Wednesday Lemonade

July 29, 2020
Welcome back to Wednesday Lemonade, a community newsletter focused on keeping VCCA Fellows, staff, and supporters connected.

Today we continue with introductions to newly elected members of the VCCA board of directors. Last week, we welcomed nonfiction writer E. Dolores Johnson. Today, we spotlight visual artist Juan Manuel Granados. Nonprofit financial executive Hazel Duncan will be next. Executive Director Kevin O'Halloran says, “We are thrilled to have three such remarkable people joining the VCCA board all at once."

We're also happy to pass along word from Auvillar, France, where a socially distant reading today featured poems by VCCA Fellows on silence and pilgrimage.

In VCCA Fireplace Series news, we share last week's event recording and announce our next guest artists. Today's messages from Fellows come from Jeff W. Bens and Ellen Grabiner. We also share two upcoming Fellow events from novelist Christina Chiu and composer Tim Peck.

At the beginning of the month, we announced the first of many composer playlists to be featured on our website. This is the last week to peruse our July 2020 playlist in all its glory. We look forward to sharing a fresh batch of musical pieces by VCCA composers in August.

As always, thanks for reading.
get to know a board member
Juan Manuel Granados
We're happy to introduce Juan Manuel Granados as a newly elected member of the VCCA Board of Directors.

Juan is a two-time VCCA Fellow, visual artist, philanthropist, and former advertising executive.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, he now calls Charlottesville, Virginia, home. As a full-time visual artist, Granados has held multiple group and individual shows. Granados has been actively involved in the LGBT civil rights movement in the U.S.
bonjour de france
Fellows' Words and Spirits in Auvillar Tonight
From Resident Director Cheryl Fortier:

"While a majority of festivals and events have been canceled this summer due to the pandemic, one association in Auvillar has organized a weekly reading series with readers located at various outdoor venues in the village proper. Small groups circulate from reading to reading.

This evening, we read poetry written by VCCA Fellows in the theme of silence and pilgrimage. Each of the poems has been translated in partnership with the Fellow and someone in the village. The poems were read in English by John Alexander and in French by François Brogly."
vcca fireplace series
"Almost in Real Life"
Three Fellows and friends reconnected in last week's virtual Fireplace Series. Barbara Crooker read from a new collection of poetry that was largely written at Mt. San Angelo and Moulin à Nef . Composer Gregory Mertl joined us from Brazil to share music from "Pictures Without an Exhibition" for pianist Heather Lanners . They then joined host Steven Petrow in conversation about their work, staying "receptive to beauty," and finding inspiration in "other people's creative output." Enjoy the recording on Facebook or on YouTube .
Looking Forward
Join us next week on Thursday, August 6, for another evening around the virtual fireplace, this time with fiction writer Clifford Garstang and interdisciplinary artist Heidi Kumao . Clifford will read from House of the Ancients, published May 12, 2020. Heidi will present stop motion animations and fabric works that were supposed to be part of an April 2020 New York City solo exhibition that was postponed due to the pandemic.

We welcome back writer and VCCA Fellows Council member David Ebenbach as our host. As usual, he'll facilitate live questions from our real-time viewers.
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. Tell us how what you're up to and how you're doing.
Jeff W. Bens
June 23, 2020

"I am trying to stay steady in the writing, as one way to engage with the world."

Work Affected by COVID-19

"In person events for my upcoming novel The Mighty Oak have been canceled or moved online. I hope to be able to virtually visit schools and book clubs and am open to all invitations."
Ellen Grabiner
April 17, 2020

"I am 'enjoying' a sabbatical from my teaching job, that was kicked off by a wonderful 3 weeks at VCCA in the fall. During my residency I gained traction on a graphic memoir about my experience as a lesbian mother. By January, I had completed 5 ½ chapters of this labor-intensive work. I planned to be in the studio anyway, so my day to day hasn't been impacted by social distancing and stay at home orders. But, like many other artists, I have lost focus in this chaotic time, and find myself easily distracted, tired by Zoom events except when a cohort from my time at VCCA has met to check in! That was invigorating! and my day seems to disappear before I have accomplished much. Ironically, time has also stretched and expanded in ways that make it seem like I have been on sabbatical for years. I am so grateful to have work that is challenging and meaningful, that grounds, and when I can get there, focuses me."
highlights from virtual vcca
These updates come from members posting in Virtual VCCA , our online community platform powered by Mighty Networks.
Upcoming Fellow Events
Find more information and links to participate in the below events on the Events page in Virtual VCCA :

Tonight! Wed., July 29, 7 p.m. ET | Harvard Bookstore Reading with Christina Chiu and Pam Houston |  Join Christina Chiu, author of Beauty, and Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, as they laugh, joke, read, and discuss new work.

Aug. 1 and Aug. 15| Online Series: The Essential Work(er)s Project |  For this project, composer Tim Peck joined together with diverse musicians around the country to collaborate on a series of new, original pieces. They will be releasing a new composition on the 1st and 15th of July and August via Patreon.
Virtual VCCA members can add their own upcoming events using the + button in the upper righthand corner.  Not already a member of Virtual VCCA?  Use this link to join the group.
Americans for the Arts: COVID-19 Impact Survey
The  COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers is designed to "capture the financial and creative impact of COVID-19 on creative workers, highlight the resiliency and generosity of the creative sector, and make sure that the 5 million creative workers in the U.S. are supported and heard during this ongoing crisis and the eventual recovery." Find more information in the Americans for the Arts' Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource and Response Center .
standing invitations
Look to this  new page of the VCCA website for a comprehensive list of ways to stay virtually engaged with our creative community during VCCA's temporary closure.
Last Chance to Listen
Our July 2020 playlist will soon transform into an August 2020 playlist. That means this is the last week to enjoy our first composer playlist featuring work by:

  1. Joelle Wallach | String Quartet #2
  2. Joshua Marquez | Toward
  3. Beth Wiemann | Opera from Scratch
  4. Suzanne Sorkin | Swept
  5. James Primosch | Carthage
  6. Hayes Biggs | O Sapintia/Steal Away
🧡 Stay safe, and be well.
Want to stay in touch with VCCA, just not on a weekly basis? Simply reply to this email to let us know, and we'll understandingly unsubscribe you from this particular email list.