Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fellowship Opportunity

The Virginia Commission for Arts invites Virginia­ based artists and writers to apply for the 2008­-2009 Artist Fellowships in Crafts and Playwriting
Deadline: August 1, 2008.

Artist Fellowships of $5,000 are awarded annually by the Commission to recognize the creative excellence of individual Virginia artists and to support their pursuit of artistic excellence.

Artists in the disciplines of crafts and playwriting, who are legal residents of Virginia at the application deadline and who plan to remain in the state for the coming year, are eligible to apply for the 2008-2009 Artist Fellowship.

Interested artists may obtain an application by downloading forms from the Commission's web site: or by calling the Commission (804­-225­3132).

The Virginia Commission for the Arts is the state agency that supports the arts through funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Commission distributes grant awards to artists, arts and other not­-for­profit organizations, educational institutions, educators and local governments, and provides technical assistance in arts management.

For information about the Virginia Commission for the Arts or its programs contact: 223 Governor Street
Richmond, VA 23219­-2010

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Charlottesville Artist Passes Away

We've just learned that longtime friend of VSA arts of Virginia, Laura Burrell, passed away on June 20th. The staff and board at VSA arts of Virginia would like to express condolences to Laura's family and friends. We know that she will be missed by her friends at VSA.

Monday, May 26, 2008

People With Epilepsy Invited to Submit Artwork for National

Deadline: July 16, 2008
The sixth annual Expressions of Courage national art contest provides people with epilepsy the opportunity to showcase their talents and perspectives of the world around them through art.
Sponsored by the Ortho-McNeil Neurologics Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation, the contest is open to all Americans diagnosed with epilepsy. A panel of epilepsy advocates and art industry representatives
will serve as contest judges and will announce the winning artwork in September. Winning entries will be selected based on creativity and the ability to demonstrate feelings of living with epilepsy through art.
Contest entries will be categorized into three age groups: children age 12 or younger; teens between the ages of 13 and 17; and adults 18 years of age or older. Artwork may be created in ink, pencil, crayon, paint, or a combination of these materials and must be on paper or board.
Winning artwork will be featured on the contest Web site and either in calendars or coffee table books available in local Epilepsy Foundation offices and select physician offices nationwide. In addition, a few winning pieces may be chosen by curators from the Society for the Arts in Healthcare for display in a traveling art exhibition.
Complete program information and entry forms are available from the contest website.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Two Grant Opportunities for Cancer Survivors

Lilly Oncology on Canvas 2008 Art Competition
Deadline: June 30, 2008
The Lilly Oncology on Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey Art Competition and Exhibition was developed by Eli Lilly and Company in 2004 as a way to honor the journeys people embark upon when confronted with a cancer diagnosis. Lilly Oncology presents the 2008 Lilly Oncology on Canvas Art Competition and Exhibition in partnership with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. More…
Capelli d’Angeli Foundation
Capelli d’Angeli Foundation is offering a limited number of fellowship grants of up to $500 each, for women artists who are in treatment or survivors of cancer and are creating art in all media. Grant recipients and award amounts will be determined after a thorough review of the artist’s work as shown by her images. More…

Sunday, April 27, 2008

C'ville District Chair Featured on NBC29 News

Poetry Gives AHS Class Freedom of Expression
Reported by Claire O'Brien on April 23, 2008 04:56 PM

When you're mad, you yell. When you're happy, you laugh. But what if a disability got in the way of expressing how you feel? One program is opening up a world of expression for some very special students.

The words are flowing from the Albemarle High School students we visited, but they weren't in your everyday English class. These students had something standing in the way of expressing how they feel: they all have autism.

"For a teenager to have a significant disability is huge, especially if it impacts their social skills, their communication, their sense of self," said special education teacher Leah Fechtmann.

Through poems, the students are able to express feelings that they may not be able to verbalize. They get extra help from Rose Williams, Miss Wheelchair Virginia. The students choose words that describe their inner feelings, then they put those feelings into poetry.

According to Williams, "It builds self-esteem. It builds their self-esteem and self-worth."

When they're better able to express what they can do, they don't focus so much on what they can't. "We were seeing their struggles. When they finally verbalized their struggles they went on to their feelings of being valued and appreciated, which were much, much larger," shared Fechtman.

Williams said, "They're so proud of their accomplishment, by doing that." Link:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

National Juried Exhibition for Young Artists with Disabilities (Ages 16 – 25)

Sponsored by VSA arts with generous assistance from Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Grand Prize: $20,000
First Award: $10,000
Second Award: $6,000
12 Awards of Excellence: $2,000

"Contemporary art challenges us…it broadens our horizons. It asks us to think beyond the limits of conventional wisdom."
- Eli Broad

A green light signals “GO!” and permission to proceed. What revs you up as an artist and moves you to create? What signals the spark of creativity? Imagine that you receive a signal to drive your own future. Describe the experience and how you will direct your route – both artistically and personally. How does art give you permission to be who you are? Consider the infinite possibilities that art (or creativity) provides.

We are interested in both representational and abstract work. Artwork may illustrate actual aspects of what signals your creative motivations such as the physical world or personal discoveries. Abstract work that relates to feelings or emotions is also encouraged. Work might also reflect your experience of living with a disability and its role in shaping or transforming your work.

Details including eligibility can be found on our national website.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Online Music Classes for Infants, Babies and Toddlers – Free for Children with Special Needs

Parents, I found this on the Exceptional Parent website:

The Come Children Sing Institute is offering free gift certificates for Come Children, Sing! Online Music Classes for infants, babies, and toddlers with special needs. The $35 gift certificate provides one 10-week Online Music Class. Request a free gift certificate for your child by sending an email to Mention Exceptional Parent Magazine and indicate that you have a child with special needs. Your gift certificate will be sent via email, and you can start the Online Music Class at any time.

At VSA, Learning Is Art

Craig Hammond, 12, follows a JMU volunteer’s lead while making a fish out of clay during VSA arts, a day of crafting and activities presented by Kappa Pi, the international honorary art and art history fraternity at JMU. Photo by Pete Marovich

Excerpt from Harrisonburg's Daily News Record 4/17/08:

"Around 10 a.m., groups from Spotswood and Harrisonburg high schools, Stewart Middle School and Mountain View, Stone Spring and John Wayland elementary schools began arriving.
Kyle Simpson, 19, entered the building excited to get crafting. Because the HHS student came last year, he knew what to expect. 'It's fun!' he said, beaming.
Ten tables covered with red and white gingham cloths and adorned with balloons served as hands-on craft stations filled with activities including face painting, sculpting, macaroni jewelry, sand art, flowerpot painting and more. The students moved from station to station happily loading up their brown paper bags with each new creation.

Stone Spring high needs teacher Angela Craighead brought six students to the event, her first year participating. 'I think it's set up very nice. I like that the kids can go wherever they want and check everything out,' she said.
Working on a necklace at the macaroni station, Debbie Stevenson, 13, decided she wants to make jewelry when she gets older. "I'm having fun. You can tell by the [flower],' she said, pointing to a blue flower painted on her cheek. 'I like it.'
A couple tables down, volunteer Ava Freeburg, 17, waited for students to come to her clothespin butterfly station. The daughter of JMU faculty sponsor and coordinator of art education programs Kathy Schwartz, the HHS senior has been volunteering for VSA since eighth grade.
'It's just such a unique opportunity to be able to work with the special education kids and be able to help them,' said Freeburg. 'It's really fun for me to be able to do that.'"

Read the full article...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Virginia Quarterly Review: Young Reviewers Contest

In September 2008, VQR will hold a competition to encourage and cultivate young reviewers and critics under the age of thirty. The prize for the winning entry is $1,000, publication in the Winter 2009 issue, and a publishing contract for three additional reviews worth $3,000. Runners-up may also be offered publication in VQR (in print or online).
~ Entrants must be under the age of thirty as of the closing date of the contest, September 30, 2008.
~ Entries (one per person) should be at least 2,000 and no more than 3,500 words and should be an in-depth review of a book of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction published in the US after January 1, 2008.
~ There is no entry fee for the contest.
~ More...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

"What If You Were the Designer?" Never Built Virginia Youth Design Competition

Never Built Virginia, an exhibition on display at the Library of Virginia through July 26th, 2008, focuses on the history of ambitious, very creative, and sometimes otherworldly works of architecture proposed but never constructed. In the spirit of architectural creativity, the Library of Virginia is sponsoring the "What If You Were the Designer?" Youth Design Competition.

The entry form is based on the drawing Richmond architect Haigh Jamgochian used in the design for his "never built" structure called "Tree House" prepared for a narrow lot in downtown Richmond. Entrants are asked to sketch their own concept of a building within the space shown, and to provide a brief written description of their design. Entries will be posted in an online gallery, where visitors to the site can cast their votes for their favorite design ideas.

The contest is open to Virginia residents ages 8 to 17. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, April 12, 2008, at 5:00 pm. Winners in both the junior and senior divisions will each receive a $250 savings bond and will have their entries displayed in the lobby of the Library. For more information contact Tameka Hobbs, Program and Education Coordinator, at 804.371.2126, or Susan Gilliam, Educational Assistant, at 804.692.3999.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Loudoun District Gets Front Page Coverage

Congratulations to the Loudoun district! Hope to see everyone at the performance this weekend. Select link to view article.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Expressive Arts Workshop

Exploring the ARTS in Life, Work & Community
with Jena e. Leake, M.A., R.E.A.T.
Registered Expressive Arts Therapist
Expressive arts is the interdisciplinary practice of working with all the arts visual arts, dance/movement, writing/poetry, drama, music, storytelling and imagery)to inspire creative expression, human development, healing & transformation. This experiential workshop is an opportunity to explore the arts for personal and professional growth. You will learn about the exciting field of Expressive Arts Therapy, Education & Coaching while engaging in individual and community art-making experiences that will inspire your creativity in art and life. As we dialogue with our art and each other, we will discover new ideas and resources for enlivening our personal and professional lives. This is an excellent workshop for therapists, caregivers, educators, artists and community professionals. No previous art experience necessary. Co-sponsored by Charlottesville Parks & Recreation and VSA arts of Virginia. Workshop details:
Date and time: Friday, March 7 from 10:00am until 2:00pm
Location: Tonsler Park Center, 501 Cherry Avenue, Charlottesville, VA
Register: Charlottesville Parks & Recreation 434.970.3264

Monday, February 04, 2008

All Kids Can Create

You can create, and creating leads to learning! VSA arts and CVS Caremark All Kids Can invite children and youth to submit artwork showing us your creativity. Explore new activities, challenge your perceptions, discover your inner artist and submit your work of art today!
Deadline: Friday, March 14, 2008
More information: All Kids Can Create

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Accepting Applications for ArtsCONNECT Program

This may be of interest to those of you working with outside presenters and workshop instructors:

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Accepting Applications for ArtsCONNECT Program
Deadline: March 24, 2008
The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation ( ) serves the states and territories of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia. The foundation's ArtsCONNECT program supports collaborations among presenters to facilitate tours of artists involving all the performing arts disciplines across the mid-Atlantic region.
Only presenter consortia are eligible to apply to the program. For the purposes of the program, the foundation defines a presenter as an organization that selects and engages professional touring artists to perform work before audiences in their communities. Presenters manage all the local requirements for the performance and facilitate the interaction between artists and audiences. Producing organizations, which create artistic work or assemble artists to perform as ensembles for performances, are not eligible to apply.
Each presenter partner in the consortium must be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization or a unit of government. The presenter consortium must include at least three presenting organizations from at least two mid-Atlantic states.
ArtsCONNECT projects must utilize professional touring artists from performing arts disciplines, including dance, music, opera, theater, jazz, and folk/traditional arts, that have been touring at least two years. At least one complementary activity (exhibitions, lecture/demonstrations, master classes, residencies, workshops, etc.) must take place as part of the tour.
ArtsCONNECT grant amounts are determined as a percentage of the contracted artist's fee (including commissioning fees, if applicable). ArtsCONNECT grants require a one-to-one cash match. Presenters must apply for a minimum of $500 per engagement.
Visit the foundation's Web site for complete program guidelines, eligibility requirements, and application procedures.
RFP Link:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Press for Loudoun County District

Congratulations to VSA arts of Virginia - Loudoun County for the Washington Post article today. Read the article here:
Curtain to Rise on Arts Center
Performance Space Built on Barn Site

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Announcing the 2008 VSA arts Apprenticeship at the Williamstown Theatre Festival

For the third year, VSA arts will partner with the renowned Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts to continue the VSA arts Apprenticeship. The VSA arts Apprenticeship provides a unique insight into the world of a professional theater for students with a disability, ages 19 – 24, interested in expanding their theater education and knowledge.

Every summer, the Williamstown Theatre Festival Apprentice Program offers 70 promising students classes in acting, voice, and movement. Discussions and master classes with notable professionals are also a part of the apprentice experience. Apprentices also learn about the different aspects of running a professional theater company by working in each of the various departments at the Festival on a rotating basis. Many former apprentices have gone on to successful careers in the professional theater.

VSA arts is now accepting applications for this prestigious program. The selected VSA arts Apprentices will have all expenses covered by VSA arts, to include:
* Application fee ($30)
* Tuition, room and board ($3,500)
* Round trip coach airfare to and from Williamstown, Massachusetts, including ground transportation
* Travel, room and board for a personal care assistant, if required
* Reasonable accommodation for the Apprentice’s disability

Download the official rules and guidelines here.
Download the official application here.

Call for Entries: Visual Arts

Derivative Composition

Deadline: Friday, March 21, 2008

VSA arts is seeking visual artists with disabilities whose work is inspired by the performing arts.

Work must have a visual component. Eligible media include, but are not limited to two- and three-dimensional art (painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, textile, glass, etc.) Applicants from a wide range of practices, such as digital arts, installation, and time-based media, are also encouraged to apply.

Open to artists (ages 18 and over) who are committed to their artistic progress and who have a physical, cognitive, or mental disability.

Learn more here.