A Message from Allison Halstead Reid

To say we have suddenly found ourselves living in an alternate reality is an understatement.  Our country and the world are gripped with a crisis that unfolds more each day. So is our own community here on Vashon. Like so many non-profit organizations across our nation, we are on a journey that is fraught with challenges, hard decisions, and uncertainty.

I find myself reflecting on all the changes that a series of days can bring. I have found myself fully accepting that change is the one constant we can be sure of, and our ability to adapt to it and move through it will make us resilient – a defining word that has become my own code to live by.

Hard Choices  

VCA’s board of trustees and I have made the difficult decision to let go of half our administrative and program staff. Some will be leaving us indefinitely; the rest are taking a reduction in salary. Every team member is affected.

We do not know how long this crisis will last. Along with the staffing decisions, VCA’s board approved an emergency budget to further reduce expenditures. We are keenly aware that this crisis requires ongoing and frequent evaluation. Until we have a clear idea of when VCA may re-open, we must do what we can to protect the financial health of our organization. The dollars raised through the Resilience Fund will be used to help us retain the remaining staff and support basic operation to keep VCA going through this crisis.

I have reassured our staff that we intend to return to the plans and goals we set forth before our world changed so dramatically. All of them have been understanding and compassionate – they are as eager as I am to see us get back to the work of serving our community through the arts.

Opportunities Emerge

We are not standing still—as the great Greek physician Hippocrates said, life may be short but art endures. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you. VCA is working to keep the arts in your thoughts and to provide some “art therapy” in the form of VCA T.V. to share with you many of our past programs while you practice “social distancing.” We are also in the midst of setting up an online Art Gallery to showcase the current exhibit in our space and provide an opportunity to sell artists’ work. If all goes well, we will expand this in the coming weeks to include more artists who might not have the means to create an online platform of their own.

We are also looking to raise immediate ticket revenue for our events in the Kay White Hall by offering Ticket Passes that can be used for any VCA produced performance as soon as we re-open. This is one way that YOU can support us through this challenging time and provide us with a built-in audience when we open our doors again.

VCA Resilience Fund – 4 Ticket Pass – $99
4 Tickets in total. Use 1 to 4 seats at any performance or across multiple performances. Good for 1 year after the date of reopening. 

VCA Resilience Fund – 10 Ticket Pass – $179
10 Tickets in total. Use up to 4 seats at any single performance, or across multiple performances. Good for 1 year after the date of VCA’s reopening

VCA Resilience Fund – Unlimited Ticket Pass – $1000
1 seat at every performance for 1 year after the date of VCA’s reopening.

I want to give a giant thanks to the phenomenal members of our staff. If the arts are the heart of what we do, then surely our staff is the lifeblood that keeps VCA’s heart beating. They deserve the highest praise. I remain hopeful that we can all return in full force when this crisis ends.

These are extremely challenging times, and still, I am honored to serve our community. There is no place I would rather be than right here on Vashon. I treasure the artists who live amongst us and enrich our lives every day. I marvel at the exceptional arts education programs that emerging artists and island children have access to. Vashon Center for the Arts is a gem that we are fortunate to share as a community.

Stay well and be safe,

Allison Halstead Reid
Executive Director, Vashon Center for the Arts

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