“A New Virginia Renaissance - How Creativity Will Define Our Commonwealth”

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond Virginia
Keynote Speaker: Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace America

The Virginia Commission for the Arts hosted the 2017 Art Works for Virginia conference in Richmond. The Keynote Speaker was Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace America.

2017 Art Works for Virginia Conference Resources

Jamie Bennett
Keynote Speaker: Jamie Bennett

Jamie Bennett is the Executive Director of ArtPlace America, a partnership among 16 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions working to position art and culture as a core sector of community planning and development by investing in, researching, and supporting those who lead and execute creative placemaking projects.

To date, ArtPlace has invested $85 million in 233 projects in communities of all sizes across the United States in which artists and arts organizations are working with their neighbors to help shape communities’ social, physical, and economic futures.

Until December 2013, Jamie was Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw the national rollouts of the "Our Town" grant program and partnerships with the US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. 

Previously, Jamie was Chief of Staff at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, where he oversaw the agency's partnerships with the NYC Departments for the Aging, of Education, and of Youth and Community Development.  

Jamie also provided strategic counsel at the Agnes Gund Foundation, served as chief of staff to the President of Columbia University, and worked in fundraising at The Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic, and Columbia College. 

Before entering the public sector, Jamie served on the board of the HERE Arts Center.  Jamie received a B.A. in drama and theatre arts from Columbia University.

Art Works 2017 Performers


The Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP) empowers veterans, service members, and military family members to reintegrate into their communities through arts classes and performances. ASAP promotes artistic expression, education, and camaraderie through seven- to ten-week classes in stand-up comedy, improv, creative writing, and music. ASAP then partners with local colleges, arts organizations, and performance venues to offer its graduates continuous opportunities for artistic and personal growth. In the process, ASAP provides participants with transferable life skills, a renewed sense of purpose, and healing benefits, and strengthens ties between veterans and their communities through the arts. In its first year as a non-profit, ASAP served 328 veterans, service members, and military family members, who, collectively have delivered more than 250 performances for over 15,000 audience members. ASAP has delivered performances at such locations as The White House; has been featured on CNN, ABC, BBC, the Washington Post, and NPR; and is the subject of a PBS documentary.

sound impact

Sound Impact is a collective of musicians dedicated to serving communities and igniting positive change in the US and abroad through live performance, educational programs, and creative collaboration. Sound Impact boasts a varied roster of renowned musicians, each project creating a unique team of musical ambassadors.

Since its debut less than three years ago, the collective has presented music performances and educational programs in several cities throughout the US. One of their largest projects to date has been producing an annual tour to Costa Rica where they teach, perform, and donate musical supplies at no cost to many communities all across the country. Sound Impact was recently awarded a grant by The Foundation for the Advancement of String Education and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. In 2016-2017, Sound Impact will present concerts at the Kennedy Center, National Gallery of Art, and the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. 

Art Works for Virginia Conference 2017 is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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