Wednesday Champagne

July 1, 2020

Welcome back to Wednesday Lemonade (let's make that champagne!), a community newsletter focused on keeping VCCA Fellows, staff, and supporters connected (and celebratory!).

Today, we have a very special announcement to share. Crack open the champagne or whatever you drink to celebrate. It’s finally happened! VCCA has purchased Mt. San Angelo. This beautiful hilltop (and the surrounding 400 acres) is now the property of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  Sweet Briar College allowed VCCA to purchase our longtime home, and the sale was finalized just before the meeting of the VCCA Board of Directors last month.

Mt. San Angelo has felt like VCCA’s true home since it moved here in 1978, and it has been the creative home for thousands of professional writers, visual artists, and composers during this time.
Aerial view of Mt. San Angelo
"This is an exciting milestone for VCCA," says Kevin O’Halloran, Executive Director. “To purchase Mt. San Angelo after 42 years and on the eve of our 50th anniversary is a long-held dream come true. It’s bittersweet that this is happening during a time when we are closed to Fellows because of the pandemic, but we look forward to a time when we can all celebrate together properly. In the meantime, we will be busy making improvements to the property in anticipation of the Fellows’ return."

Improvements to the Fellows Residence will include the renovation of bedrooms and the creation of individual, private baths and the refurnishing of public areas.

The purchase and renovation of Mt. San Angelo has been made possible through the generosity of many VCCA board members and supporters. To date, more than $2.8 million has been raised for the purchase of, and renovations to, the property. We share the story of a very special lead gift below.

Quinn Feldmann Graeff, Board President, says, “VCCA is beyond thrilled to have purchased Mt. San Angelo. We are grateful to Sweet Briar College for renting the property to us since 1978, and for being willing to entertain our offer to purchase it. This consequential step makes the future even brighter for VCCA."

We can't wait to celebrate this dream realized with all of you in person someday.
enjoy a virtual toast
Watch Our Video Announcement
Kevin and Sheila raised a virtual glass on Facebook Live this afternoon in honor of our special news.

thanks to a painting
A Signature Gift
“While a number of board members and donors made generous gifts, one gift stands above the rest,” says Kevin.

“Back in October, when we had only recently learned that Sweet Briar would entertain our offer to purchase Mt. San Angelo, I approached long-time VCCA board member Cynthia Tremblay to ask for her support. Cynthia was well-prepared, and told me that she had recently been
approached by Christie’s about a painting she owned. A private collector was interested in acquiring it, and Cynthia had decided to give it to VCCA, which could then sell it through Christie’s to the collector, with the proceeds going toward the purchase of the Mt. San Angelo. We were in my car at the time, and I nearly drove off the road! How fitting that the
gift of a painting, Georgia O’Keeffe’s 'Blue Sand,' would make it possible for this artist residency program to purchase its permanent home.”
Blue Sand by Georgia O'Keefe
Blue Sand, Georgia O'Keeffe
vcca fireplace series
Rewatch Caroline Keys and Lauren Russell
In case you missed last week's event, here are links to watch and listen to two Fellows who blend writing and musicality, Lauren Russell and Caroline Keys . Thanks to Christina Chiu for hosting the fourth event in our Fireplace Series:

VCCA Fireplace Series 05: Sharon Charde and Donna Hemans
Next week we'll be joined by writers Sharon Charde ( I am Not a Juvenile Delinquent , published by Mango Publishing) and Donna Hemans ( Tea by the Sea , published by Red Hen Press).
Book covers for I AM NOT A JUVENILE DELINQUENT by Sharon Charde and TEA BY THE SEA by Donna Hemans
fellow messages
Fellows, please fill out this form to submit a message . This is a way to tell the VCCA community about how you're navigating these times as an artist and human and to spread the word about work affected by the pandemic.
Jens Barnieck
June 24, 2020

"I am more of a pianist than a composer. Last year, I recorded a CD for the toccata classics label with works by German composer Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916). His works were forbidden during the Nazi regime. I was able to purchase a copy of the manuscripts, restored the music, played it in concerts and recorded it. These days, I am selling the CD's here in Germany and donate some of the money to the women's shelter. Unfortunately and shamefully, violence towards women and children increased during the lockdown and women's shelters urgently need the money."

Work Affected by COVID-19

"Unfortunately, national and international concerts got cancelled."
Tim Peck
June 25, 2020

"I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be an essential worker, and what creating work means during our time of pandemic. In response, I have been shepherding the Essential Work(er)s Project during the last 4 months. This virtual summer concert series is launching via Patreon in July, and features the work of an international cast of musicians and composers.

This series helps support working musicians during a challenging time. In serving as a patron for new musical work, you also promote and foster the creation of new art, and speak to music’s enduring value. Artists have always helped individuals interrogate their shared humanity. The Essential Work(er)s Project provides a space for musicians to continue this work during a time of pandemic, and provides an important mechanism for mutual aid. Proceeds from this project will help support those musicians — in this project and beyond — who have lost a core source of their livelihood due to the pandemic. While our summer performances schedules have been cancelled, virtual summer series like this one carry on."
From ArtPlace America
Here's another running list of resources for artists during the COVID-19 pandemic:
standing invitations
Wachtmeister Award
We are now accepting applications for the 2021 Wachtmeister Award . Please share this opportunity widely with prominent visual artists who you think would benefit from uninterrupted time and space at VCCA.
VCCA Fellows Bookshop
Support new work by VCCA Fellows whose book launches, readings, signings, tours, and other events have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic. Submit this form to request your book be added .
Playlist Project for Composers
Thanks to our composer Fellows who have already submitted pieces for inclusion in our VCCA Playlist Project. We'll be announcing the first playlist next week!

It's not too late to get involved. Composer-Fellows are still invited to  submit an agreement form with a suggestion of one piece  that's available on streaming media (e.g., Spotify, YouTube, etc.).
Virtual VCCA
You're invited to get involved in Virtual VCCA , our new online community platform. You can post events, start a discussion, share your work, chat with other members, and more.
🧡 Stay safe, and be well.
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