This news release is from the previous Governor's administration.
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, 804-225-4260, | Virginia Commission for the Arts, Margaret Vanderhye, Executive Director,

Governor McAuliffe Recognizes Virginia Commission for the Arts for 50 Years of Service to the Commonwealth


RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe today recognized the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) for 50 years of supporting Virginia’s vibrant arts culture. The VCA is a state agency that supports the arts through funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Building and sustaining the new Virginia economy requires creative, out-of-the-box thinkers who can fill high-demand jobs and attract innovative businesses,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “That is why the Virginia Commission for the Arts is so important and why I am pleased to recognize its 50th Anniversary. I applaud the important role it continues to play in supporting and promoting Virginia’s vibrant and diverse arts and culture.”

Governor McAuliffe will honor the Commission at an inaugural event on July 11 at the Science Museum of Virginia. The program is timed to coincide with the Commission’s 50th anniversary program called “The New Virginia Renaissance” and the Science Museum’s exhibition, Da Vinci Alive – The Experience. The keynote speaker, Alan Dye, Vice President for User Interface Design at Apple, will focus on the intersections of the arts and technology for a creative 21st century workforce.

“The Governor’s bold agenda calls for an education system that is relevant to the 21st century and that prepares students for the demands of the workforce of the future,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “Arts education and cultural literacy are integral parts of those plans so our students develop the creative and critical thinking skills they will need to succeed.”

The Virginia Commission for the Arts launched its 50th anniversary year-long program by announcing a series of Round Table discussions across the state, including a “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Awards” program to celebrate arts leaders and organizations that have shaped Virginia’s culture since the Commission’s founding.

“With the launch of our 50th year programs, we plan to harness the energy and ideas of cultural, civic, business, academic, and government leaders across the state to build strong arts organizations and more vibrant communities,” said VCA Executive Director Margaret Vanderhye. “We want to know how the Virginia Commission for the Arts can help achieve these goals, and how our New Virginia Renaissance can promote Virginia as the innovation destination for years to come.”

In addition to the inaugural Da Vinci Lecture at the Science Museum of Virginia, the Commission will host Round Table discussions in Bristol on September 28th, in the Tyson’s area on December 7th, and at its official 50th Birthday Program at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond on January 31,2018. A commemorative program is planned in Richmond for the 50th birthday of the Commission on April 4, 2018. Previous Round Table discussions have taken place in Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Norfolk, and the Commission is working with localities that wish to host their own Renaissance Round Tables.

The “50 for 50 Arts Inspiration Award” winners will be selected this summer and announced in early September. Award recipients will be invited to a reception to honor the arts at the Executive Mansion later in the fall and recognized at the Commission’s 50th Birthday Program in January.

The Commission was created in 1968, and is guided by 13 Commissioners appointed to five-year terms by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly. Each year, the Commission awards more than 600 grants to non-profit Virginia arts organizations and educational institutions across the state.

For more information about the Virginia Commission for the Arts and its anniversary programs, see