LCVA Receives Grant For School Programs Educator

Published 5:11 pm Thursday, January 19, 2012

In recognition of the services that the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts provides to public, private, and home schools in ten counties, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund recently awarded the museum a grant to hire a School Programs Educator to maintain and expand those services. The grant will fund the position for three years while the LCVA raises an endowment of $350,000 to support the position permanently. Area individuals, municipalities, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to come together on this rare opportunity to impact the schools in the area.

The LCVA is the only art museum, the only nationally-accredited museum, and the only museum of its size and scope for 7,000 square miles. Within this area, there are 60 schools that need interdisciplinary cultural programs. Across the region, the LCVA offers free in-school programs and resources and also subsidizes transportation costs when classes visit Longwood for special tours. The LCVA's art-based educational programs support the state's Standards of Learning objectives in science, his-tory, math, writing, and language. Such resources are essential to area schools, which have very limited funds for field trips and are located in areas that often lack cultural resources.

In recognition of this, the DuPont Fund has provided a grant that enables the LCVA to hire an educator specifically responsi-ble for overseeing these programs for a three-year period. During that time, the duPont Fund has challenged the community to establish an endowment fund to make the position permanent. Monies in an endowment fund provide annual income through investment earnings.

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The School Programs Educator will serve as a point of connection between area schools and the LCVA's collections of American, African, and Asian art, among others. The region cannot support these types of cultural resources without the LCVA. For example, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis states that our home county of Prince Edward ranks lowest for per capita income at $22,281, compared to $44,075 statewide (2009). The Virginia Employment Commission reported the 2010 unemployment rate as 11.4% in the region compared to 6.9% statewide. In Southside Virginia, 58% of students receive free or reduced-cost lunch.

To reach the goal of $350,000, the LCVA is launching ART10. ART to the power of 10 means that through community sup-port, the LCVA will have the power to reach schools in ten South Central Virginia counties (Amelia, Appomattox, Bucking-ham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Powhatan, and Prince Edward). Because of two generous lead gifts, the LCVA is more than halfway to the goal, and with the region's help, the goal will soon be reached.

Join the LCVA by making a gift with a lasting impact on children and teachers. To learn more about this exciting opportuni-ty, please contact LCVA Director Kathy Johnson Bowles at 434-395-2207 or write a check made out to “Longwood University Foundation” with “LCVA SPE Endowment” in the memo portion. The LCVA is located at 129 N. Main Street, Farmville, VA 23901. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. -5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, although the museum is closed from now through January 30 to change exhibitions.