Attorney will provide detailed guidance on the Treasury Department's newly released PPP Loan Forgiveness application and instructions.
  • Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Americans for the Arts Action Fund Executive Director will join Sarah in hosting a Q & A of specific challenges arts organizations and self-employed artists are facing with the PPP forgiveness guidelines. 

Register now  for this free live webinar, which will be limited to the first 1000 registered participants.

And as a reminder,  Office Hours with Nina  continues through July 29th – Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 11:00a – 12:00p EDT, except Juneteenth and July 3rd. "Office Hours" are free and open to anyone in the arts and culture field with questions about navigating the  CARES Act relief programs .
Virginia Commission for the Arts | Website