By Jake Munson
With everything always changing, and with the social distancing guidelines in place for social gatherings, the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center (VCAC) has been hard at work revising current and developing new programs for the community.
The Tournament of Writers submission deadline has been extended one more time to Monday, June 15. Judges are ready to start reading and scoring the entries once all the submissions are in. Category winners will be announced on Wednesday, July 15 via Facebook Live and will be posted on Facebook and the VCAC website immediately after.
Last April 20, the VCAC introduced the first theme for a new “art2share Digital Gallery.”Each Monday, a new theme is introduced. Anyone is welcome to submit works in all media for any of the themes that have been announced. The pieces are uploaded to the page on its website for everyone to enjoy. The VCAC has even received submissions from North Carolina and Brooklyn, New York. To view the galleries, go to the VCAC website, vicksburgarts.com/exhibits.
On Tuesday, May 26, the VCAC introduced another new program. “Your Square Matters” is a community collage project that will incorporate different 8”x 8” images from members in the community. These are images that represent something or someone they care about, such as their family, friends, pets, or a favorite hobby. Together these images will be displayed in the front windows of the VCAC located at 105 S. Main St. in the heart of downtown Vicksburg. For more info on this collaborative project, you can head to vicksburgarts.com.
The VCAC is also developing plans for “Art Kits” which kids will be able to take with them and work on in the comfort of their own home this summer. Follow the VCAC website and social media for updates.
While the VCAC has developed many new programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have also added a new member to their Board of Directors. Kari L. de Boer, LPC, ATR, brings a fresh, new perspective to the VCAC board as a registered art therapist who has spent the last 22 years learning about and advocating for efficacy of the arts in healing and arts education. De Boer says of becoming a part of the VCAC family, “Joining the board during a world-wide pandemic is certainly interesting timing, but I am excited to join a passionate group of people dedicated to creating cultural experiences and exposure to the arts in a small town.” She is a Vicksburg resident and owns a company named Hawthorne Hive.
On the other hand, another talented board member has stepped up to fill an important role for the VCAC. Coming into the organization with a diverse background and a lot of passion, energy, creativity, a proven success record in program creation and execution for both nonprofit and corporate entities, Krista Grotelueschen, (pronounced Gro-tu-lu-cian) from Vicksburg, has stepped into the role of acting executive director for the Center. Krista says, “I am excited to be part of the VCAC and provide opportunities to bring our community together, especially at this time when we feel so disconnected. If our programming and efforts can bring a little hope and positivity to people, then we are successful!” She has stepped in for previous director Syd Bastos, who continues with her board president duties.
Together, along with the rest of the VCAC Board, de Boer and Grotelueschen have been instrumental in developing the VCAC’s latest program, “Your Square Matters” and the upcoming art kits. Though the VCAC wishes to resume in-person programming, they’re thankful for the chance to remain connected through their current program offerings.
If you’d like to keep up-to-date with happenings at the VCAC, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and their website, vicksburgarts.com, or call (269) 200-2223.