Vashon Center for the Arts



Vashon Center for the Arts, a collaborative and community-based organization, provides a center for the arts on Vashon Island, initiates quality arts experiences for all ages and creates opportunities for artists to perform and exhibit their work.

Ruling year info


Interim Executive Director

Allison Reid

Main address

PO BOX 576


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NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our challenges fall into four categories: Create great programming: The biggest driver of our success is the quality of the programming. If it is exciting, inspiring, engaging, interesting, and attractive, the organization will thrive. Build awareness: Islanders have many choices competing for their attention. Even on our little island it’s surprisingly challenging to get the word out about what we’re doing. To the extent we’re interested in attracting people from off island, it’s doubly so. Build our family: VCA draws community support from Board members, staff, donors, members, students, families, patrons, and guests. We need to be excellent in how we engage with these family members. Improve financial sustainability: We need about 40 – 45% of our revenue from tickets and tuition, the rest from a vibrant mix of membership, donations, grants, and sponsorships. Given the economics of Vashon, the greatest support must come from membership and donations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Vashon Center for Dance

Vashon Center for Dance (VCD) is honored to have served the Vashon Community for more than 2 decades. Our 2 spacious studios are in the historic Oddfellows Hall, which we refer to as the “Blue Heron Education Center”. We use sprung floors, regulation-height barres, live accompaniment and recorded music. As of Fall 2017, we conducted 32 classes per week for 250 students and we provide 3 full-scale productions annually in the beautiful Katherine L. White Hall.

Whether students are pursuing a career in dance, or study dance because they love it, all students are provided the same excellence in training in a supportive, challenging, and nurturing environment. Confidence, dedication, self-motivation and creative thinking are qualities and skills we seek to instill our students – qualities that will serve them well in all aspects of their lives.

Population(s) Served

VCA’s Arts Education program was founded with the belief that art has the power to ignite creativity, build confidence, foster connections and change lives. The Blue Heron Education Center—our dedicated space for classes, art experiences and curated shows—is home to a rotating catalog of classes in drawing, painting, theatre, photography, ceramics, creative writing, music, movement and more. Vashon’s talented artists are our community’s richest resource. We partner with 45-50 local artists to offer over 90 classes and camps per year to students of all ages and abilities.

Our mission is to make quality arts education affordable for all, and our robust scholarship fund provides support so that no student is turned away for lack of funds.

Population(s) Served

Our mission has always been to build upon and enhance curriculum in the arts across subject areas by providing students with enriching and challenging multidisciplinary learning opportunities. To do this we pair local artists with teachers at the district in classroom-based Direct Learning Residencies, integrating art into core subjects. These residencies provide opportunities for students to engage more deeply with their learning, making connections between their curriculum, themselves, and their community. By bringing the arts to students in the classroom we eliminate barriers to access and aim to engage all students. Each year approximately 80% of students are involved with at least one of the 20+ residencies happening across the district. Vashon’s small population has supported VAIS year after year because islanders place a high value on the arts and trust in the transformative power of artistic experiences to develop our children into compassionate, creative problem solvers.

In addition to the classroom-based Direct Learning Residencies we also support student-created Public Art Projects in our community, as well as Artist Mentorships. Mentorships give teachers an opportunity to become students themselves as they deepen their experience of art and creativity and broaden their skills base for teaching in their own classrooms by working directly with master teaching artists.

Population(s) Served

Our guiding principle is to inspire a lifelong engagement with the arts. As we think about our relationship to visual arts in particular, we are motivated by a desire to two things . . .

1. Support community and audience building with and for Vashon artists
2. Provide a premier setting to showcase work that inspires the artists, patrons, students, and casual audiences

In 2018, we dramatically increased the percentage of our buildings allocated to visual art and today we are far and away the largest gallery on Vashon.

The Hans and Cindy Koch Gallery is in many ways the foundation stone for how we present visual art to our community. It has been home to a wide variety of artists working in all media.

The Fong-Wheeler Lobby Atrium offers a soaring space anchored by a grand wall for large pieces, salon style hangings, and shows that want and need distance and height to appreciate. It has also proven a brilliant space to exhibit large three-dimensional works. Good examples include the following:

Quartermaster Press 25th Anniversary Show
In Your Face: Portraits of Bold Women by Kate Thompson
Vashon Summer Arts Fest
Wordless Stories

The Joy and Chai Mann Gift Shop provides an intimate space to show smaller works. We’re particularly keen on individual and small group exhibits that invite patrons to both view and purchase the art.

Population(s) Served

In 2016 we opened the The Kay White Hall, and from the first day until today, it has been home to a rich and eclectic mix of local, regional, and nationally renowned singers, actors, dancers and more.

On a weekly — sometimes daily — basis, our audiences might thrill to the sight of dancers moving to the sounds of Mussorgsky or Madonna, the sound of local artists showcasing their new CD, or the sights and sounds of local actors (young and not so much) giving voice to plays, musicals, and operas.

And when that’s not happening, a visitor might find themselves immersed in one of our highly acclaimed music history or art history lectures, or one of our many Family Series events.

The Kay is indeed the place to be.

“The Kay White Hall is one of the finest buildings I have ever played in.”
Vyacheslav Gryaznov, Steinway recording artist

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Reach operating break-even by 2024: 40 – 45% of revenue from tickets and tuition, the rest from membership, donations, grants, and sponsorships. Currently we are subsidizing operations from financial reserves.

Increase utilization of our campus and buildings: classes, tickets, visits.

Increase “family engagement”: count (how many), depth of engagement (how often), and support (how much).

Increase satisfaction: net promotor score.

Increase collaboration: tangible ways we have supported other Vashon non-profits and causes.

Build audiences
• Data driven communications
• Advisory groups
• Surveys
• Special events

Build equities
• Series and seasons: Jazz, Arts Ed, Classical Music Ed . . .
• Festivals / Camps: Vashon Summer Arts Fest, Vashon Lit Con, Summer Encaustic Slam, etc.

Build engagement
• Ministry of Sound and Light (supports our theater)
• Friends of VCD (dance)
• Arts Advisory Board (juries gallery)
• Vashon Summer Arts Fest Steering Group

Build Collaboration
• On-island: Land Trust, Historical Society, VIVA, O-Space
• Off-island: Arts, Cultural, Educational

Each of our program areas is staffed by one or more employees and further supported by volunteers and paid contractors. We have the capacity to plan for, promote, administer, register, conduct, quality control, bill for, and account for everything we do.

We have implemented specialized software for managing our theater, registering students for classes, tracking member engagement, and managing our annual auction and gala.

We have a full-time marketing director and make judicious use of contractors to promote our activities and manage our website and key publication.

We have adequate physical space to support our growth for some period of time.

We have an engaged and enthusiastic board (we have just added six new members) who are committed to stewarding our organization.

We have engaged donors and members who are showing growing support for the good work we’re doing.

We have five program areas. Following are some key statistics from 2018.

Performing Arts. We operate a 300 seat, state-of-the-art, LEED certified performance hall. In 2018 we presented or produced 96 performances that were seen by 16,400 guests.

Visual Arts. We operate more than 4,700 sf of gallery indoor gallery space. We showed the work of approximately 150 artists, most from Vashon, and sold 424 pieces of art. In 2018 we launched the first ever Vashon Summer Arts Feat

Arts Education: We offered 110 classes throughout last year and enrolled 928 students. Through our arts education program, we were able to pay 45 local artists to pass on both their technique and most importantly their love of their art form. We run one of the largest summer camp programs on the island.

Dance: Our Vashon Center for Dance is truly been an island treasure for something like 25 years. We offer a wide range of programs like ballet, hip-hop, modern, jazz, tap, and baile folklorico, each with a strong root in fundamentals as well as performance. We offered in 2018 37 weekly classes, nine Summer Dance camps, and served 233 enrolled students.

The Vashon Artists in Schools program has been pairing working artists of all descriptions with teachers in all of our public schools to directly enrich the learning experience though art for more than 30 years. These residencies are requested by the educators, paid for by VCA, and staffed by a wide range of our great Vashon artists. In 2018 we offered 23 residences engaging 1,199 students. We engaged 40 public school teachers and employed 22 individual artists to deliver 619 classroom hours and showed 12 exhibits of student work.

In 2018 we granted 634 Arts and Dance scholarships with a total value of $111,444.


Vashon Center for the Arts

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Vashon Center for the Arts

Board of directors
as of 05/30/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John de Groen

Windermere Real Estate, Vashon

Term: 2019 - 2020

Jenny McMurdo

Marcia Bruya

John deGroen

Britt Freda

Kimberly Jackson

Denise Katz

Wendy Kearns

Mary O'Leary Bryant

Mary Margaret Pearson

Susan Rives

Margo Tantau

Ron Thomas

Michael Tracy

Shelley Thomas Williams

Cathy Winjun

Darragh Kennan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No