Virginians for the Arts Announces 2015 Dominion ArtStars Award Winners

Light House Studio in Charlottesville recognized for excellence in arts education

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Virginians for the Arts (VFTA), in partnership with the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, Inc., has announced this year’s winners of the annual Dominion ArtStars Awards, which include Light House Studio of Charlottesville.

Light House Studio received the Regional Shining Star award along with a cash prize of $5,000.

Light House Studio believes in the importance of collaboration and community, the creativity of young minds, and the lasting benefits of a hands-on, mentor-based approach to teaching the art of filmmaking. Since its founding, Light House has helped youth create thousands of documentaries, dramas and animated films. In 2015, Light House offered more than 70 workshops to almost 900 students representing 58 schools, partnered with 44 other non-profits and contracted with 37 local artists to fill 158 mentor slots. Light House reaches underserved students in public housing areas, incarcerated youth, foster care children, and students identified as emotionally disabled.

“As the importance of film as a medium continues to grow, the skills Light House mentors impart are not simply resume-building — they are an essential element of communication in the 21st century,” said Jody Kielbasa, vice provost for the arts at the University of Virginia.

The 2015 awards celebrate arts and education in the community, recognizing arts organizations that best demonstrate and advance the synergy of arts and education. These awards emphasize the contributions of arts organizations through their partnership and collaboration with schools across the Commonwealth.

“This year, we were particularly impressed with the quality of the programs offered throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said VFTA President John “Butch” Davies, III. “Every corner of the state, from the smallest towns to our larger cities, showcased programs dedicated to inspiring and enriching the lives of underserved students.”

“We are honored to join VFTA in recognizing the contributions arts organizations in the Commonwealth are making to education,” said Hunter Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation.

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The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies, including Dominion Virginia Power. Dominion (NYSE:D) and the Foundation support nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education and promote community vitality. For more information about Dominion, one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, visit

Virginians for the Arts, a non-profit founded in 1992, works to advance the arts in Virginia by increasing public awareness of the important contributions the arts make to the life, culture, and economy of the state. The organization works to increase the public value of and appreciation for the arts and advocates for public funding for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which makes operating grants essential to the state’s arts organizations. For more information about VFTA, please visit its website at