Vashon Allied Arts Programs
All Ages Arts Education: Each year, VAA offers three semesters of classes in virtually every arts discipline to children and adults (we currently offer up to 150 different class choices) taught by professional artists. Offerings include dance, theater, metal work, photography, painting, glass, youth chorus, and more. Summer Arts Camps are specifically for children. We manage a 25-year collaboration with the Vashon School District which provides an extensive Artists in Schools program.
Vashon Center for Dance: This pre-professional dance training program offers sequential training for students from age three to young adults. Classes culminate in an annual spring performance of classical ballet and our holiday “Nutcracker.” In addition to ballet, dance styles offered include Hip Hop, Jazz, and Modern Dance. This highly popular 18-year-old program serves more than 200 students each year and is heavily supported by our scholarship fund.
VAA’s gallery program offers monthly exhibits and features Island and regional artists in all media. Gallery shows are curated by community-based juries made up of local artists and by our Gallery Curator. For recent shows, VAA has had the opportunity to collaborate with Pratt Fine Arts Center and the Tacoma Art Museum.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Our Arts & Humanities Series, launched in 2009 to serve an adult audience, sold out its first three seasons (of five lectures each). The series features notable speakers such as author David Guterson, composer Abraham Kaplan, and fillmmakers Robin Swicord & Nicholas Kazan. In 2011, we expanded this program by adding a mini-series of three daytime art history lectures by noted art historian Rebecca Albiani. In 2012 we further expanded the series to six evening and five daytime talks and we continue to sell out, an indication of our local population’s hunger for serious and intellectually challenging adult programming.
VAA is in the midst of a capital campaign to construct the Vashon Center for the Arts, a new 300-seat performance and gallery facility that will serve as a shared production/exhibit space for VAA as well as a number of other Island-based cultural organizations. Though located only 20 minutes from Seattle, Vashon is a truly rural community with limited cultural facilities. Despite this, community interest in and support for arts and humanities programming and events is high. VAA’s current Blue Heron space does not have the capacity to meet the growing demand for cultural programming on the Island and few alternative spaces exist. The new facility will enable VAA and its partnering organizations to expand their programming capacity and dramatically increase audience accessibility. The capital campaign has already raised more than $7.3 million toward its $13.5 million goal.