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The Wachtmeister Award is endowed by VCCA Fellow and Board member Linda Wachtmeister and administered by the VCCA Fellows Council. It is presented every two years in rotation to a prominent writer, visual artist, or composer whose significant achievement in the arts is widely recognized. A list of previous award recipients is provided below.

This award acknowledges the vital role of the arts in our world, the importance of artists who exemplify excellence in their field, and the necessity of time and space for the creative phase of all artistic work.


2025 Wachtmeister Award – Music Composition

The 2025 Wachtmeister Award will be open to established composers/sound artists using acoustic sources who have not previously been in residence at VCCA. Eligible applicants will have worked professionally as a composer for at least the past 15 years with substantial national or international achievement in their field, including publications, grants, awards, and other signs of achievement.

The award winner will receive a fully-funded VCCA residency of up to 30 days, to be scheduled between May 1, 2025, and August 31, 2026; a $1,000 honorarium; and a travel stipend of $750. The VCCA residency at Mt. San Angelo includes an individual studio, a private bedroom with private en-suite bath, and three prepared meals each day in a community of more than 20 writers, visual artists, and composers in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

Applications will be accepted February 1 – May 15, 2024.


Wachtmeister Award Recipients

2023: Kelly Luce, fiction
2021: M. Florine Démosthène, visual artist
2019: Robert Normandeau, composer
2017: Emily Rapp Black, nonfiction
2015: Anne Ferrer, visual artist
2013: Debra Marquart, poetry
2011*: James McGarrell, visual artist
2008*: Kia Corthron, playwriting
2006*: Anna Weesner, composer
2005*: Thomas Roma, visual artist
2004*: Ha Jin, fiction

* The award was originally called the “VCCA Award for Excellence in the Arts.” It was renamed the “Wachtmeister Award” in 2013.