Panel Discussion: Taking the Next Step and the Value of Talent Agents

arvold TAKING THE NEXT STEP (Agent Panel) flyer squareJoin arvold. for “Taking the Next Step”, a special panel discussion about the value of having a talent agent, on January 31 from 12:00pm to 3:30pm.

Prominent East Coast agents will discuss their role in the film and TV industry, how they interact with regional casting directors, and how they find talent. They will answer questions and discuss industry standards and trends.

Moderated by casting director/producer Erica Arvold, the panel will focus on both adult and child actors. Topics of discussion include nuances of the actor/agent relationship, how a talent agency works, why an agent can further your career, how to survive the business from an agent’s point of view, and much more.

This panel discussion is open to all levels of experience, to actors, managers, coaches, and industry professionals alike. The panel will be followed by a meet & greet at a nearby location. Child actors ages 10 and above are welcome, but any actor under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian.

The cost of the event is $45 in advance and $55 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased online. This event will be held in The Byrd Theatre, located at 2908 West Cary Street in Richmond.

“Taking the Next Step” is presented by arvold. Based in Downtown Charlottesville, arvold. provides production, casting and education services. The mission of arvold. is to raise the bar of actors & film artists in the Mid-Atlantic and surrounding regions.

For further information, feel free to email

BSSS Conversations About Art Series

Jeffrey-Allison-picThe Beverly Street Studio School (BSSS) invites you this winter season to the “Conversations About Art” speaker series, beginning in January on Mondays from 12:30pm to 1:30pm.

The next speaker will be Danielle David, presenting a talk entitled “Modern Design meets Ancient Craft: Rug Design”, on January 26.

Other upcoming speakers include: Jeffrey Allison, manager of Statewide Programs & Exhibitions at the VMFA/Faculty; Rae Kasdan, member of a delegation organized by Witness for Peace; and Pat Cook, award winning watercolorist. The series will close on March 9 with Sophia Wiedeman, a comic book illustrator who will be speaking about “Comics and Fairy Tales”.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Discussions will be held in the BSSS Gallery, a space within Co-Art Gallery at 22 West Beverley Street in Staunton. Coffee, tea, and cookies will be provided.

Student Arts Spotlight Series: The Filmmakers Society

FMS LogoWelcome back to the final installment of the Student Arts Spotlight blog series!

This series highlights the work of student organizations and clubs at the University of Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Community College who have gone above and beyond curriculum to create art. These groups of young artists are recognized for both their exceptional dedication to the arts and their incredible work ethic.

This week, we spoke with fourth year Global Public Health major and Drama minor Mary Claire Davis, member of UVa’s Filmmakers Society and director of the Virginia Student Film Festival. The Filmmakers Society is a student-run organization that seeks to provide a creative outlet for and educate student filmmakers by offering the opportunity to produce, exhibit, and critique film.

What is the mission of the Filmmakers Society and how is it relevant to the UVa and Charlottesville communities?

The Filmmakers Society’s mission is to nurture and educate a community of student filmmakers at UVa. Other than providing opportunities and equipment for UVa students interested in film and media production, we offer services to other UVa clubs and organizations. For instance, we’ve made promotional videos for the Sustainability Club and produced music videos and artist profiles for musicians in O Records. In the Spring, we plan to thank the UVa Bookstore for their generous support by producing promotional videos for them. We also provide opportunities for UVa Drama students and actors in the Charlottesville area who are interested in acting for film. Finally, we cannot operate without the support of the community members who have so graciously let us film in their restaurants, shops, homes, and even doctor’s offices. These are also all the people for whom we make our films. The UVa and Charlottesville communities are our audiences and our inspiration.

What are some of the advantages or challenges that you face as an entirely student-run organization?

Pic 2I would say there are two major challenges that we face as a student-run organization: 1) limited funding and equipment, and 2) getting our work out there. This second challenge is why the Filmmakers Society started The Virginia Student Film Festival back in 1996 . The festival is a platform for undergraduate students from all over the country (including UVa) to show their work to a wider audience, on a big screen.

The best advantage of a student-run organization is that we’re all figuring out how to do this stuff together! It’s not complete anarchy, but everyone has the chance to try out different roles– writing, cinematography, acting, directing and producing. We have the freedom to make mistakes and share our ideas with each other.

How has the Filmmakers Society affected your education at UVa? What have you learned from running or participating in the Filmmakers Society that you will carry with you after graduating?

I have been active in FMS since my first year and have found it to be one of my favorite creative outlets. It’s not as competitive as many of the other clubs at UVa, because the whole point is to get as many people to contribute as possible. Having leadership positions in this club has helped me learn how to bring the best out of myself and my peers. Making art together is also a great way to get close with others, so I cannot reflect on my time in FMS without thinking of the wonderful friends I’ve made, as well.

Lizzie RowlandA personal anecdote- I will never forget my experience making a Civil War era horror film last year. After talking with a local antique store owner named Diane, she so benevolently hooked me up with two families that allowed us to shoot in their legit, re-furbished 19th century log cabins. Making films is all about creating relationships with people and telling the best story you can (and it often leads to some great off-camera stories, as well).

What can the Charlottesville community look forward to seeing from the Filmmakers Society in the near future? What events or exhibits will be open to the public?

The Charlottesville community can look forward to The Virginia Student Film Festival on a Saturday in April! We do not have a date yet, but it will be hosted in the beautiful, brand new Newcomb Theater [on UVa Grounds]. We receive submissions from college students all around the country, and we always have awesome submissions from high school students from Lighthouse Studios in Charlottesville. It’s always incredible to see what undergraduate students are able to do on a not-even-a-shoestring budget. A new tradition we started last year is to screen the film project that we make as a club in the fall and early in the spring semester. This year, you can look forward to a short film that turns the masculine/feminine conventions of film noir on their head!

How can the Charlottesville community engage with the mission of the Filmmakers Society?

The best way that the Charlottesville community can engage with FMS is by coming to The Virginia Student Film Festival. In the past we’ve also made connections with professional filmmakers in the area, and I would be thrilled to see more of that in the future. You can always visit our Facebook page to see what we’re up to!

To find out more information about the Filmmakers Society or the Virginia Student Film Festival, feel free to email Mary Claire at

Live Arts Presents “Crooked”

crookedThis February, Live Arts is proud to present the Virginia premiere of Crooked, opening on February 6 and running until February 21.

Written by Catherine Trieschmann and directed by Kate Adamson, Crooked tells the tale of 14-year old Laney, suffering from spine-deforming dystonia, whose list-making mother Elise has moved the two of them back to Mississippi after a family tragedy. Laney meets Maribel, a 16-year old who believes she has invisible stigmata and uses her religion as a fortress of solitude.

Arresting and truthful, Crooked explores the vulnerability of adolescence and unabashedly recalls the confusion of self-discovery. The Daily Telegraph calls Crooked a “wonderfully neat play, at once simple and complex…while keeping its sneakers firmly planted on the suburban topsoil of adolescent angst.”

Live Arts is a volunteer theater that has given a home to drama, dance, comedy, music and performance art since 1990. To find out how to get involved, visit the website.

More information about tickets and the performance schedule can be found here. Crooked will be held in the Founders Theater in the Live Arts building, located in Downtown Charlottesville.

Light House Studio Seeks Program Assistant

Light House Studio, an award-winning nonprofit organization that encourages storytelling and self-expression through film, seeks a Program Assistant.

He or she will work closely with the Program Director and the Executive Director to ensure effective communication and advertising of our growing programming needs. The Program Assistant also assists the Executive Director with general administration pertaining to marketing and development initiatives.

The position requires excellent verbal and written communications skills, strong attention to detail and the ability to work independently, as well as with a team. Full Time and Part Time applicants considered.

Skills Required:
Knowledge of WordPress and social media
InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop CS6 experience
QuickBooks experience is a bonus
Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Drive and data base utilization (FileMaker Pro experience is a bonus)
Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
Strong organizational skills
Ability to work on multiple, diverse projects and to meet deadlines
Ability to work independently and without close or constant supervision
Must be comfortable using Mac computers

If interested, send a resume and cover letter to No calls please.

The Richmond Symphony Lollipops at Paramount Theater

musicians-purple-cs The Richmond Symphony Lollipops return to The Paramount Theater on January 24 at 6:00pm for Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland!

Young and old will love this lively re-telling of the classic children’s story of Pinocchio. Back by popular demand is the renowned narrator and performer Charlotte Blake Alston, who previously narrated Scheherezade at The Paramount with the Lollipops. The Lollipops performances are only an hour in length and are appropriate for children of all ages who are ready for their first symphony performance.

Also, don’t miss the fun and interactive pre-show “Instrument Petting Zoo,” with hands on fun with instruments. Children (and their parents) have the chance to get up close and personal with the orchestral instruments they will see professionally played on stage. Volunteers from the Charlottesville Municipal Band and Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia (YOCVA) will be helping out. Petting Zoo instruments will range from clarinet, flute, bassoon, and trumpet to violin, viola, bass and cello. The event will run from 5:00-5:50pm in the Paramount Theater’s Lobby.

Tickets cost $15.50 ($10.50 for youth) and may be purchased online, by phone at 434-979-1333, or at the Paramount Box Office from 10:00am-2:00pm Monday-Friday.

The Bridge to Ridge Community Arts Festival

by Jack Lewis Hiller As a part of the Martin Luther King Celebration Weekend, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative and PCA are proud to present The Bridge to Ridge Community Arts Festival on Sunday, January 18 from 1:00-5:00pm at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church.

As a launch to Play the City, this event will bring together the community to celebrate our knowledge and creativity in the light of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s influence.

Activities will include a quilting demonstration, a photobooth, drawing opportunities, a kids art booth, a community mapping project, oral history recordings, as well as performances by local artists.

The event will culminate in the annual Mt. Zion Martin Luther King Celebration Service at 5:00pm.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church is located at 105 Lankford Avenue. 

Free Movie Friday at PVCC


Piedmont Virginia Community College kicks off its Spring 2015 Fine Arts and Performance line-up with a Free Movie Friday screening of the mystery thriller Gone Girl on Friday, January 16 at 7:30pm in the Main Stage Theatre of the V. Earl Dickinson Building.

Popular with critics and audiences alike, Gone Girl unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his wife (Rosamund Pike) has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Gone Girl was directed by David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fight Club, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and adapted by Gillian Flynn from her 2012 novel of the same name.

PVCC’s Student Art Club sponsors the Free Movie Friday series, which takes place on the third Friday of each month. For more information, visit the website.

The Dickinson Building is located at the south end of College Drive and parking is located in front of the building. The Main Stage Theatre is wheelchair accessible.

Central Library Documentary Film Series

abolitionist_film_landing_2Visit the Jefferson Madison Central Library this month for free film screenings!

There are two opportunities to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day with “Created Equal: A Film-Based Discussion Series on Civil Rights”.

The library will screen The Abolitionists (2013), written, produced, and directed by Rob Rapley on January 15 at 6:00pm. The film tells the tale of Abolitionist allies who turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.

Slavery By Another Name (2012), produced & directed by Sam Pollard, will be shown on January 29, at 6:00pm. This documentary takes a look at various instances where slavery has continued to exist in America even in the many years following its supposed abolition.

Film segments of each will be shown followed by audience discussion led by prominent community members and scholars.

Then, learn about genetically engineered food with GMO OMG (2013), directed by Jeremy Seifert, on January 22 at 7:00pm. GMO OMG presents the facts about how we eat, as “guinea pigs for wide-scale experimentation of modern biotechnology”.

These events are FREE and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. The JMRL Central Library is located at 201 E. Market St. in Charlottesville.

Student Arts Spotlight Series: Creative Writing Club

1231663_443356952441128_1365860978_nWelcome back to the Student Arts Spotlight blog series!

This series highlights the work of student organizations and clubs at the University of Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Community College who have gone above and beyond curriculum to create art. These groups of young artists are recognized for both their exceptional dedication to the arts and their incredible work ethic.

This week, we spoke with second year physics major Lizzy Keats, Co-President of the Creative Writing Club at PVCC. The Creative Writing Club offers the PVCC community an informal, supportive environment for learning about, experiencing, and practicing contemporary creative writing-poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

What is the mission of the Creative Writing Club and how is it relevant to the PVCC and Charlottesville communities?

The Creative Writing Club’s mission is to provide PVCC’s students, teachers, and staff with support and encouragement for their creative writing endeavors. We meet biweekly with the members of the PVCC community for free writing and optional critique (on any piece of work a member brings into the club). In the spring semester we also publish “The Fall Line” which is a literature magazine made from the submissions of the PVCC community. This provides an outlet for the community to have their work read.

What are some of the advantages or challenges that you face as an entirely student-run organization?

[Co-President] Ashley and I have found that having a student-run organization allows for a more informal and cordial environment. With that sort of atmosphere it is easier for students to share their work and literary concerns without feeling like they are being judged or graded. I believe that without these stresses it is easier for members to express themselves creatively. Of course, a pitfall to having a relaxed environment is some of the more technical aspects of the club. Personally, my organizational and time-management skills have been put to the test through running this club. Fortunately, our club supervisor, Jennifer Koster, has been incredibly helpful whenever we need her.

How has Creative Writing Club affected your education at PVCC? What have you learned from running or participating in Creative Writing Club that you will carry with you after graduating?

As I am not actually studying writing in school, I really appreciate that the Creative Writing Club has given me the ability to include writing in my academic career. Having the support of the club has inspired me to write a lot more than I use to, and greatly improved my editing. I hope that after I graduate from PVCC I will be able to keep up with my writing and be able to maintain the skills I have learned from the other club members.

10689694_626271764149645_8252968052291603778_nWhat can the Charlottesville community look forward to seeing from Creative Writing Club in the near future? What events or exhibits will be open to the public?

As mentioned previously, we do have an annual literary magazine that would be available for the public to read. Also, on January 23rd Allison Titus and Joshua Poteat will be speaking at PVCC about their published works.

How can the Charlottesville community engage with the mission of Creative Writing Club?

I think that the best way for Charlottesville to keep with the mission of the Creative Writing Club is just to write and express themselves. We would also like to encourage the community to support the local Arts by attending readings or plays (etc.).

To find out more information about the Creative Writing Club and their upcoming events, visit their Facebook page.