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 arts and music.
Web and Social Media
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Joy Peterson Heyrman
Board Chair William E Hunt
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired, Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
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 $998,681.00
Projected Expenses $965,500.00
VCCA advances the arts by providing a creative space in which the world's best artists can produce their finest literature, visual arts and music.
Impact Scheduled 414 artists' residencies in 2014-2015. – Secured anonymous gift of 1 million to endow VCCA France residency program. – Achieved goal of $100,000 for Alonzo Davis Fellowship to support two 2-week residencies for African American and Latino artists. –  Launched 3rd annual fundraising event, The Commission, highlighting mission and spotlighting artists working across genres. Over 225 guests attended, budget was exceeded, publicity was garnered and new patrons were introduced. – New communications director and grants writer improved communications plan and heightened media attention strengthening awareness of residency program, work and accomplishments of Fellows. – Fellows' work, readings, exhibits and presentations will continue to be highly blogged and promoted. – Local "friends" groups being organized to host and facilitate visibility efforts. – Visual artists applications moved to online platform. Composers and writers will move online in coming year for 100% online participation. This will improve efficiency and ability to compete nationally and internationally with similar programs. – Sweet Briar College, VCCA's lessor, will re-structure to achieve financial sustainability. VCCA launching new strategic plan to address future needs as affected by college's new position.
  1. General operating support for artists' residencies
  2. Capital funding to support new location or upgrade to existing location
  3. Computer and software upgrades
  4. Addressing deferred maintenance in studios, residence hall, upgrading furnishings
  5. Van for Fellows transport
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

Every time I meet a Fellow, on one of the paths that crisscross our property, or at our weekly lemonade receptions on the office front porch, or at the dinners I frequently attend, they always tell me how their work is flourishing here in ways they’d never imagined. They are so appreciative of the freedom from day to day chores and responsibilities that being here affords. This is a real gift, simple yet such an important one for creative people in that it enables them to focus wholeheartedly and without interruption on their output. Our Fellows also speak about the contagious creative energy that seems to infect all our workspaces which inspires, spurs on and nurtures.

Sustaining artists is just part of what VCCA does because in supporting them, VCCA is also sustaining culture. One need look no further than the exceptional books, plays, paintings, sculpture, film, songs and symphonies that have come into being thanks to VCCA. 

The artists who come to VCCA produce some of the most important artworks in the country. Among our Fellows are recipients of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy in Rome, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, as well as winners of National Book Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, and MacArthur genius awards. Five thousand artists have benefited from residencies at VCCA over the years, making it, in the words of one of our Fellows, "one of the most important sources of art in the world."
Executive Director, Gregory Allgire Smith
Board Chair Statement
When there are so many pressing social needs it's challenging raising money for the arts. This can be especially hard when it's for an arts organization that doesn't really have a public face and presents few art programs. To me, while supporting VCCA supports artists, it's more about supporting culture and so enhancing our civilization and our existence.
When I have visited VCCA Fellows in their studios I have come away so impressed and inspired by their talent and commitment to their art. It thrills me to witness the creative process in its nascent state and to know I have had a hand in nurturing it. 
Bob Satterfield, Board President
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 William E Hunt
Company Affiliation Retired, Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
Term July 2015 to June 2017
Board of Directors
Board Members
Page Bond Page Bond Gallery
Shelby Fischer Theolonious Monk Institute of Jazz
Mary Fowlkes Retired
Quinn Feldmann Graeff Medical Facilities of America, Inc.
Elizabeth Logan Harris Writer
Cynthia Henebry Artist
Pinkney Herbert Marshall Arts Gallery and Studios
Steven Samuel High John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Lauren Hilyard Hilyard Art Advisory, LLC
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
Tatem Webb Read John Berggruen Gallery
Robert O Satterfield Retired IBM
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 27
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 19
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
Sarah Sargent Director of Communications and Grants Management
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 $998,681.00
Projected Expenses $965,500.00
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$35,500$12,000$50,600
Individual Contributions$258,466$292,840$395,158
Investment Income, Net of Losses$39,601$363,220$344,889
Membership Dues------
Special Events$71,685$82,594$38,306
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$574,781$854,535$638,631
Administration Expense$259,352$193,712$199,569
Fundraising Expense$167,227$154,971$159,658
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.770.931.28
Program Expense/Total Expenses57%71%64%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue42%37%28%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$4,109,540$4,342,189$4,445,576
Current Assets$3,226,836$3,433,022$3,553,422
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$18,665$20,583$34,693
Total Net Assets$4,090,875$4,321,606$4,410,882
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities172.88166.79102.42
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
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