By Clinton Atwater
Editor’s Note: Another in our series of notes from VASA Board members. Clint also serves as our Association Treasurer, and as such has brought a steady, intelligent and pragmatic hand to VASA’s finances.
When Gayle Turner asked me if I would consider being on the Board of Directors for VASA, I was both intrigued and honored. What I never considered is that my service would coincide with a pandemic. What a year it has been!
Over the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of serving with a great group of people, some of which I’ve never physically met. Not being able to meet in person as a board of directors is just one of the impacts that the COVID Pandemic has had on VASA. We quickly became Zoom Masters, or at least Zoom Apprentices, as we had to figure out how to conduct business via Zoom but more importantly how to support our members as we learned together how to be storytellers in a virtual world.
VASA Board of Directors was up to the pandemic challenge and we’ve had a very busy year. Here is my Top Ten List of things that VASA has accomplished this year:
- Gave our VASA website a “facelift” – special thanks to our Webmaster, Karen Wollscheid.
- Create a ZOOM account that members can take advantage of for a minimal fee
- Created a Smile. Amazon account that allows members to designate a portion of their Amazon purchases to VASA
- Added a Donate button to the website to make it easier for people to donate to VASA
- Created new Vision and Mission Statements
- Held our first virtual Gathering
- Held story swaps
- Held coaching sessions
- Held workshops such as the Healing Stories workshop by Les Schaffer
- Learned how to support one another without being able to gather in person
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Virginia Storytelling Alliance, and the above list of accomplishments is great. However, the list is pale in comparison to the amount of growth I have had as a storyteller, speaker, and producer. The relationships that I have formed through serving VASA will have a lasting impact on my life. Our lives are full of stories; stories connect our lives.