• Virginia Commission for the Arts Announces Technical Assistance and Organizational Development Grant

    Richmond - Today we are opening the application process for the 2015-2016 Technical and Organizational Development Assistance Grants. These grants are designed to provide outside help for arts organizations on particular problems. Eligible activities must take place between July 1, 2015 and June 15, 2016 and include:

    - Short-term consultations on particular artistic or organizational problems, with the staff of the applicant organization carrying out the resulting plan of action.

    - Sending administrators, board members, and other authorized representatives to conferences or seminars which will increase job effectiveness.

    Eligible applicants include Virginia organizations whose primary purpose is the arts, local arts agencies that are units of local government, and public art programs (excluding other units of government and educational institutions) and that meet the Basic Eligibility criteria listed in the 2015-2016 Guidelines to Funding.

    Like almost every other state agency, we will be operating with a 7% reduction in state funding for the FY16 budget as approved by the legislature and signed by the Governor. Therefore, we will have a reduction in our TA grant funds from previous years as well. Beginning today we will receive TA grant applications for a one time grant of up to $1,000 as called for in our revised Guidelines. The grants will be received on a first-come, first-served basis and reviewed by the staff through April and May, 2015. We expect to announce our FY 16 Technical and Organizational Development Assistance grant award recipients in mid-June.

    For more information and to download the application, visit our website at: http://www.arts.virginia.gov/grants_technical.html

    Margaret Vanderhye
    Executive Director
    Virginia Commission for the Arts
    1001 East Broad Street, Suite 330
    Richmond, Virginia 23219
    (804) 225-3132
    www.arts.virginia.gov

    About

    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 grants to arts and other non-for-profit arts organizations, educational institutions, educators, artists, and local governments.

    Media Contact
    Margaret G. Vanderhye
    Executive Director
    Virginia Commission for the Arts
    1001 East Broad Street, Suite 330
    Richmond, Virginia 23219
    804-225-3132
    margaret.vanderhye@vca.virginia.gov

  • Virginia Commission for the Arts announces 2015 Poetry Out Loud State Champion

    POL Photo Credit: Chris Poupore

    Richmond - On Friday, March 13, 2015 at the WCVE public television studios in Richmond, Virginia, Ahkei Togun, a junior from Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach was named Virginia’s 2015 Poetry Out Loud Champion. At the state finals competition, he outperformed ten other contestants drawn from an original field that included over 10,800 high school students who participated throughout the Commonwealth.

    The top three finalists among the eleven state contestants were asked to recite a third poem of their choosing from among a selected anthology. Ahkei chose “The Way It Sometimes Is” by Henry Taylor. He captivated the four judges and the audience with his expressiveness and mature interpretation. As the state champion, he received a $200 cash award, a $500 stipend for his school and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Virginia at the National Poetry Out Loud competition April 27-29, 2015. First runner-up Isabelle Andrews of St. Catherine’s School (Richmond), received a $100 cash award and $200 for her school library. Second runner-up was Ben Elliott of Grace Christian School (Staunton).

    Poetry Out Loud is celebrating its tenth year as a national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and in Virginia with the Virginia Commission for the Arts. The Commission’s Executive Director, Margaret Vanderhye said “On behalf of Governor McAuliffe, our Commissioners and staff, and poetry lovers throughout Virginia, I extend congratulations to all of our competitors from the eleven high school students who advanced to the State Finals to the thousands of our wonderful students who participated in Poetry Out Loud this year across the Commonwealth.” She added, “We are so pleased to launch our new Virginia partnership for this program with The Community Idea Station, WCVE Richmond, and with the Virginia Education Association so that we can reach a wider audience and encourage even greater participation in the future”.

    Recordings by WCVE of the Virginia Poetry Out Loud State Finals will air throughout the state. Broadcasting dates and affiliates are listed below. Friday’s program emcee was Daphne Maxwell Reid, a frequent speaker and guest on WCVE. A spoken word musical performance was provided by Teens With a Purpose, a creative youth development organization in Hampton Roads since 1996, whose mission is to creatively cultivate the next generation of leaders. The awards were presented by Virginia’s Secretary of Education Anne Holton who spoke about the importance of poetry as a literary genre and of the program itself to build self -confidence, master public speaking skills and think critically for the purpose of recitation.

    When asked how he went about preparing for his own recitations, Ahkei responded: “I read over my poems dozens of times of course. As the days went by I would say them a million times in my head. Whenever I had free time, I would close my door, lock it, and go into my own little poetry world, reciting them over and over again and just having fun with it. Before I knew it, I could say them without thinking about it.” Supporters can cheer on Ahkei by joining Poetry Out Loud for the webcast of the 2015 National Semifinals and Finals at http://arts.gov/partnerships/poetry-out-loud-national-recitation-contest/webcast-national-semifinals-and-finals. The national competition will be held April 27-29, 2015 at the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

    To find out how to participate in Virginia’s Poetry Out Loud program visit http://www.arts.virginia.gov/programs_POL.html.

    Broadcast Dates of the Virginia Finals

    WCVE Richmond PBS
    Thursday, April 9 at 9:00 pm & Monday,
    April 13 at 11:00 pm

    WCVE Richmond PBS
    Sunday, April 12 at 4:00 pm

    WHTJ Charlottesville PBS
    Thursday, April 9 at 9:00 pm & Monday, April 13 at 11:00 pm

    WHUT Washington PBS
    Sunday, May 10 at 8 am, Friday, May 15 at
    8:00 pm, & Saturday, May 16 at 1:00 pm

    WBRA Roanoke PBS
    Sunday, May 17 at 3:00 pm

    WHRO Norfolk PBS
    Sunday, April 26 at 2:00 pm

    WVPT Harrisonburg PBS
    Thursday, April 23 at 8:00 pm

    About
    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 grants to arts and other non-for-profit arts organizations, educational institutions, educators, artists, and local governments. For more information about the Virginia Commission for the Arts, visit www.arts.virginia.gov or call (804) 225-3132. Media inquiries should be addressed to Margaret Vanderhye, margaret.vanderhye@vca.virginia.gov or the number above.

    Media Contact
    Margaret G. Vanderhye
    Executive Director
    Virginia Commission for the Arts
    1001 East Broad Street, Suite 330
    Richmond, Virginia 23219
    804-225-3132
    margaret.vanderhye@vca.virginia.gov