Dear VTS Community,
In uncertain times, staying grounded, connected, and creative can be challenging. In this struggle, how can we frame the future? By encouraging a thoughtful and critical approach to visual information, Visual Thinking Strategies offers a way to navigate this struggle. Engaging with the VTS Community fosters idea generation, compassion, and revitalizes hope. Support our mission by making a one-time or monthly donation to help us reach our $100,000 goal for sustaining our work in 2024.
Navigating the challenges and joys of 2023, the Visual Thinking Strategies organization has strengthened its dedication to:
- reflective teaching practices that support education systems to become more inclusive, accessible, and responsive
- an equitable society of thoughtful, respectful citizens that value diverse perspectives;
- and reflective practice around issues of race, class, gender, and ability in order to increase awareness of and respond to the inequities that exist in the arts, education, and society.
The VTS Team has been dedicated to fostering responsiveness, authenticity, and connection throughout 2023. This commitment is evident in training practitioners at various levels, engaging with the global community through VTS Look Club Online, facilitating the BIPOC Space for Museum Educators, and supporting the growth of the inaugural cohort of VTS Trainer Fellows.
In 2024, VTS is committed to advancing its role as a catalyst for societal transformation. The organization aims to impact pedagogy by empowering more educators with critical thinking and facilitation skills, supporting the dissection of power structures, building Communities of Practice, and developing leaders.
As a nearly 30-year-old institution, VTS carries the responsibility of upholding Dr. Abigail Housen’s foundational work in Aesthetic Development. It strives to maintain the integrity of the VTS method while actively and equitably evolving its nuances. Additionally, the organization is dedicated to cultivating a vibrant global Community of Practice that adheres to VTS principles.
To support these initiatives, VTS is seeking sustaining community contributions for three highlighted programs:
VTS Trainer Fellowship
Support the VTS Trainer Fellowship, a paid on-the-job training initiative for emerging leaders, particularly from BIPOC, Queer, and underrepresented backgrounds in education, arts, and culture. The inaugural 2022 cohort, with 5 members representing Queer, BIPOC, and/or multicultural identities, has significantly influenced VTS’s work and global impact. Fellows receive dedicated mentorship, engaging in authentic working relationships that shape them into inspiring leaders. Your donation will empower the incoming 2024 cohort to teach VTS with a focus on learner-centered, equity-driven, and accessible practices.
VTS Look Club Online
Consider supporting our 3.5-year-old program, VTS Look Club Online, a community initiative providing a space for art engagement and connection. Since its inception in April 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, we have hosted 236 image discussions, benefiting 5,000 individuals across the globe. This weekly, experimental event on Zoom serves as a platform for anyone to join, fostering community engagement and skill practice for VTS-trained members. Your year-end donation will sustain this crucial free community program, ensuring VTS remains accessible, relevant, and enduring.
BIPOC Space for Museum Educators
Support our 4-year-old partnership with the National Arts Education Association (Museum Education Division), specifically focusing on BIPOC Museum Educators. This monthly online affinity group, co-led by two VTS post-Fellowship Trainers, has attracted over 5,000 attendees and connected 250 BIPOC community members to date. Your year-end donation will contribute to sustaining this partnership, upholding VTS’s dedication to community-driven, anti-racist efforts in service to cultural change.
Over the past three years, our team has undergone a transformation, evolving into a more diverse group that spans a variety of identities, generations, and geographic locations. In 2023, we reduced financial barriers for BIPOC & Queer practitioners through scholarships, an equitable sliding scale fee structure, and remote training access. We also provided full scholarships to those in war zones or teaching in under-resourced environments or niche fields of study.
In a world marked by challenge and isolation, let’s frame the future with groundedness, connectedness, and creativity—potent antidotes to our current realities. Your financial support for this year-end campaign will aid Visual Thinking Strategies in achieving its $100,000 goal to sustain our work in 2024. Thank you for joining us on this journey. We invite you to Frame the Future with VTS.
Checks can be sent to:
VTS c/o Commonweal
P.O. Box 316 Bolinas, CA 94924
Have question or need help? Call us at 415-868-0970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org