Words by Cheats
It’s that time of year when advocates from all over the Commonwealth take their messages to the Virginia General Assembly to have their voices heard on issues important to them. As an avid supporter Virginia’s art community, it would be remiss of me not to highlight the work of the Virginians for the Arts (VFTA) and encourage you to join “us” at Arts Advocacy Day on January 30th.
“Virginians for the Arts (VFTA), a grassroots, nonprofit organization, advocates on behalf of the arts and artists for the benefit of all citizens of the Commonwealth. VFTA’s statewide advocates work hard to strengthen public funding for arts grants made through the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA), a statewide agency designed to assure a healthy arts climate. This funding is critical to ensuring vibrant communities and culture. Past Richmond area VCA grant recipients include, without limitation, 1708 Gallery, Art 180, SPARC and the Richmond Symphony.”
I sat down with VFTA’s Interim Executive Director Justin Laughter over the weekend and he made it clear that these funds are not guaranteed. As an arts community, advocacy day is our chance during the legislative session to collectively visit legislators to make sure they know that funding the Virginia Commission for the Arts is important and vital to our communities. We can show our support by attending Arts Advocacy Day on January 30th.
On this day, VFTA will lead a rally 7:15am at the Hilton Garden Inn, then we will walk together to the General Assembly Building to meet with legislators to discuss the importance of the arts in our lives/communities and create a visual/psychological presence that the arts matter.