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Artisans Center of Virginia Announces Studio School at Piedmont Virginia Community College

The Official State Artisans Center to open a Studio School at PVCC’s Stultz Center for Business and Career Development in the spring of 2011.

The Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Virginia Artisans and their work as a viable economic and cultural industry in  Virginia, today announced the opening of its Studio School in collaboration with the Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC). The Studio School will hold classes and workshops in PVCC’s Stultz Center for Business and Career Development, which is centrally located in Charlottesville.

“ACV is proud to establish our Studio School program in this strategically state-centralized location and looks forward to working with PVCC to establish accessible entrepreneur-based arts educational programming for students and artists from all over the state.” said Sherri Smith, Director of the Artisans Center of Virginia.  “The artisan industry in Virginia is one of the state’s greatest untapped economic assets.  Skilled craftsmen and women, with expertise in design and manufacturing techniques, form the backbone of the creative economy in many communities across the Commonwealth and thus we look to them to help us create a sustainable education program that strengthens and perpetuates Virginia’s greater arts industry.”

The ACV Studio School at its core is a workforce development initiative that focuses on the vocational and trade skills of Virginia artisans while providing them with the business training needed to advance their marketable talents and sell their products and services.   In addition to entrepreneur development courses, incorporated in the practical applications that give an artist a broader functionality or transferability of skills, they will be encouraged in an attempt to offer cross-training in skill based trades utilizing similar equipment and procedures. 

The ACV Studio School will include educational outreach to the next generation of Virginia artisans, facilitation of programs in a wide variety of artist-entrepreneurial, contemporary and traditional craft courses, establishment of The Artisans Center of Virginia Instructor’s Bureau, for the purpose of offering rural communities satellite education opportunities and the development of an official craft vocational syllabus in support of the Virginia Department of Education’s “Career Pathways” for the arts.

“The ACV Studio School recognizes that artists and craft-persons are a vibrant part of our economy,” said Valerie Palamountain, Dean of Workforce Services. “PVCC is very excited about this new venture, and our involvement in developing this sector.  We look forward to offering classes designed specifically for the arts and crafts industry in entrepreneurship, business, and skilled crafts, and are honored to be associated with the ACV.”  

Craft courses will be taught by practicing, ACV Juried Virginia Artisan Members, many of whom are nationally renowned.  ACV welcomes any Virginia craft artisan not yet an ACV juried artisan to apply to the September 1, 2010 Jury, should they be interested in teaching a craft course at the Studio School. 

Entrepreneurial courses covering a wide variety of business applications specifically designed for artistic professions will be taught by leading business practitioners.

ACV is currently accepting course proposals from eligible individuals.  The “Instructor Request for Proposals with Course Details” and “Application/Syllabus” as well as the Jury Application for new artists, can be downloaded from the Artisans Center of Virginia website’s homepage at

Spring 2011 courses and workshops will be scheduled Monday – Saturday with varying times between 9am-5pm and are available to the public for intermediate grade school students through adults.  Course offerings will be published in PVCC’s Workforce Development Spring course schedule under “Business” or “Arts & Leisure” which will be available in the late fall of 2010.

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