Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
154 San Angelo Drive
Amherst VA 24521-3257
Mission Statement
VCCA advances the arts by providing a creative space in which the world's best artists can produce their finest literature, visual art and music.
Web and Social Media
Artist Studio Barn at VCCA, photo credit: Bernard Handzel Photography, New York, NY
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Joy Peterson Heyrman
Board Chair Margaret B Ingraham
Board Chair Company Affiliation The Borden Group, Inc.
Contact Information
Address 154 San Angelo Drive
Amherst, VA 245213257
Telephone 434 946-7236
Fax 434 946-7239
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1971
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $1,153,466.00
Projected Expenses $1,153,786.00
VCCA advances the arts by providing a creative space in which the world's best artists can produce their finest literature, visual art and music.
The residency program at Mt. San Angelo has been consistent over VCCA’s long history: provide the best artists, writers, and composers with the time and space to create in a community of other creative individuals, and they will work long and hard to create work that goes out into the world in print, in exhibitions, in theatres, in performance halls, and on the web. This creative work takes shape in the studios located in the Normandy-style Studio Barn with its lovely views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The rural atmosphere and bucolic beauty of the Mt. San Angelo estate is an important part of this creative formula.
In FY2016, VCCA provided creative space to 407 Fellows, the term we use to describe the writers, visual artists and composers who are in residence here at Mt. San Angelo. VCCA welcomed 239 writers, 140 visual artists, and 28 composers who came from 31 states and ten countries to have focused time to work on their creative projects without distraction. 
Some Fellows offer to share their work with the Sweet Briar College community or some of VCCA’s cultural partners. VCCA facilitates these interactions, and the synergy that is created by this engagement with the community can feed the creative work in the studio, as well as enriching the cultural offerings in our local community.
In addition to the residency program in Virginia, VCCA provides other residency opportunities for Fellows, including exchanges with five partner programs in Europe and our own Moulin à Nef residency program in Southwest France. In Fiscal Year 2016, we welcomed eight international Fellows through this exchange program, and we sent 13 Fellows to residencies at our partner institutions. 
In 2017, VCCA completed updates to the Langhorne Residence at Mt. San Angelo, and renovations will continue with updates to the Studio Barn in the new year. VCCA exists to nurture both creators and the creative process so that Fellows can take on the task of translating and informing modern culture.
  1. General operating support for artists' residencies. Residency support ensures access to artists of all backgrounds.
  2. Buildings and Grounds: addressing maintenance needs of the studio environments and campus
  3. Van: enabling Fellows' transport 
  4. Abroad: supporting the unique experience of Moulin a Nef and the many international exchange programs that provide global perspectives and inspiration
The ability to work uninterrupted for hours, days, weeks in a quiet studio are just a few of the reasons why more than 400 of the world's foremost writers, composers, and visual artists come to VCCA each year. Every residency includes a comfortable, private bedroom, three meals a day, and a private studio. Having 25 artists in residence at one time, sharing repasts, open studios, readings and concerts, ensures a lively and supportive environment, fostering collaborations and creativity. Moreover, the support and encouragement offered by like-minded, creative individuals is invaluable to creative growth.
VCCA was founded in Charlottesville in 1971 by writers Elizabeth Coles Langhorne and Nancy Hale. Subsequently, Sweet Briar College, a liberal arts women's college founded in 1901 agreed to lease the buildings and the adjacent grounds of Mt. San Angelo to the VCCA. As the only artist community in the nation directly associated with an institution of higher learning, VCCA benefits tremendously from this unique relationship.  Fellows have use of health facilities, libraries and computer labs and attend campus events such as lectures, plays and concerts. In return, VCCA Fellows periodically visit with students on campus, giving lectures or informal talks, and faculty members bring students to Mt. San Angelo for studio tours. The two institutions formally collaborate on several mutually beneficial programs that bring writers, visual artists and composers to VCCA and Sweet Briar and also offer opportunities to faculty and students. In 2004, VCCA was given property, Le Moulin à Nef, a fully renovated 17th century facility in the village of Auvillar, France and established an international artist retreat there to extend and amplify its mission.  In addition to hosting 12-15 artists there a year, VCCA also has arrangements with Yale and Jame Madison Universities allowing them to use the facility for programs they run.

CEO Statement

Board Chair Statement
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Throughout the United States
Nestled on pastoral farmland in Amherst County, Virginia, VCCA serves writers, composers and visual artists from every state in the nation and over 60 foreign countries. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Margaret B Ingraham
Company Affiliation The Borden Group, Inc.
Term July 2017 to June 2019
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mary Fowlkes Retired
Quinn Feldmann Graeff Medical Facilities of America, Inc.
Elizabeth Logan Harris Writer
Thomas Y. Hiner Hunton & Williams
Elizabeth Mason Horsley Williams Mullen
William E. Hunt Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
Margaret B. Ingraham The Borden Group
Martee Stephens Johnson Community Volunteer
Kenneth Haller Jones The Tax Complex, LC (Chairman)
Stanley Joynes Valley Road Vineyard
Alieda Keevil Sotheby's
Sandell Morse Writer
Alexander Nyerges Virginia Museum of Fine Art
David Rakowski Brandeis University
Ann W Ramsey Community Volunteer
Cynthia Tremblay Artist
Linda Wachtmeister Plain Dealing Farm
Tina A. Walls Retired V.P. Altria Group Inc.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 12
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Capital Campaign
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Advisory Board Members
Sam Adler Retired
David Del Tredici Artist/Composer
Rita Dove University of Virginia
Teresita Fernández Artist
Harper Lee Writer
Gregory Maguire Writer
Sally Mann Photographer
Alice McDermott Writer
Claes Oldenburg Artist
William Jay Smith Poet
David Weiss Retired
Naomi Wolf Writer
Executive Director
Executive Director Dr. Joy Peterson Heyrman
Experience Dr. Heyrman was most recently Deputy Director for Museum Advancement at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, where she worked for 23 years. Dr. Heyrman holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Art History and Archeology from the University of Maryland, as well as a B.A. in English from Amherst College (Amherst, MA). She speaks French and German, a great asset, given VCCA’s international partnerships and established residency program in Auvillar, France.
Former CEOs
Charlene Monk 1998 - 2011
Senior Staff
Carol O'Brien Director of Annual and Planned Giving
Sheila Gulley Pleasants Director of Artists' Services
Full Time Staff 7
Part Time Staff 13
Volunteers 30
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted June 2013
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Virginia Governor's Award in the ArtsVirginia Commission for the Arts2000

VCCA Artists are accepted for residential fellowships of two weeks to two months through a rigorous jury review process, based on the quality of their work. Among VCCA's distinctive qualities are its size, range of genres served, its rural and southern welcoming nature and its fine facilities. While it costs VCCA $180 per day to host one "Fellow," as they are called, artists are accepted regardless of their ability to contribute financially. Fellows receive a private bedroom in a comfortable and modern residence building, private studio and all meals. Studios are tailored to the needs of each genre: windows and skylights allowing for significant natural light for visual artists; pianos for composers; office chairs and desks for writers. Amenities include WiFi, library, spacious common rooms, walking trails and swimming pool.  While at VCCA, Fellows produce not only more, but often much better work than is possible under the normal conditions of their lives.

Long Term Success The Board of Directors and senior staff completed a comprehensive long-range strategic plan after a vigorous planning process that included task force studies of every aspect of operations. The results of the highly focused planning stage will prepare the VCCA for major visibility and repositioning work.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $1,153,466.00
Projected Expenses $1,153,786.00
Endowment Value $4,000,000.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 5
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$20,625$35,500$12,000
Individual Contributions$268,605$258,466$292,840
Investment Income, Net of Losses$69,833$39,601$363,220
Membership Dues------
Special Events--$71,685$82,594
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$600,589$574,781$854,535
Administration Expense$270,997$259,352$193,712
Fundraising Expense$174,736$167,227$154,971
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.830.770.93
Program Expense/Total Expenses57%57%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue49%42%37%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$3,925,271$4,109,540$4,342,189
Current Assets$1,365,330$3,226,836$3,433,022
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$11,586$18,665$20,583
Total Net Assets$3,913,685$4,090,875$4,321,606
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities117.84172.88166.79
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View