Colors on the Canvas

How Harrisonburg supports and provides for local artists

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Of the 8.442 million people in Virginia, 53,078 people in Harrisonburg came together to donate $325,000, in 15 years. Of that, $12,284 was given to artists and educators through grants in 2016. The ‘Advancing the Arts Program’ has donated some much money to many deserving artists.

Local artists don’t always have the opportunity to express themselves in the community. The Arts Council gives grants up to $1000, to artists that apply for them, or that they feel deserve them. “It allows them to purchase materials,” Burden said, “It allows them to create.” Recent grants were given to Skyline Middle School and Smithland Elementary School to do a piece of ‘Woven Art’ representing each grade, which now hang in the connecting auditorium.

Harrisonburg offers many ways for local artists to express themselves. Jenny Burden, director of the Arts Council of The Valley, has been in Harrisonburg for 15 years. She and her family moved from Northern Virginia for her husband work in 2002. Burden has been the director for 2 ½ and was “attracted for arts.”

“ I loved to create as a child,” Burden said, she was always involved in the arts.

The Arts Council of The Valley runs court square theater, the ‘first Friday downtown’ program, smith house gallery, and they give grants. “ Our galleries allow us to exhibit local artwork,” said Burden, “ it gives our artists a venue to put out their work.”

As citizens of Harrisonburg we can support our local artists who are trying to get their work out there. Burden says to “come out to downtown,” on first Fridays to,“purchase and show support for the local artists.” 

“When supporting each other it helps our community grow,” said Burden.


When supporting each other it helps our community grow”

— Jenny Burden