Village Center for the Arts – executive director Jayson Roberts

Company: Village Center for the Arts

Location: New Milford

Describe your program

We are a nonprofit community fine art center. We offer fine art classes and workshops for children and adults. We have an extensive pottery studio where we teach pottery wheel and handbuilding lessons. We have an Open Studio format, that encourages creativity at every step. We are in the 21st year of providing a creative space for our community.

What are the coolest, most popular features of your program?

While pottery has been the most popular activity lately, due in part to it's intrinsic individuality. One of our programs that really stands out is the Unexpected Artist program. this allows any student who has an art related project, for any subject, to come in and complete the entire project at no cost. In just the past 10 years we have assisted with over 3000 projects in a wide variety of subject matter.

What impact did your program make in 2020?

While we were closed for a good portion of the past year, we did provide over 1000 "creativity care packages" for free, that were picked up from our front porch. These consisted of colored paper, crayons, colored pencils, jewels, shells, miscellaneous small wood pieces, and pipe cleaners, all wrapped in a VCA Paint The People t-shirt. We asked parents to send pictured of the creations made. People really seemed to embrace the idea.

Nominator Justification

VCA is in New Milford, CT and for over 20 years has served the community as an educational space, offering arts programs. Their mission is to provide a nurturing environment for artistic creativity and development through educational fine art programs and events for all ages. During COVID they provided free kits, left on the porch of their main street facility, for people to use to create something at home, encouraging healing through artistic expression. Instagram @villagecenterforthearts

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