VA-AIM 2020


Virginia Artists in the Marketplace (VA-AIM) 2020 Residency

Virginia Artists in the Marketplace (VA-AIM) is the first residency program of its kind in the Shenandoah Valley. The 2020 program represents a collaboration between Arts Council of the Valley (ACV), Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) and studioELL. Now in its second year, the program will bring a new cohort together to dive deep into their studio practices and what it means to be a professional artist in today’s contemporary moment.

The intensive two-day residency will include a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars on a variety of professional practice topics such as: artist resumes/CVs, artist statements, branding, websites and web identities, applying to opportunities, exhibitions, and taxes and liability, (among others). The residency will conclude with a curated group exhibition of cohort members at Arts Council of the Valley’s Smith House Galleries in January 2021.

Sessions will be led by studioELL Founder, Director and Lecturer, John Ros. John currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. They have also been serving on a new ACV committee to develop an Artist-In-Reisdence Program for the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County community. From 2017-2019 John served as Assistant Professor of Art at James Madison University and Director and Chief Curator of Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art within JMU’s School of Art, Design and Art History.

We welcome applications from all types of visual artists living within the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas. We are open to including other disciplines such as dancers, writers and musicians on a case-by-case basis, but the material provided has been specifically developed for visual artists by visual artists.

There is no application fee. Accepted artists will pay a registration fee of $150. Three partially funded, need-based fellowships will be offered. All applicants will be notified about the status of their application via email by April 17, 2020.

Read article in Daily News-Record about the VA-AIM 2018 cohort exhibition at ACV.
Watch new segment on WHSV about the VA-AIM 2018 cohort exhibition at ACV.

Any artist living in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas, no matter career-level, no matter level of education.

2020 Application Period: January 01 through April 03, 2020
All applicants will be informed by April 17, 2020 via email.

Residency Dates
May 16-17, 2020 / SAT-SUN, 10a-5p

Residency Location
Blue Ridge Community College / BRCC
Fine Arts Center, Building V
One College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia 24486

FEE //
There is no fee to apply to the program. Accepted artists will pay a registration fee of $150 for the residency. Special financial awards will be offered.

Application Available January 01, 2020

FAQ //
Q. Do I have to attend all residency sessions?
A. Yes. Due to the nature of the material and the condensed two-day period, absences are not ideal. Late arrival and early departure will be allowed in case of emergency and preferably with prior notice. The material will be delivered in a cumulative fashion. The artist’s full commitment to the program is essential to get everything out of it.

Q. Can I apply if I am still in school?
A. Yes.

Q. Is there housing or studios available?
A. Unfortunately, at this time, housing and studios are not provided. This residency provides a meeting space to bring together a group of artists looking to develop their practice and elevate their professional skills.

Q. How much does it cost?
A. There is no fee to apply to the program. Accepted artists will pay a registration fee of $150 for the residency. This fee is paid to BRCC at time of registration.

Q. How do I register for the residency?
A. After applicants are selected you will be prompted to register for the residency through BRCC. Payment will be due at the time of registration.

Q. What types of financial aid are available?
A. Due to support from studioELL and ACV, 3 partial fellowships of 100$ each will be available to those applicants needing financial assistance. Fellowship assistance is intended for those individuals who cannot afford the full fee and who would be unable to attend the residency without it. If you are in a position to pay the full fee we ask for your honesty to help support the program and keep it affordable for all.

Q. Are there any awards available?
A. We are currently working with area colleges and universities to secure a merit-based award for one currently enrolled student who gets accepted into the VA-AIM Residency. Check back soon.

Q. Will parking be provided at BRCC?
A. Parking available in BRCC’s parking garage, across from Plecker and Fine Arts Center.

Q. What materials do I need to bring for the day?
A. Each day will be a unique experience. Sketchbooks/notebooks and/or laptops or other mobile devices will be necessary to take notes and engage in some of the exercises. Also, it would be good to have lunch, water and snacks each day.

Q. A 7 hour day seems like a really long time. Will we really be working that whole time? Are there breaks built into the day?
A. The day will be broken up into two, 3-hour sessions with a 1-hour lunch break. Quick coffee breaks during the morning and afternoon sessions will also be built into the program. Feel free to bring lunch, water, coffee and snacks with you each day.

If you have any questions please contact studioELL: mail /at/


Arts Council of the Valley
Arts Council of the Valley (ACV) was founded in 2000 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to promoting and providing memorable Arts experiences in the city of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Since its establishment, ACV has grown into a multi-faceted community organization that fosters innovative partnerships amongst area businesses, civic organizations, schools, and artists. Today, ACV manages the Court Square Theater and Smith House Galleries, supports childhood learning by way of the Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley initiative, funds local art projects through its Advancing the Arts grant program, and coordinates monthly First Fridays Downtown community gatherings.

Blue Ridge Community College
Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge Community College serves the residents of the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Comprehensive programs of instruction include associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in occupational/technical and college/university transfer programs. The College also provides non-credit workforce training and special interest classes for individuals, business, and industry. Art students use BRCC credit classes to refine techniques, explore natural abilities, enrich their college transfer program, and prepare to pursue art as a profession through continued studies at a four-year college or university. BRCC Continuing Education courses allow individuals to experience the arts through short, ungraded courses in art, creative writing, music, and pottery.

Special thanks to the collaboration between Arts Council of the Valley Executive Director, Jenny Burden; BRCC Workforce & Continuing Ed Program Manager, Jennifer Whitmore; and studioELL Founder and Director, John Ros.