What to Expect

The information provided below will be helpful as you prepare for your residency at Mt. San Angelo. If you have other questions about our facilities or policies before you arrive, please do not hesitate to contact us at vcca@vcca.com or call us at 434-946-7236. We will be happy to help you. The office is open Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET.

Your Contact Information While in Residence      


154 San Angelo Drive
Amherst, Virginia 24521

Best time for someone to call is between 6 and 7 p.m.



Your welcome packet can be found on the top of the mailboxes in the foyer of the Fellows Residence. You may arrive at any time on your scheduled day of arrival, but please let us know if you plan to appear before 10 a.m. If you would like help moving into your room or studio, please be here by 2:00 p.m. as our grounds crew leaves at 3:00 p.m. If you come on a weekend, after 5:00 p.m., or on a holiday, Resident Director, David Garratt  (434) 946-9557 or (434) 851-7318 can answer questions and assist you locating your packet, studio and bedroom. You may park and unload at the Residence and at your studio. Long-term parking is in the lot on the edge of the property facing the highway. If you will be arriving in inclement weather, please use the back entrance to the property. Inclement weather directions.


Please vacate your bedroom by 9:30 a.m. on your departure date, so that the room can be prepared for the next occupant. You may stay in your studio as late as you would like on that day, but please let the chef know if you plan to stay for lunch and dinner.


Writers' studios have a desk and chairs. (Please remember to bring a surge protector). Visual artists' studios have a sink and tables. Easels may be requested. Composers' studios have a desk, chairs and a piano. There are three grand pianos: a Yamaha disclavier, a Kawaii and a Knabe baby grand. A Roland Electronic keyboard with midi connections is also available. No other equipment is provided. The Fellows Residence and the studio barn complex are heated and air-conditioned. Please take note when preparing your visit, the beautiful grounds and walkways to and from the studios and Residence have uneven surfaces: grass, gravel, etc. There are no sidewalks or covered areas-an umbrella is always a good idea. Due to the complexity of scheduling over 300 Fellows per year, specific studio requests cannot always be honored. Thank you for understanding.


The fine cuisine of Jenny Botea and the kitchen staff is delicious and well-balanced, but VCCA cannot accommodate persons on special diets. There are four small kitchens where residents may keep small quantities of food and do minimal cooking. There is a vegetarian option at every meal. While we will attempt to do all that is necessary to ensure your comfort during your residency, we ask that you do not make unreasonable demands or special requests of the kitchen and household staff.


VCCA does not provide writing or visual art supplies. The Art Box in Lynchburg carries professional grade art products (car required), and the Sweet Briar Book Shop is modestly stocked. Fellows are encouraged to bring any materials they will need or have them shipped ahead from a supplier, unless they are available locally. Writers are encouraged to bring dictionaries if needed, as well as surge protectors. Visual artists are encouraged to use odor-free turpenoid paint thinners or, preferably, non-toxic paint thinners. You may also want to bring plastic sheeting or drop cloths to eliminate the need for repainting your walls prior to your departure. Supplies may be shipped to VCCA one week in advance of arrival, to your attention. Please be considerate of staff members who must transport your boxes. Pack your materials in boxes of a manageable size and weight. Your shipment will be held for your arrival. There are a few loaner printers available. If you would like to use one during your residency please contact Beatrice Booker to make arrangements.VCCA does not loan computers. There are no computer rental businesses in this area.


The barn and the Fellows' Residence offer wireless internet service. There is also a computer in the Fellows' Residence library that has a high-speed internet connection as well as wireless access. However, our rural location means that the internet is not as fast or as reliable as it is in more populous areas. It can be intermittent.

Access to the web is also available through the Sweet Briar College computer labs as availability permits. VCCA and Sweet Briar College both have Mac-based computer systems. There is a PC lab on the Sweet Briar campus in the main library.


You should bring clothing for informal country living and occasional parties. Rainwear, including all-weather shoes (and boots during the winter) are needed throughout the year. July and August are usually hot. September and early October are often warm (70°-85° F, 24°-33° C), but nights may be considerably cooler (40°-50° F, 5°-11° C). Since it can be cold in late fall and winter (November through February), you should bring warm clothes. Spring weather usually begins by mid-March. You should bring a flashlight for late-night walks to and from the studio barn.

Laundry and Linens

VCCA supplies clean towels and bed linens each week. If you plan to swim, you should bring extra towels of your own. Coin-operated laundry machines are provided for personal items.


The barn, cottage and Fellows' Residence are smoke-free buildings.


All studios and bedrooms have locks, but VCCA does not carry insurance on Fellows' personal property. We urge you to have such coverage if you feel you need it, as well as adequate health insurance.


VCCA cannot accommodate guests overnight and rarely at meals. Except for service animals, pets are not permitted.


Free concerts, films, plays and lectures are offered at Sweet Briar College during the school year. Fellows may use the tennis courts, lake, trails and indoor pool at the college, and have full borrowing privileges of books at the Sweet Briar Library. VCCA has its own library, walking trails, outdoor pool, VCR player, DVD player and ping pong table.


Twice a week, VCCA van takes Fellows to a nearby shopping center and the Sweet Briar campus for personal purchases.


There are ATM machines located on the Sweet Briar campus and in the town of Amherst. VCCA cannot cash checks for Fellows. For our international Fellows, please note that there is no place to exchange foreign currency in Amherst.