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Arts and Education

Engage your mind and soul.

Our arts and education programs are designed to engage the mind and soul through innovative events, activities and presentations—both on and off the VMRC campus. We’re committed to providing a variety of educational opportunities for residents to stimulate learning. Through a diversified approach, we’re able to address the needs and interests of all residents. This encourages residents to learn and grow as an individual and as part of a larger community. Here are examples of our Arts and Education offerings:

  • Juried Art Exhibitions

    The Juried Art Exhibit is an amazing variety of original, one-of-a-kind works of art by national artists demonstrating mastery of design, technique, and creativity utilizing a range of media. Thousands of people visit our campus to view the show, purchase art and vote for their favorites. 2018 Juried Art Show Recap

    2019 Juried Art Exhibition

    The 2019 Juried Art Exhibition will take place May 26-June 30, 2019. For eligibility and entry information please click on the Prospectus and Entry Form below:

    2019 Prospectus and Entry Form

    For more information, email

  • The Shenandoah Valley Lyceum Event Series

    The Shenandoah Valley Lyceum is funded in part by the VMRC Shenandoah Valley Lyceum Endowment to enhance the cultural and intellectual life of residents living at VMRC and people of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. 

    2018-2019 Lyceum Events

    Commercial Navigation on Virginia’s Historic Waterways
    September 7, 2018 | 7 p.m.

    Brian Coffield has had a lifelong interest in canals having grown up near Lake Erie. Brian has been a member of the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society for 12 years and was a member of its governing board. He has been a guest lecturer on the subject of commercial navigation on the James River and Virginia’s historical waterways.

    Brian has participated in the James River Batteau Festival for over 20 years in various capacities including acquiring his own batteau which he captained in 2017. He was instrumental in establishing and acquiring artifacts for the Pleasant Grove House and Transportation Museum in Fluvanna County where he works as a museum attendant.

    Stories of Trauma, Resilience and Reconciliation: From West Africa to the Balkans
    October 19, 2018 | 7 p.m.

    Barry Hart, Ph.d, professor of Trauma, Identity and Conflict Studies in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University, will speak of about his work with international leaders on peace-building, psychosocial trauma recovery and reconciliation efforts in Northern Ireland, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Uganda, Burundi and South Africa. Dr. Hart lived and worked in the Balkans where he developed and led trauma and conflict transformation programs for schools, communities and religious leaders. He was also engaged in a peacebuilding institute and curriculum development project between EMU and the University of Hargeisa in Somaliland.

    Dr. Hart was one of the founding faculty members of the Caux Scholars Program in Caux, Switzerland and the academic director from 1997 to 2010. As a Fulbright, Hart recently taught peacebuilding courses in Sarajevo in a master’s program he helped develop. 

    Evening of Classical Art Songs and Arias
    January 11, 2019 | 7 p.m.

    Soprano Sarah Grace Fitzsimmons will be performing classical arts songs and arias by Mozart, Bellini, Puccini, Schubert, Debussy, Aaron Copland, Richard Hundley and Dominick Argento. Sarah Grace is a student at George Mason University studying Opera under the instruction of Patricia Miller, director of Vocal Studies.

    While at George Mason, Sarah Grace was in the title role of Amahl in Menotti’s Amahl and The Night Visitors, Fleta in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, and the title role of Hansel in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Sarah Grace traveled to Italy in 2017 for a young artist program in which she performed the roles of Osmina and Conversa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. She has placed second overall in her category in the past two years at The National Association of Teachers of Singing competition.

    Renovating the Mansion at Monticello
    March 29, 2019 | 7 p.m.

    Diane Ehrenpreis oversaw the research and reinstallation of the entire second and third floors of the Mansion at Monticello as associate curator of Decorative Arts at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. As an art historian, she strives to tell the story of private life at Monticello which Jefferson sought and the contested reality of those who experienced it. She recently completed the reinstallation of Jefferson’s private suite including the library, greenhouse, cabinet and bedroom. Her extensive background in American and European decorative art enable her to situate the material culture at Monticello within a broader context of social, cultural and political history. 

    Diane has lectured and published on a variety of topics related to Monticello and the arts. She has an M.A. in Art History from Boston University and a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    All events are held at 7 p.m. in Detwiler Auditorium, 1501 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg, Va.

    Ticket Information 

    Single Tickets: $8 in advance; $10 at the door
    Season Tickets: $25 for all four events in single season
    Lifetime Pass: $100

    Payments can be made with cash, check or credit card by calling the VMRC Wellness Center, 540-574-3850, or in person at the VMRC Wellness Center, 1481 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg.

    To make a gift in support of these events, please make checks payable to the VMRC Foundation. Gifts to the Endowment will increase VMRC’s capacity to pay honorariums, travel costs and other direct program expenses.

  • Park Gables Gallery

    The Park Gables Gallery is located on the VMRC campus at 1491 Virginia Avenue. The gallery is home to a variety of art shows throughout the year. View our events page to stay up-to-date on upcoming shows.

    Upcoming Show:

    32nd Annual Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society Juried Art Show

    September 9 - November 2
    Open Daily 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    1491 Virginia Avenue | Harrisonburg

    An opening reception will be held September 9 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

  • Elder Exchange

    Elder Exchange is a monthly resident led academic forum discussing issues of faith and life. Each month, a thoughtful presentation will be shared on a particular topic, followed by responders and group dialogue, to discern its resonance with vibrant Christian faith. 

    The next Elder Exchange will be held on October 11, 2018 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in Detwiler Audtiorium on the VMRC Campus. 

    Topic: Three Person Dialogue: "Theology and Politics: How would Jesus Vote?"

    To stay up-to-date on all of our upcoming events, visit our Events Page


Calling All Artists!

The VMRC Foundation has recently completed a $3.8 million fundraising campaign to benefit our residents and community. We are commissioning a piece of artwork that recognizes our donors and celebrates the community’s values. The selected artist will be the one who is best able to express our mission and values in a unique but accessible fashion and to explain the artistic concepts behind the creation.

The selected artwork will be installed in the renovated Oak Lea Transitional Care complex, visible to residents, families, staff, and guests.

For more information, view the Request for Proposals and Exhibits:

Request for Proposals

Exhibit A: Vision Mission Values Statement

Exhibit B: Campaign Brochure

Exhibit C: Oak Lea First Floor Renovation

Request Info
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