Fairfax County Arts Community Thanks Margi Vanderhye, Executive Director, Virginia Commission for the Arts!

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Margi Vanderhye
Fairfax County Arts Community Thanks Margi Vanderhye, Executive Director, Virginia Commission for the Arts!

Earlier this month, the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) announced that Margaret Vanderhye, Executive Director appointed by former Governor Terry McAuliffe in March, 2014, will be leaving her position at the end of June.

“On behalf of more than 250 arts organizations and artists in Fairfax County, we take great pleasure in recognizing Margi for her extraordinary leadership and achievements in such an important role at the VCA,” said Linda Sullivan, President and CEO, ARTSFAIRFAX. “We are truly grateful for her tireless work to sustain state support for the arts, and we express our sincere appreciation for her work to preserve and grow the arts throughout the Commonwealth during her tenure.

Margi has been a relentless warrior to ensure funding of the arts is preserved and expanded. Under her leadership, the VCA paved the way for the vibrant and diverse cultural amenities and programs enjoyed in every corner of the Commonwealth. Highlights of achievements during her tenure include: the VCA’s 50th Anniversary program honoring some of our finest artists and arts leaders; strengthening the VCA’s Artists in Education Program; transitioning to an online grants management system; encouraging increased networking and collaborations among arts partners; and taking the lead on arts and military wellness and healing programs. Margi also leaves on a high note, with this year’s legislative success – an additional $500,000 in arts funding for the VCA’s 2019-2020 budget – as part of her incredible legacy.

Numerous arts organizations throughout Fairfax County thrive today because of the support of the Virginia Commission for the Arts. We’re pleased to share just a few comments we have received about Margi’s impact on the arts across the County and beyond.

“Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Jeanne Harrison and all the staff at Traveling Players said, “Margi, you’ve been a great supporter of the Arts and Traveling Players Ensemble! We send many thanks for all your efforts on our behalf, especially your outreach to potential partners for in-kind donations of space. We wish you luck and joy in you next chapter, and I hope to see you more around town!”

“Margi has been an asset to the arts in the Commonwealth and to the Workhouse,” said Ava Spece, President and CEO, Workhouse Arts Foundation. “She has led the charge in the state for support of Military and the Arts, pushing forward the understanding that the arts are an invaluable tool for healing in our community and for veterans, active duty service members, and their families and caregivers. Thank you, Margi, for all you have done!”

I have greatly valued Margi’s personal friendship and her interest in the work of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras,” Dr. G.J. Elliott, Executive Director, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. “The funding support for AYPO from the VCA has been, and continues to be, a vitally important part of our support system, and it is comforting to have Margi’s active endorsement of that support. She will be hugely missed!”

“Margi’s energy and enthusiasm for the arts are infectious, but it is her leadership and advocacy that distinguished her and brought VCA a visibility, impact, and relevance that will be very hard to match,” said Lily Siegel, Executive Director and Curator and Robert Goudie, Chairman, GreaterRestonArtsCenter. “She does not just talk the talk, she walks the walk, popping-up all over the state to personally support arts organizations at their events. We at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) are proud to be a VCA grantee and a 50 for 50 awardee, the latter initiative being an incredibly creative and powerful example of the kind of imagination and empowerment that Margi brought to work every day. Margi, you are champion for the arts and we know that your next chapter will bring continued success.”

“Margi has worked to transform the VCA making it not only more relevant but effective to all Virginians, said Jay Dick, Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs for Americans for the Arts and VCA Commissioner. “The VCA now works to infuse the arts into the military, health, and education – to name a few areas.  She will be thoroughly missed.”

In summing up her time with the Commission, Margi said: “Given the significant milestones and accomplishments this board and staff have achieved together, and the passion and energy of our Virginia arts organizations, I know the next 50 years are going to be as inspiring as the first 50 years have been for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. I feel so privileged to have been a part of the VCA at such an historic time.”

Margi also shared, “We are Virginia leaders, conveners, creators, advocates, cheerleaders, and critical thinkers, and we are alert to the possibility of the next new thing or original idea. As we begin our 51st year on July 1, 2018, we can be sure that the work we have done together will inspire the next creative generation.”

VCA Commissioner, Jo Hodgin said, “Margi has taught us how best to carry out our civic duty, and to have fun in the process.  It’s up to all of us to build on the strong foundation she has provided.”

Margi will continue to be involved in the arts from her home base in Northern Virginia. We hope to be fortunate enough to have her deep continued involvement in our work on behalf of the arts in Fairfax County!