Why v.p.s. cartographie?

I love all that the word cartography implies.

From old men with long beards making maps to locate the new world to city planners creating diagrams of subway systems that help people get around a 21st century city and every day people connecting the dots that get them from point A to point B. I can be mesmerized by maps – just imagining the possibilities of new places to go and things to see. Maps can illustrate networks and show how people, places or ideas connect.

In the larger sense, the science and art of map making requires research, planning and strategizing; our cornerstone services. Many can do their own planning or take care of their own research needs. But sometimes it’s just plain easier to have knowledgeable support from an experienced professional who can do some of that work for you while keeping you on track towards meeting your goals. Whether you need a strategic plan, a program assessment, data on the latest trends in arts management, a one-on-one consult, executive support or help with your next board retreat, I can be your trusted navigatrix*

v.p.s. cartographie is dedicated to providing every client with a customized product and personalized service. We pride ourselves on our ability to meet deadlines and deliver results that enable your organization to reach its desired future.

Let v.p.s. cartographie chart the course for your next project.

About Victoria Plettner-Saunders, Founder and Chief Strategist

When I am at my most creative, I am helping people and organizations find new paths to productivity and mission fulfillment. More formally put, I am an effective strategist and can craft plans that are mission driven, goal oriented and always practical. My skills as a researcher have helped organizations know where they are going by first understanding where they they’ve been; or what the current landscape can tell them about planning for future growth or change. I am committed to strengthening the arts and culture community through professional, organizational and leadership capacity building. I have a special interest in career development for emerging and mid-career arts professionals.

As a consultant I’ve worked with local and state arts agencies, arts and culture organizations, professional service organizations and philanthropic foundations. In the years leading up to my solo practice I spent seven years with the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, as well as managing or leading several nonprofit arts organizations.

As a certified personal coach through Franklin Covey I’ve been trained to listen, ask curious questions and hold people accountable for their own goals and personal improvement.

As a writer and research analyst with an interest in professional development I’ve published several articles on next generation and mid-career arts leadership for CultureWork, an electronic publication of the University of Oregon Center for Community Arts and Cultural Policy, as well as conducted statewide leadership research for The James Irvine Foundation.

As a specialist in arts education, I’ve completed several client projects in support of arts education in schools, organizations and cities. In addition, I’ve chaired the Americans for the Arts, Arts Education Council and both founded and chaired the San Diego Alliance for Arts Education.

As networker and resourceful connector, I am intuitively oriented towards the infinite possibilities that can come from building relationships and helping people link up with other people, places and things.

Let me use my best creative skills to help you or your organization find a new and uncharted path towards mission fulfillment, organizational sustainability or professional growth.

Creative thinking, free initial consultations and personalized service are always just a phone call away. I welcome new colleagues and clients.

About the website

Growing up I used to watch my father make signs for different events or organizations he volunteered for. These signs were actually like big long banners made from butcher paper. He would roll the paper out on the dining table and start with a pencil, hand lettering a welcome home announcement or whatever the occasion warranted. From there he would mix tempura paints and use a small brush to carefully fill in the hand drawn message. The result was always a colorful, beautifully lettered yet fully functional work of graphic art.

When I was inspired to create a new website and launch a new professional identity, that experience as a child watching my father work with a pencil and a brush came back to me. In a world filled with stock photos and computer generated imagery, I wanted to reconnect with the creativity that defines the very ecosystem within which I work as an arts professional. To do that I looked no further than Sophia Daly, a hugely talented artist and designer, who started with a pencil and a pad of drawing paper when we first sat down to talk about the look and feel of v.p.s. cartographie. Sophia captured my desire for color, whimsy, and a hand drawn look and feel without sacrificing my ability to communicate my commitment to professionalism or my lofty standards for quality results.

The website design for v.p.s. cartographie reflects my belief that personal authenticity provides an important foundation on which to support the professional integrity, skills and experience that are required for creating a great work product. Always a believer in the beauty of a well laid Plan A (and a carefully crafted Plan B), the idea behind cartographie is all about helping people and organizations get from here to there – expert research, planning and strategizing are tools I use to skillfully enable others to find their way to a better future.

*The Urban Dictionary calls a navigatrix “A stylish woman with a map who can help you find your way; A cartographer and director not just in a geographical sense; and A good woman to know and have in your life, especially if you’re lost.”

Photography by Paul Barnett