From a pool of more than 350 nominees, GRACE was honored in the category of Bedrock Institutions, which recognizes organizations that have been around for more than 10 years and “have demonstrated a benefit to economic health and tourism in the local community.”
At the recent awards ceremony, attended by Governor Terry McAuliffe, GRACE was also recognized for its artistic excellence, its celebration of diversity, and its work toward helping to make Virginia a “cultural destination.”
GRACE was one of only four organizations statewide to be recognized in this category.
“This is an incredibly proud moment for GRACE. To be in such rare company is humbling,” said Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. “All of us here view this as a real legacy award — one that honors the many people, fantastic partners and generous sponsors who, over GRACE’s 40-plus years, have made this iconic community institution what it is today.”
VCA planned the 50 For 50 Inspiration Awards to celebrate the commission’s anniversary — 50 examples of programs, individuals and organizations critical to the arts in Virginia, for the commission’s 50th anniversary.
“We are indeed fortunate in Virginia to have an abundant and diverse roster of outstanding artists and organizations and their supporters spanning disciplines and decades,” said Margaret Vanderhye, the commission’s executive director.
Commissioner Jo Hodgin added, “These awardees carry the banner for countless arts workers and supporters who use the arts to build a strong Virginia. We believe the arts are essential for a creative 21st-century workforce, economically dynamic communities and a culture based on wellness and accessibility.”
“I am very pleased to be moving GRACE forward on its vision to elevate the arts in the area by showcasing local and regional artists alongside artists of national and international reputations. We will continue to contribute and grow our importance and relevance in the Commonwealth and D.C. Metropolitan region,” Siegel said.
GRACE was founded in 1974. From its current headquarters at Reston Town Center, the organization hosts exhibitions, educational programming and special events year-round, including the annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.
Currently, an exhibition of the photography of Sue Wrbican, entitled “Well Past the Echo,” is on display at GRACE through Nov. 18.
GRACE is located at Reston Town Center at 12001 Market St., suite 103. Visit the organization online.
Image: (Left to right) Governor Terry McAuliffe, GRACE Board Chair Robert Goudie, VCA Executive Director Margaret Vanderhye, and GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. Photo credit: Michaele White