Colorful lighthouse

Our Impact

Learn about VLA from the artists we have helped. Our work is made possibe by our generous supporters. With your support, VLA can continue to make a significant impact on the lives of artists.

Our Mission

Founded in 1969, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) is the leading legal aid and education organization dedicated to New York artists and its arts and cultural organizations. VLA strives to protect the artistic community’s livelihoods, businesses, and creative works through access to dedicated legal representation and focused innovative education programs.


“It’s unheard of for a small business to take on a big corporation. But VLA made that possible.”
 – Brooke Comegys, Photographer & Small Business Owner

“With just a clinic…VLA has helped me become a better leader.”
 – Natalie Giugni, President of the New York Society of Women Artists (NYSWA)

“I was just hoping for the best on the legal side but in addition to that, it helped me understand the structure of creating a business.”
– Yentema Prothro, Musician & Founder of Humble Background Music

“If it wasn’t for VLA…the Mother Line Story Project would not still exist.”
– Eliza Simpson, Executive Director and Founder of Mother Line Story Project

“It was life changing.”
– Elisabeth Condon, Visual Artist

“It made all the difference.”
– Taylor Sisk, Writer, Editor, Filmmaker

“Without VLA, I would have had nowhere to turn.”
– Joy Parisi, Founder of Paragraph, Workspace for Writers

“Thank you VLA…for all the work that you do.”
-Virginia Maksymowicz, Sculptor

“It wouldn’t have happened without VLA.”
-Virginia Maksymowicz, Sculptor


“When another group appeared online with the same name as my dance group, I reached out to VLA to go about trademarking. They clarified what was and wasn’t possible to control in this situation and set me up with a lawyer who guided me through the process to become trademarked in the US!”

Ani Taj, Founder of Dance Cartel


“I came to VLA because I wanted to learn how to protect my work and my rights as an artist. My experience with VLA was amazing. I came to my first appointment with a lot of uncertainty, and I left feeling empowered! It is so important that an organization dedicated to protecting and helping artists like this exists.”

Mafe Izaguirre
Artist, Graphic Designer, and Educator


“Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts patiently guided me through the legal process, always being at my side. The attorney made sure my rights are not only protected but also more importantly, made me aware of my rights as an artist in New York.”

Viola A. ​Yeşiltaç, Visual Artist


“The minute I walked in the door at VLA I was met by professionals. I was given a thorough consultation and had excellent pro bono lawyers representing me. They successfully negotiated with a theatrical company on a play I had worked on for ten years, which was at risk due to a poor agreement I had signed. Sometimes we need a grownup in the room. VLA is that grownup.”

Llywelyn Tudor Jones
Writer and Actor


“Everyone we worked with at VLA was phenomenal. We were consistently impressed with not only their professionalism and knowledge, but also their ease in dealing with artists who may not have experience in legal matters. We honestly weren’t sure how we were going to afford incorporating our non-profit until we found VLA.”

Alex Etling
Executive Director, Co-Founder
Cave Theatre Co.


VLA strives to make its services, programs and facilities accessible to everyone. VLA offers assistance for the visual and hearing impaired, with prior notification. VLA’s offices also are wheel chair accessible via elevator. Please call us at 212-319-2787 ext 1 to request assistance with these or other reasonable accommodations.


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