Superintendent’s Memo #047-16

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

March 4, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2016 Virginia Fine Arts Leadership Conference

The Virginia Department of Education, in collaboration with the Virginia Coalition for Fine Arts Education, is co-sponsoring the Fine Arts Leadership Conference for fine arts K-12 administrators and specialists.  The conference will be held on May 24, 2016, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Warehouse Theatre, Academy Center for the Arts, 600 Main Street (theatre lobby entrance on Sixth Street), Lynchburg, Virginia. 

The conference will be directed through the following three conference thrusts:

The purpose of the conference is to provide professional development for fine arts leaders to improve and strengthen programs in dance arts, music, theatre arts, and visual arts.

Session speakers include Dr. Steven R. Staples, superintendent of public instruction, Virginia Department of Education;  Geoffrey Kershner, executive director, Academy Center of the Arts and founder, Endstation Theatre Company, Lynchburg, Virginia; and Jeff Poulin, arts in education program manager, Americans for the Arts, Washington, D.C.  Session speakers will present information on a number of critical fine arts educational issues, including community involvement/partnerships, STEAM, educational policy, fine arts integration, and effective advocacy.  Breakout sessions are also planned to afford participants opportunities to discuss and share relevant information and best practices both within and across fine arts disciplines.

The Virginia Department of Education encourages each school division to send a fine arts representative(s) to this informative and important conference.  Conference registration is offered at no cost to public sector employees and includes a morning break and boxed lunch.  A reserved block of hotel rooms at the state rate of $94 plus tax are available through May 9, 2016, at the Holiday Inn Lynchburg, 601 Main Street, Lynchburg, Virginia at (434) 528-2500 or 1-800-HOLIDAY.  Hotel lodging and travel costs are the responsibility of conference participants.  Parking is provided to all conference participants at no charge in the Lynchburg City Parking Garage adjacent to the Holiday Inn Lynchburg Hotel.  Participants must have their parking garage ticket validated at the hotel’s front desk upon parking in the garage.

In addition, the following hotels offer the state rate of $94 plus tax:

The Courtyard Lynchburg (4.9 miles/7 minutes from conference site)
4640 Murray Place
Lynchburg 24502

The Hilton Garden Inn (6.1 miles/9 minutes from conference site)
4025 Wards Road
Lynchburg 24502

To register for the conference, please go to the Virginia Theatre Association (VTA) Web site at!vafalc/zi1b3 and select the following prompts to register for the conference:

  1. Select "Click here to register" 
  2. Enter password:  virginiadoe
  3. Fill out registration form and click submit

For questions regarding the conference, please contact Cheryle C. Gardner, principal specialist of fine arts, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2881.