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Our History

This regional chapter of the National Society of Arts & Letters – the Virginia/North Carolina Chapter – was formed in 2001.  The catalyst for its formation was a move to Charlottesville, Virginia by Nancy Brockman, who relocated to this area from northern Virginia to become the Executive Director of the Piedmont Council for the Arts.  Ms. Brockman had had much experience with NSAL, and threw her considerable energies and expertise into recruiting potential charter members who would be interested in forming a regional chapter based in Charlottesville.  She served first as a member and then as the Past President of the Washington, D.C. chapter, and went on to serve as National NSAL President from 2002 to 2004.

The small chapter struggled initially and nearly dissolved a year after its formation.  The chapter managed, however, to fulfill its mission of running annual competitions in whatever discipline had been chosen for NSAL’s Career Awards Competition.  Applications were received, judges obtained and prizes awarded every year but in 2003, the year of near collapse.  Even then, arrangements were made to send our contestants’ applications in the chosen discipline – Literature (poetry) – to a neighboring chapter for adjudication, where one of the VA/NC Chapter’s contestants won second prize.  Over the years the VA/NC Chapter has had the honor of having had a 4th (2006), a 7th (2008) and a 1st place (2012), as well as an honorable mention (2014) in the Career Awards Competition Finals at NSAL’s annual convention.  A list of chapter winners can be found by clicking here.

In 2004 NSAL launched the Winston Scholarship Awards in Voice and Art, made possible by a bequest from the estate of Shirley Rabb Winston.  Each year since then the VA/NC Chapter has solicited applications from our region and has identified finalists whose materials are then forwarded onto National for adjudication.  The chapter has had a number of national winners of these scholarships, whose names can be found by clicking here.

VA/NC Chapter Presidents since the chapter’s founding are as follows:

            Chris Wilmer                                                  2001 - 2002

            Holly Semple                                                 2002  - 2004

            Content Sablinsky                                          2004  - 2006

            Paul Brockman                                               2006  - 2009

            Pat Davis                                                       2009  - 2012

            Janice Rodgers & Roger Authers                      2012  - 2014

            Content Sablinsky                                          2014  - 2016

                   Kay Parker                                                    2016  - 


Current members who have been active for at least ten years in the VA/NC Chapter include Nancy Brockman, Pat Davis, Anne Fife, Ilse & John Hendrix, Beth & Fred Nichols, Content Sablinsky, Cynthia Tremblay and Jean Wilhelm.