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Shenandoah Valley Art Center

Mission: The mission of the Shenandoah Valley Art Center (SVAC) is to increase the visibility of the visual arts in the community through creating and fostering exhibits, programs, fellowship, and economic and creative opportunities for artists of all ages and abilities.

Community Need: SVAC serves as the backbone of the visual arts community in the Waynesboro area. They are the only visual arts organization serving the Waynesboro community. They provide high-quality no-cost and low-cost visual arts programming in the form of exhibits, gallery tours, lectures, and educational programming to the general public: this is an important outreach effort, as much of Waynesboro is economically depressed and the market is underserved and many children qualify as at-risk. SVAC provides an important economic role in the arts community as well. They provide artists and artisans a marketplace for their work in their gift shop, exhibit space, Fall Foliage Art Show, and a place to teach their craft in their educational spaces. Although they are a small organization, their impact is wide. SVAC is also a meeting place for artists and art lovers of all ages and economic backgrounds. They open their building for tours, community events, and private functions where being surrounded by arts can make an impact or positive impression.

Primary Activities: The SVAC provides fine art exhibits, community art group exhibits, art education for all ages, and business development programs for artists. They also foster economic opportunities for working artists including off site exhibits, a gift shop, teaching space, and working art studios.  For 2018, they are working on two new programs: an Artists and Makers Bootcamp, which is a week long intensive conference for individual creative business owners and a Project Box program for arts in the public schools which will consist of bins filled with materials and lesson plans for Waynesboro art teachers to use in their classrooms. They will be creating 8-10 project bins for teachers to choose from.

Constituents Served: Their building is open to the public and there is no admission charge. In 2017, they welcomed 5,843 people to their center.  Their memberships in 2017 totaled 231 families, students, and individuals. Of those members, 33% are from Waynesboro, 23% from Staunton, 18% from Augusta County, and 26% from elsewhere in the region. 60% of their members are over 65.

Program Details:  The SVAC is seeking assistance to complete the next phase of their renovation project. They have completed the main gallery space and have completely renovated their restroom on the first floor. The next step for the first floor is a completed kitchen. This piece is very important to their progress because it will allow them to use the space for exhibits, workshops, and other events. The existing exhibit and event space is nearly 2,300 square feet and regular use would allow us to expand their exhibit calendar to include 6 additional exhibits and a full calendar of larger workshops and classes for all ages. The completed kitchen will add utility style sinks for art and kitchen use. They are currently limiting their children’s and adult educational programming due to space constraints. A completed ground floor will help them expand programming to meet the community’s requests and needs as they grow.

Amount Requested: $10,000

Operating Budget: $168,000

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