Performing Artists Touring Roster Application Deadline July 15, 2014

June, 2014

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA:  The deadline for individuals and groups to apply for inclusion in the 2015-2016 Virginia Commission for the Arts’ Performing Arts Tour Directory is 5:00 p.m., July 15, 2014.

Applications and all supporting materials must be received at the Virginia Commission for the Arts office at 1001 East Broad Street, Suite 330, Richmond, VA 23219 by the deadline (this is not a postmark date).  Applications and more information are available at or by contacting Program Coordinator Cathy Welborn at, (804) 225-3132.

The Virginia Commission for the Arts’ Performing Arts Touring Directory is intended to support Virginia performing artists and ensembles as well as increase opportunities for Virginians to experience high quality performing arts events statewide.  Performing artists and ensembles apply to be listed in the Tour Directory with a set amount of funding reserved to support their touring; grants are made to the presenter, not the touring artist(s). Individuals and groups on the roster are excellent and experienced performers available to communities, schools and other venues.

The Commission’s Performing Artist directory can be found at  The directory lists individuals and groups who work in a number of disciplines, including dance, music, interdisciplinary arts, storytelling, opera and theatre. To be in the directory, performing artists are reviewed by a panel of arts professionals in a rigorous review process that evaluates the artistic quality of their presentation, experience in touring, and ability to market and promote performances.

The panel, which consists of arts professionals, performing artists, performing arts presenters and knowledgeable laypersons in the performing arts, will review applications on September 4, 2014 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060.  Panel recommendations will be presented to the Commissioners at the fall board meeting for final approval. Applicants will be notified of their status after the review and approval process are completed.

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. 

Performing Arts Touring Assistance Grant Applications

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Spotlight Arts Organization: Chrysler Museum of Art

June, 2014
Chrysler Museum of Art

The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va., reopened its doors after a 16-month, $24 million renovation and then promptly hosted the most successful public art installation in its history.

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck, a towering 40-foot bundle of inflated childlike joy, drew an estimated 150,000 visitors, 40,000 of which also visited the museum. It was record attendance for an institution that strives for 200,000 visitors per year.

Rubber Duck made local, regional and national news, and brought fresh attention to an institution steadily building it national standing and acclaim.

Last year the Chrysler was graded by Charity Navigator as the best financially managed museum in the country. The Chrysler was one of six museums detailed in the book Magnetic Museums as national innovators. The Museum's use of Gallery Hosts—helpful, upbeat and knowledgeable—instead of front-line security guards is being studied nationwide, and an art critic from Texas recently declared: "Once you visit a place like the Chrysler, it genuinely seems strange that all art museums don’t feel the same way."

The expansion and renovation project capped a fully-funded, $45 million capital campaign that led to the creation of the Chrysler Museum Perry Glass Studio, a working facility for glass artists that perfectly complements the museum's stellar glass art collection. It financed a free admission policy. And the campaign endowed key curatorial and educational positions, and architecturally, it fixed many long-standing problems with a building that had expanded piecemeal in the past.

Much of the interior was stripped down to concrete and steel to allow for the installation of new energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, and the new open spaces presented a blank slate for the re-imagination of every single gallery. There's 30 percent more room for the glass collection, considered one of the top three in the country. There's a new design for the Tiffany glass collection, considered one of the top two such collections in the country.

Moving the museum café out of a dark corner and into the front of the building added more than just an al fresco dining opportunity; it created a new open first-floor layout for redesigned displays of art and artifacts in the Ancient Worlds, Non-Western and Meso-American galleries. The new exhibition space upstairs provided more room for the display of two strengths of the collection, French Impressionists and Old Masters.

While closed for renovations, the museum stayed quite busy in terms of acquiring new art—from sculpture to paintings to cameo glass—and conserving and restoring items long held in storage because of condition issues. Topping that list is a now-on-view 1928 Picasso and two ancient Roman statues from the noted 17th century collection of Vincenzo Giustiniani.

The scope of the expansion and renovation, dubbed a "breathtaking success" by Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, went well beyond new galleries. Every single informational panel and object label was rewritten to find the perfect balance that would serve novices and aficionados equally. There's an increased use of technology, including videos and customized apps used by Gallery Hosts, that are a peek into the future of an institution determined to live up to its mission statement: The Chrysler Museum exists to enrich and transform lives. We bring art and people together through experiences that delight, inform, and inspire.

What began as a small provincial museum in the 1930s, was transformed in 1971 by the stunning gift of the collection of Walter Chrysler, Jr. In the years since dedicated trustees, generous supporters, and an extraordinary staff have made the Chrysler a recognized national model for what a mid-size art museum can and should be.

The new Chrysler Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is always free.

Job Posting: Arts in Education Coordinator

June, 2014

Job Objective:

This position is responsible for overseeing the arts in education grant programs, help potential
applicants, and manage the statewide Poetry Out Loud Recitation contest.

Core Responsibilities

A. Grants Administration:

  • Maintain accurate knowledge of all policies and guidelines of the Commission
  • Work with schools, teachers, artists and arts organizations in preparing applications for funding.
  • Conduct application assistance workshops.
  • Respond to telephone and in-person inquiries about the grant programs and application process.
  • Coordinate application review process by helping to recruit advisory panelists
  • Preparing applications and supporting information for review by the panelists
  • Taking notes at panel meetings and preparing summaries of panel discussions
  • Responding to applicants on funding decisions.
  • Monitor reporting by grantees. Enter appropriate information in agency database.
  • Revise application and report forms for use by grantees as needed.
  • Code grantee activity in agency database.
  • Assist the Executive Director in preparation of NEA or other grant applications.

B. Public Information:

  • Provide information to arts educators, artists, arts organizations, and the general public on programs and services of the Commission through meetings, the telephone, and public appearances.
  • Write and distribute press releases on Commission’s Arts Education activities.
  • Maintain lists of artists and arts organizations.
  • Represent the Commission at conferences and meetings.

C. Agency Planning:

  • Track and report to the Executive Director on trends in arts education around the state and country.
  • Assist in evaluating agency arts education services.

D. Poetry Out Loud:

  • Manage the statewide Poetry Out Loud recitation
  • Work with teachers and school administrators on school and regional competitions.
  • Attend regional, state, and national competitions

E. Special Projects:

  • Assist Executive Director on special projects, as requested.

Competencies required to successfully perform the job:

  • Knowledge of the arts and of arts education
  • Strong written and oral communications skills
  • Administrative skills
  • Talent for diplomacy, tact, and good judgment
  • Ability to perform multiple tasks in the same time period
  • Good computer skills and ability to learn new software
  • Ability and willingness to travel


  • Undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or equivalent training in the arts or arts administration preferred.
  • Five or more years of work experience, preferably in art education.

Salary: $40,000 - $45,000 depending on experience plus benefits

How to Apply: (Submission deadline July 1, 2014)

Submit Resume and two writing samples to:

Margaret Vanderhye, Executive Director
Virginia Commission for the Arts
1001 East Broad Street, Suite 330
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Foster J. Billingsley to Manage Theater Company after 14 Years at the VCA

June, 2014

With a profound sense of loss as well as gratitude for his fourteen years of service, we announce the resignation of Virginia Commission for the Arts Deputy Director Foster J. Billingsley. He will be leaving the Commission on June 30th to become the General Manager of the Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, Virginia. In accepting the new position, Foster is fulfilling a lifelong dream to manage an equity theater company; he is relocating to his beloved home town of Norfolk too. This month, he is going to say good bye to the people and the organization that have been his “family for the last fourteen years”.

We at the Commission are naturally very conflicted by this bittersweet news: deeply saddened that we will be saying good bye to a respected and beloved member of our Commission “family”, and yet filled with happiness for him as he achieves a career milestone.

Foster has served at the Commission since 2001 both as Deputy and as Executive Director. No one can replace Foster; he has a vast and unique knowledge and understanding about the Commission’s operations and arts organizations throughout the state. His devotion to the VCA, support for our arts organizations, and his passion for the arts are unparalleled. In cooperation with the Governor’s office, we will immediately begin a job search for a new Deputy Executive Director. But the enduring legacy of Foster Billingsley will continue to sustain us and arts lovers throughout Virginia for years to come.

As he continues his work with the Commission through June, we hope you will join the Commissioners and staff in congratulating Foster on this exciting endeavor. As he begins this new chapter in his life, we send our very best wishes with him.


Margaret Vanderhye, Executive Director

Lisa Alderman, Chair


Additional Information