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Strategic Plan 2020-2025

Letter from Ruth Waalkes

Associate Provost for the Arts and Executive Director of the Moss Arts Center

The Moss Arts Center opened its doors in fall 2013, marking a major achievement for the university’s Arts Initiative to increase the presence and the practice of the arts at Virginia Tech.


During the past seven years, the center has brought innovative, significant, and diverse programming to benefit the campus and the region. Hundreds of performances, exhibitions, and hands-on learning activities have engaged and impacted thousands of students and community members each year. Performances and exhibitions have celebrated artists from around the world and close to home, including Virginia Tech students as they realize their own creative potential.


Internationally renowned artists—cellist Yo-Yo Ma, portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, soprano Reneé Fleming, tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, and so many others—have inspired our students and patrons not only through their artistic mastery, but also as emissaries of the essential value of the arts to society.


Across all of the center’s work, we have lifted up and invited people to examine the beauty, complexity, and diversity of the world in which we live. We have created safe places for experimentation, collaboration, and difficult conversations.


As the Moss Arts Center approaches its 10th anniversary of opening in 2023, we will continue forward on these paths, expanding our reach and deepening our impact. Together, we all—students, faculty, staff, donors, artists, patrons—will continue to create meaning and transform lives through exploration and engagement with the arts.

Moss Arts Center Vision

The arts will be a deeply embedded and highly valued part of life at Virginia Tech, in Southwest Virginia, and for all members of the Virginia Tech community wherever they live and work in the world.  

Moss Arts Center Mission

The Moss Arts Center transforms lives through exploration and engagement with the arts and creative process.

Moss Arts Center Core Values

  • The Moss Arts Center is dedicated to learning, discovery, and engagement for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.
  • We believe the arts are essential to society, and that participation in the arts can transform lives and improve the human experience.
  • We embrace diversity in all its forms, and believe arts opportunities should be accessible to and inclusive of all communities.
  • We know that through a diverse range of programs, our audiences, artists, faculty, staff, students of all ages, and communities can gain knowledge and experience significant growth.
  • We are committed to excellence and integrity in all that we do, and with all whom we engage. 

Virginia Tech's Strategic Priorities

The Moss Arts Center’s strategic plan has been developed in alignment with Virginia Tech’s strategic plan, including its four strategic priorities:

  • Advance regional, national, and global impact
  • Elevate the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) difference
  • Be a destination for talent
  • Ensure institutional excellence  

Moss Arts Center Strategic Priorities

Attract and engage undergraduate and graduate students with creative experiences, and provide them opportunities to expand their knowledge of themselves and others.

Goal #1:  Expand curricular opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage with the Moss Arts Center throughout their college career.

Goal #2:  Create connections for students across campus that engage and support their co-curricular experiences with and enjoyment of the arts.

Goal #3:  Provide student-focused opportunities and deeper experiences for those students connected with the Moss Arts Center and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).

Impact patrons and learners of all ages by presenting artists of regional, national, and international significance to broaden participation in the arts.

Goal #1:  Broaden participation by activating the Moss “campus” (interior spaces, exterior grounds, and online) more substantially with programs, infrastructure, and art.

Goal #2:  Provide new formats, programs, learning experiences, and creative activities to attract and impact both existing and new audiences. 

Goal #3:  Maintain balances across programming that provide a breadth of opportunities to inspire multiple and varied audiences.

Engage students, faculty, staff, and community members with international, culturally diverse, and underrepresented voices, artists, and programs to expand cultural competency.

Goal #1:  Actively participate with and support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on campus.

Goal #2:  Provide new formats, programs, learning experiences, and creative activities to attract and impact both existing and new audiences. 

Goal #3:  Increase diversity among the Moss Arts Center community, including staff, student wage employees and ambassadors, donors, and audiences.

Present artists, works, and programs that address critical societal issues and engage people in active dialogue.

Goal #1:  Establish expanded residency programs with particular focus on social relevance. 

Goal #2:  Provide deeper educational opportunities connected with the Moss Arts Center’s performances and exhibitions.

Goal #3:  Collaborate with campus and community partners to address social justice issues through the lens of the arts and creative practice.

Partner with external community-based organizations, individuals, and schools to increase the presence, practice, and impact of the arts beyond campus.

Goal #1:  Expand engagement opportunities and demonstrate impact.

Goal #2:  Diversify audiences and increase community access by leveraging external rentals, co-presentations, and collaborations.

Goal #3:  Expand K-12 impact in the community and region.

Enhance the national and international reputation of Virginia Tech as a creative campus through programming; artist residencies; research; student, faculty, and community engagement; and commissioning of new works.

Goal #1:  Expand support of artist commissions and residencies with increased resources.

Goal #2:  Articulate the value and impact of the arts.

Goal #3:  Support and elevate academic programs in the arts, and take part in campus-wide arts initiatives.

Diversify and expand financial resources that support the Moss Arts Center.

Goal #1:  Increase new gifts and commitments to a three-year average of $1 million annually by end of FY25. 

Goal #2:  Expand donor base and participation to a total of 500+ unique donors annually by end of FY25.

Goal #3:  Secure $8 million of the center’s 2027 $10 million campaign goal by end of FY25.

Manage operations to a high standard, and engage in continuous self-evaluation.

Goal #1:  Optimize staffing levels, training and skills, and organizational efficiencies through regular assessment and feedback.

Goal #2:  Promote operational excellence with tools and resources to maintain superior customer service and administrative capacity.

Goal #3:  Optimize working relationships, planning, and communication with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).