Artisans Courtyard Volunteer Network
ACVN was established in November, 2011 to mobilize community support for the design and promotion of Dayton as a hub for arts and artisanal works. It is an outgrowth of a research project undertaken by the Arts & Business Connection of Dayton, an initiative of the Artisans Center of Virginia, a tax-exempt charitable foundation.
The founding team of ACVN includes:
Mark Frazier is a social entrepreneur with three decades of global experience in design and implementation of growth strategies in economic revitalization zones. His projects, in more than 50 countries, have focused on simplifying business climates for startup firms and grassroots self-help initiatives. He has been active in Dayton groups to expand entrepreneurial opportunities and skills for jobseekers in today's rapidly-changing markets.
Valnora Leister is an artist specializing in glass painting and in transforming found objects into sculpture. Owner of the 'Arts of the World' gallery at the Artisans Courtyard, she is now working to open global markets for Shenandoah-based artists and artisans. Her Arts of the World gallery includes creative works discovered in her travels in more than 50 countries. She now lives in Dayton after a career in international development.
LauraLea Marlyn-Spitler is an artist specializing in pencil, charcoal and graphite landscapes, wildlife, and portraits. She is founder of the Dayton's Art by LauraLea gallery, located in the Artisans Courtyard. She is president of Arts and Business Connection of Dayton, overseeing arts-related community learning, "artisan trails" planning, and beautification initiatives.
Joan Shaver is an artist and painting instructor based in Dayton. She specializes in Fraktur, a folk art form practiced by Pennsylvanians of German ancestry from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. Based on "fractured" pen strokes it is an art form that has blossomed into a uniquely rich, colorful and iconographic form of expression in the United States, tied to rites of social life. Joan has a degree in Fine Arts from VCU and worked as a graphic artist and TV video editor.
ACVN intends to operate as an inclusive "open venture" that provides opportunities for Dayton-area as well as other well-wishers to contribute to the success of the Courtyard.
Any surpluses generated by ACVN will be devoted to education and community beautification initiatives overseen by the Arts and Business Connection of Dayton, and to signage, street lighting, underground cabling, and related infrastructure improvements that help make Dayton a destination of choice for culturally- and historically-themed tourism.
Artisans Courtyard office: intersection of High Street and Bowman Road, Cooks Creek Park, Dayton, VA 22821
Administrative office: 175 Main Street (PO Box 187) Dayton, VA 22821