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Our Story

The Shenandoah Arts Council was officially founded on September 11, 1978, by a group of arts patrons and visual artists.  The organization covered the geographic region of Winchester, and Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah counties and sought to increase access to the arts for people of the region.

Founded in 1978 under the leadership of Marion Park Lewis (“mother of the Arts” in Winchester) as the Shenandoah Arts Council, ShenArts provides regional artists of all ages and skill levels with opportunities to exhibit their artworks in various partnership programs, including the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV), the City of Winchester, the Barns of Rose Hill, Navy Federal Credit Union and sponsorships for youth initiatives. These programs include exhibitions such as Art in the Halls, the ArtScape banners in Old Town Winchester, the Veterans Art Exhibit and Youth Art Month exhibits.

The Shenandoah Arts Council was officially founded on September 11, 1978, by a group of arts patrons and visual artists.  The organization covered the geographic region of Winchester, and Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah counties and sought to increase access to the arts for people of the region.

Early activities included bus trips to cultural events, such as art exhibitions in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia and performances in New York.

The organization was located in the Kurtz building in downtown Winchester for many years, and while there started “Art in the Stairwell” for small exhibitions.

Support ShenArts

In the 1990s, the Arts Council started “First Fridays,” a celebration of the arts on the first Friday of each month (except January and May) in Old Town Winchester. For many years, the Arts Council also housed the Marion Park Lewis Foundation, dedicated to arts education in our region.

Dr. Jeffrey Harris and Dr. Vicken Kalbian donated a two-story building at 811 – 813 S. Loudoun Street in Winchester to the Shenandoah Arts Council in late 2000.  At the time, there were limited funds to convert the building from doctor’s office to arts space. With an extremely dedicated board of directors, artists and community members, a renovated gallery and performing space opened in the Fall of 2003.

In 2018, the Shenandoah Arts Council announced an affinity partnership with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) to promote the work of regional artists. As part of this collaboration and as a Gift in Kind from the MSV, ShenArts relocated to the historic Hexagon House on Amherst Street and sold the Loudoun Street building.

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Location

The Shenandoah Arts Council is located on the second floor of the historic six-sided Hexagon House (built between 1871-1874 for James W. Burgess), 530 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia in recognition of our affinity partnership and as a generous gift in kind from the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The first floor is home to the Preservation of Historic Winchester.

Board of Directors

The ShenArts Board of Directors consists of members of the community who convene monthly and help guide the council in its mission. Committee chair and officer vacancies are elected annually and announced at the public annual meeting in the Fall.

General responsibilities include evaluating staff recommendations on policy, operational guidelines and program guidelines to determine their consistency with the mission; providing recommendations of a budget for the Arts Council; serving as advocates for the arts; periodically reviewing and re-evaluating council’s policy; and actively participating in ongoing fundraising goals

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Kelly McDermott

PRESIDENT

CMO | Caregility
Telehealth Solutions

Board Member 2022-Present

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Doug Stallard

2nd VICE PRESIDENT

Financial Advisor (retired)

Morgan Stanley

Board Member 2011-Present

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Phyllis Breidinger

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

Former Educator
Artist & Patron of the Arts

Board Member 2019-Present

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Eve Stanley

SECRETARY

Dancer & Artistic Director
Educator,
 Italia Performing Arts

Board Member 2023-Present

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Paul Berryhill

1st VICE PRESIDENT

Watercolor Artist and Instructor
Paul Berryhill’s Creative Enterprises LLC

Board Member 2022-Present

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Jill Donnelli-Hu

TREASURER

Commercial Realtor
Oakcrest Commercial Real Estate
Owner, Dharma Yoga Studio

Board Member 2023-Present

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Barbara Quast

DIRECTOR

Owner & Designer
Barbara Quast Interior Design

Board Member 2019-Present

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Bahram AzabDaftari

DIRECTOR

Founder & CEO, The Imagination Tree Foundation, Co. Inc.

Director of Design & Construction,

Summit Hill Real Estate & Design

Board Member 2024-Present

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Daniel Kelly II

DIRECTOR

Founder & Owner, M.E. Opus

Drum Educator & Composer

Board Member 2024-Present

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Katie Landi Jordan

DIRECTOR

Realtor, Dream Weaver Team LLC

Board Member 2022-Present

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Val Kimball

DIRECTOR

Assistant Vice President, HR Finance, Navy Federal Credit Union

Mixed Media Artist

Board Member 2024-Present

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Joan Cestaro

DIRECTOR

Certified Prosthetist

Operations Officer
Rehabilitation Practitioners

Board Member 2024-Present

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Armin L. Wessel

DIRECTOR

Owner, Armin L. Wessel Architect

Board Member 2022-Present

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Victoria Kidd Armstrong

DIRECTOR

CEO & General Manager,
Hideaway Cafe, LLC

Board Member 2024-Present

ShenArts Staff

The Shenandoah Arts Council is a nonprofit organization whose part-time staff is dedicated to maintaining and expanding the important work that ShenArts accomplishes in the community.

FAQs

Where are you located?

Our administrative office is located on the second floor of the historic Hexagon House, 530 Amherst Street in Winchester.

 

What are your hours?
The office is currently open by appointment only.
How do I become a member and what are the benefits?

An annual membership is $49, $29 for veterans and $24 for students. A family membership of 3+ persons is $74, a dual membership for two is $69. You can sign up to become a member online here. Members are added to our electronic mailing list to receive news and information about upcoming events and exhibition opportunities. Please visit this page for a full listing of benefits.

What geographic region do you serve?

ShenArts serves the arts community and artists of the Northern Shenandoah Valley focusing on the Winchester area as well as Frederick, Clarke, Warren and Shenandoah counties.

Do you have a need for volunteers?

As a non-profit with a small staff, we’re often looking for some extra help. If you’re interested in volunteering, fill out the form found here.

How can I get my work on one of the ArtScape banners in Old Town Winchester?

The ArtScape program, Winchester’s signature community art project, is organized by ShenArts each year. The call for artists to submit work goes out in late Fall. Visit the ArtScape page for complete guidelines.

Founded in 1978 as the Shenandoah Arts Council, ShenArts provides regional artists of all ages and skill levels with opportunities to exhibit their artworks in various partnership programs, including with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV), the City of Winchester, the Barns of Rose Hill, Navy Federal Credit Union and sponsorships for youth initiatives. These programs include exhibitions such as Art in the Halls, the ArtScape banners in Old Town Winchester, the Veterans Art Exhibit and Youth Art Month exhibits.

Privacy Policy

The Shenandoah Arts Council is committed to protecting the privacy of our donors, members, visitors, and customers. We do not sell, lease, or share any personal identifiable information regarding our constituents to any third party. We will collect no personally identifying information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us.

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