Virginia Arts Commission Seeks Input
Rural Arts Roundtable Planned
December 31, 2009RICHMOND, VA — The 2010 Art Works for Virginia conference will include the first-ever Rural Arts Roundtable. The conference will be held Wednesday, Jan. 27 in Richmond.
"Each year the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) gets requests from several people attending the annual conference to have more sessions focused on rural communities," says VCA Deputy Director Foster Billingsley. "The staff of the Jacksonville Center in Floyd will facilitate the roundtable at the conference."
He continues, "In thinking about the agenda of the Rural Arts Roundtable, we quickly realized that there were many more critical topics than could be covered in one session at the Art Works conference. Lee Chichester and John McEnhill of the Jacksonville Center have taken the lead in creating an online discussion group to share information both before and after the conference."
Billingsley explains, "Rural Art Centers are simply different from those located in and serving urban areas. If you represent an art organization located in one of Virginia's glorious rural areas, or if your organization serves a primarily rural audience (irrespective of its physical location), there is a place to share with your peers ideas and challenges; successes and questions; resources and issues. This online forum could be the start of something much larger for rural Virginia's widely dispersed arts community — the online conversation might evolve into a more formal and organized network, possibly including semi-annual meetings among representatives volunteering for, guiding, or managing similarly-designed rural community arts organizations."
Billingsley says, "Even if you are unable to attend the Conference, organizers want your input. Here's where you can have a voice that will be heard, and can participate, if only virtually. Many of us have a wealth of experience to share. Help us build a new knowledge base specific to the needs of rural arts and the distinct communities we serve. Join the group today and add your issues, success stories, questions and concerns to the dialogue."
To participate, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.