Village Center for the Arts provides a nurturing environment for artistic creativity and development, through educational fine art programs and events for people of all ages and levels of skill.
Your donation creates life changing experiences!
By 1999, Jayson Roberts had for some time, been heavily involved in his daughters’ drama classes, building stage sets, and collecting props and costumes along the way. Mr. Roberts—because of his enthusiasm and resourcefulness—had amassed a considerable collection of junior thespian wares for which he needed a home.
An empty building on the corner of Bridge Street and East Street became available. The former eatery was the perfect venue to house Mr. Roberts’ theatrical collection, with room to spare for the purposes of offering drama classes. By the summer of 2000, Village Center for the Arts came to fruition.
Village Center for the Arts
Village Center for the Arts’ focus, in its infancy, was theatre arts. After enjoying success for its dramatic offerings, Mr. Roberts’ adapted his vision of the center in the spirit of inclusivity for other artistic expression. Art classes were added, and filled, and the change was as seamless as it was organic.
To further his vision, Mr. Roberts sought a staff of professionally educated and working artists. Sharon Kaufman, founder and executive director of Danbury’s highly regarded—and Congressional award-winning—Endeavors Supporting Cultural Advancements Programs and Education, Inc., Escape to the Arts, a nonprofit fine arts organization providing art experiences to underprivileged, “atrisk,” homeless, and mentally disabled children, joined Mr. Roberts in the fall of 2000.
Ms. Kaufman’s extensive experience in clay and multi-media sculpture, portrait painting, air brush, oil and water painting, charcoal and pencil drawings, mural painting, and the graphic arts brought fine arts to the center. Creating both depth and breadth of programming, and immeasurable opportunity for innovation, Ms. Kaufman began to enrich the lives of the center’s students.
As Village Center for the Arts (affectionately called VCA by its students) hit its stride, an opportunity for relocation presented itself. Backed by The New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation, Village Center for the Arts moved into a landmark building, replete with history and charm.
" With one step inside the vintage 1830s Episcopal church-turned- hardware-and-antiques
store on a corner of the Village Green, a visitor is standing on an work of art.
The once squeaky, wood plank floor of the restored landmark on the corner of
Main and Church streets is now a wall-to-wall decoupage mosaic composed of
5,000 or more artistic images – the new home of the Village Center for the Arts.
Reproductions from magazines, posters and art books of the obvious and
obscure meld together – the Mona Lisa, Vincent Van Gogh, and the works of
such modern artists as Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollack can be found. Indeed,
regardless of one’s artistic taste, there is surely something
for everyone. Even Pink Floyd lovers."
— Nanci G. Hutson, News-Times, July 5, 2006
Village Center for the Arts has a new home
In 2009, Village Center for the Arts received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, allowing its Executive Director, Ms. Kaufman, and Executive Financial Director, Mr. Roberts, to pursue grant and foundation monies to provide scholarship for both children of exceptional talent, and for families who could not otherwise afford to participate in VCA programming. The non-profit status opened the doors to specialized curriculum for troubled teens, persons with Autism, and access to all area school children through the public school system. VCA now collaborates with social services, school counselors and local children’s services to ensure that all children interested in the arts, have the opportunity to experience the arts as a form of life-affirming joy!
Today, Village Center for the Arts continues in its central mission to provide a nurturing environment for artistic creativity and development through educational fine art programs for all ages.