Wednesday Lemonade

April 22, 2020

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

Last week, we announced our new page on Bookshop.org where 2020-2021 book releases by VCCA Fellows are featured. The list has grown since then, and we continue to welcome requests from Fellows to add eligible books to the list. Today we announce another initiative to support writer Fellows, but don't think for one second we've forgotten our visual artist and composer Fellows; we hope to announce specific plans to spotlight your work in coming newsletters.

In addition to our regularly scheduled newsletter programming messages from Fellows and another resource today we also include a link to a longer feature about VCCA Fellow, past President of the VCCA Board, and patron Linda Wachtmeister . We recently caught up with Linda to talk about her history with VCCA, what she’s up to right now, and what she sees for VCCA in a world beyond coronavirus. She says, “The VCCA is a very special place – it always has been – but it will be even more so when this is all over. It’s not something to take for granted ever again.”

In another update from last week, we now have more than 130 member in Virtual VCCA . If you haven't joined already, come see what it's all about.

Onward.
ON THE HORIZON
Virtual Reading Series
Virtual VCCA is going to kick off what we’re calling a “Virtual Reading Series,” featuring our authors (especially those with books coming out this spring).

We know the pandemic has thwarted many publicity plans and that many of our writers have worked for years on their novels, poems, non-fiction works, etc.

Think of this virtual reading series like the readings we do in the Living Room or the Library — informal ways to share our work with our community.
Would you like to be included? If so, please send an email to Steven Petrow ; he’ll answer any questions and then get you scheduled. Oh, and no PHD in Tech required.

A special note to composers and visual artists: How can we help you? Drop a line to Steven.
FELLOW MESSAGES
Below are just a few of the many lovely responses we've collected so far. Keep them coming! And keep an eye out for more message from Fellows elsewhere.
Kazaan Viveiros
"What scary times are these! Luckily, my home/studio is my refuge. Strictly obeying the stay at home orders, I have not ventured out in weeks, besides going for walks. Walking along the river helps. Watching deer and birds out the window helps. Since the crisis started, I have been painting large, open landscapes. This is something new. Perhaps it is my attempt at finding calm in an anxiety filled world! It is my hope that creativity will flourish, inspired by the changes in our lives this crisis has caused. Slowing down allows us to notice more, feel more, and be inspired by simple, small things that would otherwise go unnoticed."

Kazaan was scheduled to exhibit work at the Affordable Art Fair in New York at the end of March, via Decorazon Gallery . The fair has been postponed indefinitely.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
"Like many writers, this pandemic has changed many things about my work. Book tour for my newest book is canceled. That's hard, but I've come to realize there are only two things that really matter now: stay alive, and stay in love with each other and with this life.

I’m a science journalist (6 books, Wired, Stat, Boston Globe), and I’ve learned that we need to feel safe in order for our immune system to function optimally. When we perceive ourselves to be under constant emotional threat, brain and body respond to those stressors as if they are biological pathogens, upping inflammatory factors that harm immune health. So I stop and pause during the day for Qi Gong, Hanami flower viewing, long walks, Zoom with friends, gardening, planting pots of violets for elderly neighbors - to help me stay calm and in love with this life."
Carol Barsha
"My studio is at home so I am used to working here. In this very stressful time I am grateful to be able to find solace in my work even though it has been sometimes hard to focus. I have found myself reworking an old painting, adding and subtracting over and over, which has proved to be therapeutic and liberating."

Carol's exhibition “ Landscape in an Eroded Field ” at the American University Art Museum was closed two days early, and her upcoming exhibition “In My Meadow” at Gallery Neptune & Brown has been indefinitely postponed.
E. Dolores Johnson
"As artists, we know the value of working alone, undisturbed. That's a practice that's helping me, and hopefully you, get through social isolation. What I'm working on now is putting together the virtual launch of my book, SAY I'M DEAD , due out June 2. If you have any advice, tools, models, etc to share, I'd be most grateful."
SUPPORTER STORIES
We're as grateful as ever to the wide network of people who have helped sustain and advance VCCA over the course of our history. Every supporter has a story, and we aim to share more of those stories with the wider VCCA community.
Linda Wachtmeister
To VCCA, Linda Wachtmeister has been a Fellow, board member, board president, and invaluable supporter. In the real world, she is a painter, sculptor, philanthropist, eventing horse owner, and more.

Through her L.E.A.W. Family Foundation, she has endowed one VCCA fellowship and supported two others annually. Those fellowships reflect important aspects of her life and values and have supported 40 visual artists, writers, and composers since 2004.

You can probably guess who “Linda’s Garden” – the sunken garden behind the Fellows Residence at Mt. San Angelo (pictured) – is named after.
COVID-19 RESOURCES
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Fact Sheet
If you have questions about how to navigate Disaster Unemployment Assistance, here's a Fact Sheet from the Department of Labor that might help with some of the nuts and bolts of eiligibility requirements, when/how to file, etc.
STANDING INVITATIONS
Keep in Touch
🧡 Stay safe, and be well.