Windmore Foundation for the Arts promotes the visual, literary, and performing arts through awareness, participation, and education.
A culturally rich environment where artists, arts organizations, educators, and the community come together to create diverse artistic experiences and life-long learning.
A rewarding and memorable artistic experience is essential to understanding the contributions that art makes to the quality of our daily lives, our ability to solve problems, and achieve goals. Creating and experiencing art enhance the human spirit and are critical components of society.
Windmore Foundation for the Arts, Inc. was founded in the spring of 1987 under the working title of Culpeper Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. The name Windmore was chosen to honor the dairy farm that once operated at the site of Windmore’s amphitheater.
Windmore was created to promote the arts in the Northern Piedmont area, serving the counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Orange, and Madison. Since its inception, Windmore has supported, presented, and provided education in many disciplines of the Arts including: theater, music, dance, literature, visual arts, and arts education.
It remains Windmore’s goal to maintain the diversity of the arts represented and increase the participation of people from all ethnic and economic backgrounds. Windmore was awarded the Governor’s Award for Community Service and Volunteerism in 1996.
Executive Director – Debra H. Smyers.
Debra Smyers has over 25 years of experience within the arts and social services sectors. Ms. Smyers holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics and a Master of Arts in Arts Management. She is an actress and a member of SAG-AFTRA. As an adjunct professor at George Mason University, Ms. Smyers has taught courses that include: Strategic Planning in the Arts, Performing Arts Management, Seminar in Arts Management, and Grant Writing in the Arts. In addition, as an ardent supporter of the Arts, Ms. Smyers has served multiple times on each of the grant review panels of Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Arts Council of Fairfax County. In addition, she is an arts education advocate and has contributed her time to many community projects.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jodi Place, President of the Board, grew up in Madison, Virginia and is a proud alumni of Madison County High School where she enjoyed participating in a variety of activities including being a member of the state and nationally recognized forensics team. After graduation, she attended the University of Louisville for undergraduate and graduate school before beginning her teaching career. She is currently a school administrator at Culpeper County High School, a position she has held since 2008, after completing the Education Leadership program through George Mason University. She has loved supervising the Fine Arts Department there and work with the outstanding teachers within this department the last several years. Prior to joining the administrative team at CCHS, she taught in both Louisville, Kentucky and at CCHS within the English departments. She has taught grades 9 – 12, public speaking, theater and leadership courses. She also enjoyed co-directing three school musicals during her teaching career. She is excited to celebrate her 20th year in public education this year. Jodi is married to David, a Culpeper native, and they have three children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, photography, scrapbooking and binge-watching the Food Network.
Doray Walker, Vice-President of the Board is originally from Oxford, Pennsylvania. She has been an ardent supporter of Windmore and community arts, particularly with music, throughout the years. She currently teaches Choir and Drama in the Culpeper County School District. She is also the choral director of Culpeper High School. Doray volunteers on the Swim Committee of the Culpeper Recreation Club.
Ross D’Urso, Treasurer of the Board has been in the public sector for over 39 years in government finance. He Is currently the elected Commissioner of the Revenue for Fauquier County. His civic background is extensive. He has served the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce as director and treasurer, Habitat for Humanity, treasurer, Warrenton-Fauquier Jaycees, President, Warrenton Rotary Club, President. He is currently serving the Rotary Club as Executive Secretary/Treasurer. In his professional career, he served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Mapping, Surveying and Land Information Systems. He is also a Past President of the Commissioner of the Revenue Association. In addition, Ross avidly pursues his musical hobby performing locally, playing guitar with a number of partners, and swing band. Ross hold a B.A. Degree in Urban Affairs and Planning from Virginia Tech and a Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University.
Laurel Van Horn, Secretary of the Board is a retired English teacher from Rappahannock County High School in Washington, Virginia. She has loved reading and writing and then teaching others to love reading and writing almost her whole life. She has been so grateful to discover Windmore’s wonderful activities over the past two years, after her husband, Dee, passed away in 2015. Since that time, all the great people she has met and worked with in both Pen-to-Paper and StageWorks have been an inspiring comfort to her and continue to be so. Laurel enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and non-fiction articles, and she was thrilled to be the stage manager/stagehand for the popular StageWorks play Salt & Pepper recently.
Donna Chabot, primarily works with the Windmore StageWorks theater program. She has performed in plays and assisted with many aspects of the theater. Off-stage, Donna works for the Office of Drinking Water as an Environmental Health Inspector and volunteers for the Brandy Station Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary. Assisting with all divisions of Windmore, Donna is committed to promoting the Arts in Culpeper and surrounding areas. She is a dedicated board member and will soon be approaching her second term.
Mary Kidd Flemming works as the choral director and teacher at Floyd T. Binns Middle School. For Windmore, Mary just completed directing the summer camp and youth production of Peter Pan, Jr., held at Verdun Adventure Bound in the Anne Marie Sheridan Amphitheatre in Rixeyville. She has directed plays, variety shows, showcases, choral concerts, and competitions, but her favorite genre is the musical. She first became involved with Windmore Children’s Theatre in 2002 as a volunteer and later as a producer. Mary and her husband John have been married for nearly 27 years, sharing their love of music and theatre with their six children.
Marsha Hale was born and raised in a small Delaware coastal town. She could draw before she could write and had parental encouragement all along the way. After graduating high school, she attended Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA to study art education. She has taught art to both children and adults in a variety of settings,both in private and public schools and in private lessons. She has worked as a cake decorator, was an office manager in an environmental non profit and has owned her own art business for many years. She has 4 children and 2 grandsons. This upcoming school year will mark her 12th year at Culpeper County High School. She is the founding sponsor for the National ART Honor Society( established in 2010) and lends artistic advice and help to many other teachers, events and the school, as needed. She is a lifelong learner, taking art classes during the summer whenever possible. “Art is not just a subject to teach but a behavior to embrace.”
Jennifer Shepherd is a lifelong artist. Her main focuses are painting, mixed media, and photography. She studied photography and art education at Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a BFA in art education. Jennifer has been a participating member of the various art communities where she has lived including: Petersburg, Virginia, Culpeper, Virginia and Killeen, Texas. She has won multiple art awards and scholarships. Currently Mrs. Shepherd is an art educator for Culpeper County Public Schools, having taught at Emerald Hill Elementary and Culpeper County High School for the last two years. After successfully proposing and implementing Craft Design, a new visual arts course, for the high school, she is looking forward to teaching full-time at CCHS for the upcoming school year.
Les Walters was born in Panama City, Panama to Lina and Perry Walters. He is the second oldest child of eight. He retired from his profession as a Naval Nurse Corps Officer in 2006 after 22 years of total service. Subsequently he taught in the nursing program at Germanna Community College until 2013. He is a member of Windmore Foundation and Pen-to-Paper. Les lives in Culpeper with his wife Susi, who is also a nurse. He enjoys writing, photography, dancing and performing arts. His favorite subject for photography is flowers and landscapes.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT AND THEATER ADVISOR
.Jeff Walker, Theater Advisor is a teacher in the Theatre Arts program and the Fine Arts Coordinator in the Culpeper County School District. He was recently seen in “Salt and Pepper” which was his first time working as an actor with the Windmore StageWorks program. Jeff has acted in professional and community theatre for many years. He has taught theater arts in Culpeper since 2002. Jeff has been a dedicated supporter of Windmore over the years and served as Board President from 2016 – 2017.
WINDMORE FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY:
PRIMARY PARTNERS AND CONTRIBUTORS
OF WINDMORE FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS
Many Thanks to Windmore’s Partners, Sponsors, and Affiliates
National Endowment for the Arts
Virginia Commission for the Arts
Northern Piedmont Community Foundation
Nancy N. and Michael D. Baudhuin Foundation
The Patricia and Nicolaas Kortlandt Community Fund
The de Leon – Khanna Charitable Fund
Mr. William Chase
Fountain Hall Bed & Breakfast, Culpeper
Culpeper County Parks & Recreation
Culpeper Chamber of Commerce
Culpeper Baptist Church
Culpeper Women’s Club
Wellspring Health Services
State Theatre Culpeper
Jewell Tone Music
Studio C. Photography
Jimni Custom Laser Engraving
Lignum Ruritan Club
Blue Ridge Chorale
The Town of Culpeper
Culpeper Ballet Theatre
James Madison Museum
Prince Michel Winery
Rose Hill Heritage Farm
Glory Days Grill, Culpeper
Roy Carter and Fran Cecere
Mary and Ben Allen
Robert L. Fajkowski
Deborah and John Schupp
Brian D. Hedges
Margaret Moon and John Davies
Charlene James and James Duguid of Touchstone Studio
This list is updated periodically. If you have contributed and would like your name listed here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-547-4333.