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User Spotlight: Scott Garka, CultureWorks

Get to know Scott Garka – President of CutlureWorks, and this week’s ConnectVA User Spotlight!

Tell us about yourself.

I?m Scott Garka, President of CultureWorks.  Prior to joining CultureWorks in January, I was the Senior Director for Consulting Services for a nonprofit healthcare consulting company. Prior to VHQC, I spent over 20 years in the private sector working for Capital One Financial Corporation and Arthur Andersen, LLP.   Throughout my career, I?ve also been deeply involved with the Richmond region?s arts and culture community serving as Board Member, Development Chair and Treasurer for the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and performing locally with the Chamberlayne Actors? Theater, Henrico Theater Company, Monument City Music and St. Michael?s Players.

What is the focus of your work and the need you are addressing?

CultureWorks helps drive the vitality of the communities across the Richmond and Tri-Cities region by fostering stronger arts and culture opportunities while celebrating imagination, enlightenment, motivation, and beauty through visual, performing, and literary arts; history and heritage; and science and nature.  We accomplish this by providing advocacy and leadership for arts and culture, grant funding for 501c3 organizations and individual artists, and support services.

What do you find most rewarding about your work? 

Arts and Culture have the power to touch lives.  They uplift, heal, teach, empower, inspire, transform, and help us find our better selves.  To be able to partner with the over 140 arts and culture organizations in our region, as well as our business and community partners, to help strengthen arts and culture for the good of our region is tremendously rewarding.

Tell us about your biggest accomplishment in this position.  

Having joined CultureWorks in January 2015, my main priority is to refine the strategic plan for our organization.  We want to continue to be true to the Regional Cultural Action Plan that led to the creation of CultureWorks, and we also want to focus the work that we do to ensure our limited resources will have the greatest impact on the community.  I?ve been talking with many of our stakeholders in the past two months to gain their perspectives and input as I believe community input is essential to helping us get that right.

What?s coming next for your organization that really excites you?

I?m excited about the Fifth Annual Arts & Culture Xpo coming up on June 27, 2015 at the Science Museum of Virginia.  The Xpo has become a signature event for CultureWorks and brings together under one roof many of the arts and culture organizations from across the region.  The free event includes performances on two stages with other interactive activities to help people get engaged in something they may not have experienced before.  Please plan to join us and bring your friends!

How are you leveraging ConnectVA to achieve your mission?

CultureWorks leverages ConnectVA in a number of ways: advertising jobs (most recently mine), communicating about our upcoming funding opportunities and learning about other grant opportunities, learning about what other nonprofits are doing so we can consider potential collaboration opportunities, and exploring education opportunities to strengthen our own skills or those of our stakeholders.

Anything else you would like to share? 

Thank you to ConnectVA for the great work you do to help individuals and nonprofits come together for the good of our community!

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