Guiding Principles

We believe the arts:

  • empower humanity to envision, design, and build a more just and humane world;
  • equip individuals with powerful tools for expression and communication;
  • transform understanding by allowing us to imagine otherwise, creating connection across race, class, gender, nationality, culture, abilities, age, religion, political orientation, etc.;
  • illuminate the human experience in its full emotional and physical reality.



The Center for Arts & Social Justice inspires community-based change through the arts. Harnessing the unique power of storytelling to elevate and amplify voices, the Center creates space for inspiration, innovation, exploration, collaboration, and community building. The Center provides opportunities for meaningful connection between individuals and within communities; through film, visual art, design, writing, and music we seek to discover, celebrate, and learn from a plurality of voices and histories to move toward a just and equitable future.



The Center will focus on different social justice themes, bringing together artists and designers, critics and curators, scholars and educators, legislators and activists, across disciplines, identities, and communities to create, share, learn, and explore. Through interdisciplinary programming with an emphasis on storytelling, the Center seeks to engage the power of art as a catalyst for progress.


Current Programs at the Center

  • Art & Design Education Professional Development: opportunities for educators and artists who want to develop a strong social justice theme in their teaching practice and home communities—2021 course list coming soon! 
  • Young Writers Network: connecting professional authors with young writers in high-need and underserved communities through in-depth school residencies and other programming, helping the next generation discover their voices, develop their craft, and explore future careers in writing.


Stay Tuned

Future programming may include intensive workshops across disciplines for artists and others to explore social justice issues; topical conferences that bring artists, educators, and activists together to share best practices for community-based art as a powerful tool for change; fellowships; exhibitions and digital archives of work done at the Center.



Jennifer Skinder
Director, VCFA Center for Arts & Social Justice
[email protected]


(Featured image: “Listen,” screenprint by Cha Lakshmi Asokan, ’20 MAADE)