Visual Resources Association Foundation Announces 2018-2019 Internship Award Recipient

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Board of Directors announces the 2018-2019 VRAF Internship Award in visual resources and image management. This award was generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Adelaide McComb, of Louisville, Kentucky, is the winner of the VRA Foundation’s sixth Internship Award. She will receive $3,000 to work a minimum of 200 hours with the Lakota Dream Museum & Monument ( This is a new cultural center in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the first Indigenous-owned museum in the historic Black Hills. Its mission is to provide an accurate interpretation of The Great Plains tribes through documented resources, artifacts, and local historians with the intention to instill knowledge, a strong sense of identity, and hope into the Lakota and all Native people. In addition to a growing collection of religious and sacred objects, its programs include Lakota language revitalization, internships, workforce development, educational scholarships, small business loans, and more.

Adelaide is pursuing curatorial studies and non-profit management graduate degrees at the University of Louisville. The objective of this internship is to create a database that captures the historical, visual, and culturally significant aspects of the museum’s artifacts. She will work with archeologists, anthropologists, and historians at the Lakota Dream Museum, and with semantic database experts at Semantic Arts on the software platform and ontology design. Her past experience as a software consultant has given Adelaide a comprehensive understanding of database management. This opportunity will allow her to learn the significance of cultural preservation, heritage, revitalization, and how data affect the way this information is shared. Her academic instruction in curatorial studies will provide guidance in collection exhibitions and visual resource management. Adelaide’s proposal includes a plan for Native youth to eventually receive training in visual resources and image management under the guidance of curatorial and anthropological staff, thus ensuring best practices while enabling community members to gain valuable skills and participate directly in this revitalization of their culture.

Adonis Saltes, Chief Executive Officer of the Lakota Dream Museum & Monument, states “under direction from Spiritual Leaders, we elected to not hide our culture. We choose to allow visitors to view personal items which well-known leaders relied upon for strength and direction. They serve to remind us of Lakota who sought protection and direction during the challenging years of their lives…With many experts putting their minds together to help these items continue for generations to come, the historical, curatorial, and cultural context for these objects will help us preserve the culture of the Great Plains. This will be a great opportunity for Lakota Dream to move forward and prosper.”

The Foundation is pleased to support the education and practical training of emerging professionals through this internship award. The VRAF Internship Award Committee received excellent applications for many fascinating and important projects this year, which made the selection process difficult. The Internship Award Committee (Linda Callahan, Beth Haas, Carolyn Lucarelli, Maria Nuccilli, and Elaine Paul, Chair) appreciates the careful thought that went into every proposal. We are grateful to the Kress Foundation for its assistance and for recognizing the potential of this award to foster the next generation of visual resource professionals.

The VRAF Internship Award is part of the Foundation’s mission to advance awareness of important issues for effective digital information management (including intellectual property and copyright); encourage the application of professional standards, innovative technology, and metadata cataloging protocols; and to facilitate workplace training. VRAF supports a range of educational offerings to help ensure that such information reaches a diverse, global audience. For more information about the Visual Resources Association Foundation, its mission and projects, as well as giving opportunities, please visit, or read the latest issue of our annual report at 2016-2017 Annual Report of the Visual Resources Association Foundation.

Donate to the VRAF!

This year our upcoming fundraising campaign will feature the theme “Back to School,” signifying not only the time of year we start our annual campaign, but also the core mission of VRAF – “to provide educational and training opportunities in support of broad access to cultural information in the digital age.” Details of our upcoming fundraising campaign will be announced later this month.

Make a sustaining donation or a one-time only donation with PayPal:

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Moreover, funds gathered from the AmazonSmile program will be earmarked for the Legacy Lecture program at the VRA conferences. At our last annual conference in Philadelphia, the opening convocation presentation by Jane Golden, the Executive Director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, was sponsored by the VRA Foundation. It was an inspiring presentation showing how a public art form can cross its boundary and reach out to public history, civic engagement, restorative justice, and even civic discourse!


In other words, the more you shop, the more substantial and inspiring programs and lectures VRAF can bring to your conferences. Because of VRAF’s 501(c) (3) status, every time you shop online using the above link or the Amazon link on both VRA’s and VRAF’s homepages, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to VRAF. So please bookmark this page on your Internet browsers, and help us build the foundation for your profession!

Best wishes for a wonderful start to the new academic year!


2018 VRA Foundation Professional Development Grant: Call for Applications

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for the VRAF Professional Development Grant program. This program offers two $1000 grants yearly. This grant can be used to support conference participation, enroll in a workshop, for an online education opportunity, or for research activities. For consideration, please submit your application by Friday, September 7, 2018, 11:59pm Pacific Time. If you have any questions about the VRAF Professional Development Grant or the application process, and to submit your application here: or please contact the VRAF Board of Directors at The recipient of the 2018 VRAF Professional Development grant will be announced by Friday, September 21, 2018, and must be used before September 21, 2019.

Call for 2018-2019 Regional Workshop Host Site Applications

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to announce that it is accepting host applications for the VRAF Regional Workshop Program for 2018-2019. Thanks to the generous support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, this program will allow the VRAF to continue to realize its mission to promote scholarship, research, education, and outreach in the fields of visual resources and image management.  To learn more about what it means to host a VRAF Regional Workshop, click here.

For the 2018-19 program, applications will be accepted to host one of the following workshops:

  • Can We Do That?: Intellectual Property Rights and Visual Media
  • Collaborating across the Institution: Creating Professional Partnerships to Support Cultural Heritage
  • Documenting Cultural Heritage: Strategies and Spaces for Digital Capture
  • Exhibit, Instruct, Promote: An Introduction to Omeka for Digital Scholarship
  • Learning to Look and Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy
  • Managing Digital Content
  • Metadata and Management of Cultural Heritage Digital Media: From Fundamental to Future Trends
  • Moving Images: The Basics and Beyond
  • The International Image Interoperability Framework: What is it, and how can I use it?
  • Python for Beginners
  • Something Mappy This Way Comes: An Introduction to Digital Mapping Technologies

To view the current workshop roster with descriptions, click here. We will also consider applications in which the host site proposes its own workshop topic. Please review the description of the VRAF Regional Workshop Program as well as the VRAF Mission Statement prior to confirm that your proposed workshop fits within both the program’s parameters and the larger goals of the VRAF.

To apply, please fill out the VRAF Regional Workshop host site application form, If you have additional questions about the program, please contact VRAF Director Beth Haas, The deadline for application is August 24, 2018.

Call for applications: VRA Foundation Internship Award, 2018-2019

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to invite applications for the sixth VRAF Internship Award in visual resources and image management. This internship is generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

The VRAF Internship Award provides financial support for graduate students and recent graduates preparing for a career in visual resources and image management. The award grants $3,000 to support a period of internship in archives, libraries, museums, visual resources collections in academic institutions, or other appropriate contexts. It also provides $1,000 for professional development, and a one-year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Candidates should apply after developing a project with a specific collection and prospective supervisor. Priority will be given to applicants who submit projects that support art historical or related visual cultural heritage research and scholarship. The VRAF Internship Award Committee favors opportunities in which the intern may integrate skills acquired during the course of his or her academic training to manage a project from beginning to end, with the host institution receiving needed help in making valuable but hidden cultural collections visible. Projects that would not occur without funding for an intern may be given special consideration. A complete description of the internship and application instructions are available at:

Applications are due by August 6, 2018. The award recipient for 2018-2019 will be announced on August 27, 2018.

Visual Resources Association Foundation announces 2018 Project Grant recipient

The Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to present the 2018 VRAF Project Grant in the amount of $3000 to James Sobczak, Digital Imaging Assistant II, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

The University of Washington has more than 81 Collections with over 250,000 digital assets depicted from its Special Collections in CONTENTdm. The University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design’s Visual Services Department oversees their in-house MDID Collection, ARTstor, and UW Image Bank. The VRAF Project Grant will allow University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design to digitize a collection donation of 26,800+ 35mm slides from Patricia Young, which will provide a stipend to graduate student employees. The graduate student employees will work 4.5 hours per week for an estimated 40 weeks with software and technology provided by the University of Washington and UW’s School of Art + Art History + Design. The graduate students will be spearheaded by three University of Washington team members with project management and supervisory role experiences. The PYC Collection will be housed in their MDID collection, which crosswalks with CONTENTdm for further outreach to researchers worldwide. This project will also allow the PYC Collection graduate student workers to improve upon the GIS linking of images, network mapping of metadata, and semantic query integration. In accordance with its mission to support broad access to visual information, the VRAF is pleased to support a project that extends digitization and dissemination of visual culture into expanded fields of inquiry.

Betha Whitlow: Recipient of the 2018 VRA Distinguished Service Award

betha_dsa_2018The Awards Committee of the Visual Resources Association is delighted to announce that Betha Whitlow, visual resources curator at Washington University in St. Louis, is the 2018 recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Service Award. She was nominated for this award by Maureen Burns, Meghan Musolff, and Marlene Gordon. Betha has just stepped down as a member of the Board of Directors of the Visual Resources Association Foundation after serving two terms from 2014-2018. As a director, Betha developed and implemented the VRA Foundation’s highly successful Regional Workshop program. From 2010 to 2013 she served as a co-chair of the ARLIS/NA-VRA Summer Educational Institute (SEI). Betha is a committed advocate for educational initiatives that support visual resources professionals.

The remarks of her nominators, Meghan Musolff and Maureen Burns, as well as Betha’s acceptance comments are now online at: