VMFA Statewide Structure Broadens Engagement

August, 2013

New website complements resources

As a national leader in education, VMFA’s Statewide division has restructured to reach an even wider audience including all schools, educators, and community-based non-profit organizations. Libraries, retirement homes, historic sites, art centers and also accredited museums are now part of the outreach.

Resources for educators
A key component of the restructuring is a resource-rich website, www.vmfa-resources.org, a resource for educators who are seeking deeper knowledge of the artists and work represented in VMFA’s permanent collections.

This portal offers access to lesson plans, pre-visit and post-visit guides, art projects, artist videos, and more. It is available to all K-12 schools, public and private, as well as home school organizations, parents, and students. All of these will be eligible to become entry-level VMFA partners at no charge.

“The site expands our already unique statewide outreach program to truly open the museum and its resources to all Virginians and indeed, the world,” said Jeffrey Allison, Paul Mellon Collection Educator and VMFA Statewide Manager. “Membership for all educators is free. Our goal is to reach every school in the Commonwealth.”

Virginia educators have access to Virginia Standards of Learning based teacher workshops, which are offered throughout the state. VMFA’s education staff will be busy now through early September attending annual teacher in-service training at many key city and county school systems.

“We work with a number of locations and various specialties including art, English, foreign languages, science, and world and U.S. history,” Allison said. “While we do them throughout the year as well, the start of the school year training establishes VMFA as a definitive resource to introduce SOL-based learning about the arts across all curricula.”

Resources for statewide arts organizations
Non-profit organizations throughout Virginia have access to a wide range of artist workshops, lectures, and performances available from VMFA to host for their audiences.

Another important component of VMFA’s Statewide Program is exhibitions. “Museums want to exhibit works from our permanent collection in their own communities,” Allison said. Right now there are 16 sites around the state capable of housing museum-level exhibitions, including traveling VMFA exhibitions such as European Modern: Master Artists from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which will run through William King Museum in Abingdon January 5, 2014.

Not only does VMFA offer these exhibitions, it also provides technical assistance and support.

But the approach is not just top-down. VMFA will also serve as an intermediary so these museums can share information and take advantage of cost-saving opportunities on services such as insurance, shipping, and other tasks and expenditures related to organizing an exhibition. Another goal of the new program is to encourage partners to curate their own exhibitions. Partner curators will have online access to VMFA’s collections database.

Shifting demographics provide additional opportunities, and VMFA is looking more toward institutions such as colleges and universities for potential partnerships. Radford University and the University of Mary Washington are two examples of institutions of higher learning that are beginning to host more exhibitions and programs. Another area ripe for expansion is retirement communities, where exposure to the arts is seen as an enhancement to the quality of life.

From K 12 students and teachers to college students, retirees, and others, VMFA is currently serving some 611,000 Virginians outside its Richmond campus. With these new statewide initiatives, the museum hopes to reach even more people.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation.  With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary art – and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European – VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States.  Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus lively after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth.  VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free.  For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit www.vmfa.museum.


Spotlight Artist: Bowen McCauley Dance
Dance for PD® – A Unique Dance Program for People with Parkinson Disease and Their Care-Partners

August, 2013

Bowen McCauley Dance

In partnership with the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, Bowen McCauley Dance (BMD) provides Dance for PD - free weekly dance classes for people with Parkinson Disease and their care-partners. Lucy Bowen McCauley, BMD’s Artistic Director and founder, is “… honored to bring dance to people with this disease.” Bowen McCauley Dance (BMD) currently offers 5 free Dance for PD classes on a weekly basis at a variety of locations. These classes are open to anyone with Parkinson Disease and their care partners or family members. In addition to weekly classes, BMD offers students in the Dance for PD program the opportunity to perform with the Company every year. Students have performed at a variety of locations including The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and BMD's annual Move Me Festival at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, VA.

 Besides the health benefits, dance takes the mind and spirit away from the thoughts of disease, disability and social isolation. Dance for PD® originated with the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Parkinson Group and the Mark Morris Dance Group. At the invitation of Mark Morris Dance Group and Parkinson's Foundation of the National Capital Area, McCauley received training and certification in March 2008 to teach these fun and innovative classes. (For more information about the national program and how to find a class near you visit the official Dance for PD Web site.) When participating in the dance program, people with the disease report a decrease in physical symptoms and improved psychological and emotional benefits. One participant taking the class simply stated, “I lose my symptoms when I’m there.”

Over 500,000 Americans are living with Parkinson Disease, and another 5,000 are diagnosed every year. This degenerative and progressive disease is marked by tremors, stiffness, loss of balance and coordination, and slowed movement. In a study of patients with Parkinson Disease, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that those patients who participated in dance classes showed significant improvement in balance and mobility over those who participated in non-dance exercise programs.

To learn more about Bowen McCauley Dance and Dance for PD  visit http://www.bmdc.org.


Virginia Commission for the Arts Appoints New Executive Board Leadership

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA:  The Virginia Commission for the Arts is pleased to announce its new executive board leadership. The new leadership was elected at the Commission’s June 12-13, 2013 board meeting in Danville, Virginia.

2013-2014 Executive Board Leadership

Lisa Alderman, Chair, lives in Wytheville, Virginia.  She was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine in November 2009. Her career includes roles in management, non-profit and  business development.  Since 2006, Lisa has been a part of the development team with Chiltern and now serves as an Account Manager.  Chiltern is an international CRO headquartered in the UK with 1600 staff globally.  For more than 7 years, she worked with Barter Theatre, The State Theatre of Virginia, as Director of Development.  Previously, Ms. Alderman managed the Wytheville Community College Educational Foundation as their Administrative Director.  Lisa is a graduate of Wytheville Community College, received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Virginia Intermont College and completed her Master’s  in Business Administration from King University.  She has served on the Virginia Commission for the Arts since 2009 and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Virginians for the Arts.  Lisa received an appointment to the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation in 2012.  She volunteers with other non-profit organizations and is a Past President of the United Way of Washington County.

Marcia Neuhaus Speck, Vice Chair, lives in Alexandria, Virginia. She been actively involved in the management, development and support of the arts and artistic events in Northern Virginia and throughout the Washington metropolitan region over the past 25 years.  She was appointed in 2009 by Governor Tim Kaine as Commissioner to the Virginia Commission for the Arts where she has also served as Secretary for the past 2 years.  Previously, Ms. Speck was the Co-Founder and President of Capital City Opera, Executive Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, and Director of Public Relations for theWaterloo Foundation for the Arts; she has also held positions in the field of advertising and communications in private industry.

Sharron Kitchen Miller, Secretary, is a native of Newport News, Virginia.  She was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine in November 2009 to serve an unexpired term and reappointed by Governor Bob McDonnell in July 2011 to serve a term of five years. A retired pediatric administrator, Ms. Kitchen Miller also serves as a trustee of the Virginia Living Museum and as a City Manager appointee to the Deer Run Golf Advisory Board in Newport News.  She is a member and past President of the Newport News Master Gardener’s Association and also served on the Newport News Public Works Citizen Advisory Committee and the USS Newport News Liaison Committee.

The Virginia Commission for the Arts 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-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, educators and local governments and provides technical assistance in arts management. 


Additional Information