On this Page


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.



Grounded in the belief that the arts empower humanity to imagine, design, and create a more just world, The Center for Arts + Social Justice is building an ecosystem of artists and storytellers working to change the dominant narrative and inspire new realities. The Center envisions a society that honors creative expression for its ability to reveal our complex histories and supports artists in their efforts to pave the path towards a more equitable future. Seeking to expand the landscape of activism, the Center will amplify inclusive, innovative visions of community-based change through the arts.

Center events are recorded and archived for the VCFA community. Please contact [email protected] for access.


Learn more about the Center’s fellowship program and this year’s fellows working at the intersection of art and social justice.


(featured work by Lorilee Rager, GD ’21)

Thammika Songkaeo, 2022 International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation

“It’s important to inspire questions. When people ask questions, they inherently link a part of themselves to a topic. We need those connections to be...

Jen Gilomen, 2023 MFA in Film

In the summer of 2022, we interviewed Center for Arts + Social Justice Fellowship Grant recipient Jen Gilomen (Film ’23) on her film DELIVERING JUSTICE....

Kei Slaughter, 2013 MFA in Music Composition

“Art is change. Art is a catalyst for organizing and moving people to action. Art has the power to reflect / reimagine / articulate ...

Barbara Yontz, 2004 MFA in Visual Art

“One reason we have done the exhibitions, and I do personal work around these issues, is to humanize people who are incarcerated to those on...

Lex Poolos, 2020 MFA in Graphic Design

Lex Poolos has had an impactful career as a designer since discovering their passion for art as an undergrad. After finding their way to design...

Art & Design Education

Explore these professional development opportunities for educators and artists who want to develop a strong social justice theme in their teaching practice and home communities.


We believe that the arts are essential to the landscape of activism. We are grateful to all our donors who generously support our new Center for Arts + Social Justice in its work to expand that landscape by altering perceptions of history, enlivening new approaches to the present, and accelerating social movements towards the future. To make a donation, please visit our Giving page and direct your gift to The Center for Arts + Social Justice on the online donation form.


(featured work by Rosemary Rae, GD ’18)


For more information about the VCFA Center for Arts + Social Justice, contact us at [email protected].



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