Leslie Ward

President

OPERATIONAL SUPPORT TEAM

Katie Gustafson

CFO/VP for Finance & Administration

Alastair Hayes

Executive Director of Marketing & Communications

Libby Johnson

Director of Development

Jeffrey Kellar

Controller

David Markow

COO/VP for Student Services

Matthew Monk

Academic Dean; Faculty, MFA in Graphic Design

Jericho Parms

Director of Alumnx Affairs; Faculty, MFA in Writing & Publishing

Peter Timpone

Director of Information Technology

Jae Young

Interim Assistant to the President

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

MT Anderson

Trustee

Rafael Attias

Trustee

Robert Atwell

Trustee Emeritus

Tami Lewis Brown

Trustee

Eliza Browning

Trustee

Charles Bunting

Trustee

Catherine Carvelli

Trustee

Peter Christie

Trustee

Dr. Hal Colston

Trustee

Kathleen Dolan

Trustee Emerita

Debbie Dunn

Trustee

Michael Goldstein

Trustee

Harry Groome

Trustee Emeritus

Joan Grubin

Trustee

Michael Hogan

Trustee

Madeleine Kunin

Honorary Trustee

Sydney Lea

Visiting Writer, Winter 2020

Casper Martin

Trustee

Susan Newbold

Trustee Emerita

Katherine Paterson

Trustee

Michael Rosenfeld

Trustee

Bill Schubart

Trustee

Dr. Peter Smith

Trustee

Heidi Mohlman Tringe

Trustee

Leslie Ward

President

Jeff Wiggins

Trustee

A Message from the President

June 1, 2020

Dear VCFA Community,

On May 25th, we witnessed yet another senseless, unjust death of a black person at the hands of the police, the third in a series of senseless deaths over the last several months that have race and racism at their core. When we speak of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, or George Floyd, we are speaking not only of three individuals whose lives were snuffed out for no reason other than the color of their skin, but of a lethal sickness in our country that runs much deeper. It is a systemic ailment with implications that go beyond the criminal justice system. The recent events of the COVID pandemic alone show that our history of injustice has led to people of color bearing a disproportionate burden of illness and death as a result of COVID-19.

In response, protests have been reported in at least 75 cities across the county. People of all races are exercising their democratic right to protest and be heard. The ACLU is calling for an independent prosecutor to investigate George Floyd’s death. We can be hopeful that one outcome of these protests might be that people will no longer be able to turn their heads and ignore the gross injustices that give lie to the words written in our Constitution, that all this activity will move in the direction of real change.

And yet, our community is in pain with feelings that include anger, hurt, and desperation in wondering if the day will ever come when all Americans will have equal rights. My heart goes out especially to those in our community who have personally experienced the inequities and injustices in our society caused by racism and prejudice. We recognize and support the many artists and writers in our community of students, faculty, and alumnx who have been inspired to address issues of social justice through their craft and their teaching, as well.

We stand with you and with all those who fight for a better and more just world.

At VCFA, our mission reads in part: “We believe that the arts are central to the human experience and have the ability not only to reflect reality but also to create it.” Every time we enroll a student in one of our programs, we are helping them to develop their voice and their craft in order to tell their stories—stories that educate and inform and create the opportunity for empathic response, stories that can propel us to imagine and then act to create a different future.  As a college, we are committed to continuing our own work around equity and inclusion so that we can better attract and serve people from all backgrounds and diverse life experiences, nurturing them in their artistic practice and, in doing so, helping to bring their crucial stories and perspectives into the world.

I believe it is our responsibility to continue to seek ways in which the college can increase our impact in supporting the intersection between art and social justice. The struggle for justice and equality will not go away when the protests die down. We will continue as an institution to ask the hard questions and work to expand our reach in developing artists and writers who can cross divides, bring increased empathy and understanding to our country, and help propel us to a more enlightened and equitable world.

With both sadness and hope,

Leslie