• Commission to Cut Funding in Response to Governor's Directive

    Art Works Conference Sacrificed to Protect Grants

    Contact: Margaret Vanderhye, Executive Director
    (804) 225-3132, margaret.vanderhye@vca.virginia.gov

    RICHMOND, SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 - On August 22nd as a response to the current state budget crisis, Governor McAuliffe directed every state agency to cut 5% from its FY15 budget and 7% from its FY16 budget based on current budget figures. At the Virginia Commission for the Arts, that will mean reductions of over $195,000 for FY15 and over $273,000 for FY16. The Governor has directed agencies to submit their reductions plans to his office by September 19th.

    The Commission awards approximately 85% of all grant funds at the start of each fiscal year. As a result, we have little flexibility in dealing with budget cuts that are announced once the fiscal year is under way. The Executive Committee met last week and has directed staff to submit a proposal for the Governor's approval that minimizes to the fullest extent possible cuts and disruptions to our grantees and their programs.

    The Commission will do its best to honor all grants that have already been awarded. However, effective immediately, the Commission will need to take the following actions:

    • The four 2014-2015 Artist Fellowships in Sculpture will not be awarded.
    • Technical and Organizational Development Assistance grant requests submitted after September 2nd will be eliminated.
    • There will be no Wait List funds for the Performing Arts Touring Assistance Program.
    • The Art Works for Virginia Conference on January 27-28, 2015 is cancelled.
    • Second payments for General Operating Support grants will be proportionately reduced.

    At this time, Performing Arts Touring Assistance Grants, Local Government Challenge Grants, Artist in Education Residency Grants and Project Grants will not be affected.

    Budget cuts are never easy. For the Commission for the Arts, the impacts will be immediate and consequential. As the budget situation develops, the Commission will announce the impact of the cuts on all of grant programs for the current and next fiscal year. This information will be available on our website and will be communicated through email and special mailings.

    Please check the Commission website on a regular basis www.arts.virginia.gov. For additional information contact Margaret Vanderhye, Executive Director at 804-225-3132.

    About the Virginia Commission for the Arts

    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.

    For additional eligibility information and other Commission requirements contact the Virginia Commission for the Arts, 223 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 225-3132, or visit our website: www.arts.virginia.gov

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

  • Spotlight Arts Organization: The Birthplace of Country Music

    Contact: Margaret Vanderhye, Executive Director
    (804) 225-3132, margaret.vanderhye@vca.virginia.gov

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    In 1927, Ralph Peer – a record executive from Victor Talking Machine Company in Camden, New Jersey – traveled to Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia to find the makers of “hillbilly” music. He set up a portable recording studio in the Taylor-Christian Hat Company building on State Street, advertised for auditions, and waited for the music makers to come to him. Over the course of two weeks, Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 different acts, including Ernest V. Stoneman with various friends and family, The Carter Family, known as “The First Family of Country Music,” and “The Father of Country Music,” Jimmie Rodgers. It was with these recordings that the foundation of country music was laid and its soundtrack begins.

    These recordings met with commercial success and continue to influence musicians today, and in 2002, the Library of Congress ranked the 1927 Bristol Sessions among the 50 most significant sound recording events of all time. Johnny Cash said that “these recordings in Bristol in 1927 are the single most important event in the history of country music.”

    The Birthplace of Country Music was established to preserve and promote the rich music heritage of our region. This grassroots organization was first formed through the cooperation of civic, educational, tourist, governmental, and music-related interests on April 7, 1994; it became a nonprofit in 1996. In 1998, the US Congress passed a bill that officially recognized Bristol as the Birthplace of Country Music. Through the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and its mission, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and a multitude of community and educational outreach programs, our vision is to promote Bristol, Tennesee-Virginia as the Birthplace of Country Music.

    “We are very proud to open the museum after years of careful planning and development, thanks to many local and national experts in various fields. This Smithsonian-affiliated museum will be a facility that will engage our community regularly through programming and thoughtful exhibits, and we expect to draw a large number of visitors from around the world,” says Dr. Jessica Turner, director and head curator of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. “What the museum offers is a variety of ways to interact with music history in fun and innovative ways, and we are thrilled to launch such a quality museum here in downtown Bristol.”   

    Birthplace of Country Music® is a non-profit organization established to enhance Bristol’s role in the birth and development of country music through the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (open August 1, 2014), the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival (September 19 - 21, 2014), and educational outreach and programming. For more information about BCM, visit www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org or e-mail info@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/birthplaceofcountrymusic

    Virginia Commission for the Arts email announcements are now delivered securely through Constant Contact. The Commission sends montly grant announcements in addition to press releases, important news and opportunities as they become available. This list is not published, used by third parties, or available for outside marketing. You may opt out at any time. To join or leave, follow the guided instructions, here.