An Annual Reporting for 2018
Looking back over 2018 I’m struck by how our programs and events continue to attract and engage the community—standing-room-only talks at the library, sold-out community theater performances, intimate No Ordinary Person stories, record numbers of artists and visitors at the Fall Art Tour, the ever-popular Soup & Soul, first-run movies and fascinating film-talkback events. A byproduct of these entertaining and often thought-provoking events has been the opportunity to connect with friends and neighbors—strengthening our social fabric.
RAAC also provides direct financial support to the arts. In 2018 our Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund awarded $49,000 in grants; over the past six years, we’ve given over $200,000 to the community—individual artists, writers, filmmakers; arts programs for children and adults; workshops; scholarships; and public performances. All of this reflects our Board’s commitment to channel net income from programs and donations back into the community.
Crucial to our volunteer mission is the sustained community support of RAAC—both membership and contributions continued to grow in 2018. From a financial perspective, we are rock solid and continue to operate with adequate savings to cover unexpected contingencies.
In 2018 our Board began exploring ways to broaden our reach across the Rappahannock community. Here’s what is emerging:
- RAAC Reading Series—will offer local writers opportunities to share their work during an intimate evenings of poetry, prose and wine. A very successful inaugural event was held March 23.
- Community Square Dance—first dance was held at the Sperryville Fire Hall last fall in collaboration with Rapp at Home. It was a rousing success and pulled a packed crowd from around the county. A second dance is planned for later this spring with the possibility of yet another next fall.
- Music—a surprisingly dormant area for RAAC in recent years. We are now working with local musicians to find ways for RAAC to play a role in celebrating and nourishing music in Rappahannock. Ideas under consideration include financial support, RAAC venue, publicity, and co-sponsoring events. Stay tuned as we develop this new area.
Underlying our programs and at our core is our Board which has a well-earned reputation for its camaraderie, thoughtfulness, and energy. At the end of the year, Barbara Wall switched hats from Board member to our legal counsel. And, we have just added a new member to our board: Ruthie Windsor-Mann, a talented Rappahannock painter. The strength of our Board will propel our organization forward.
Finally, RAAC is energized and guided by our belief that a community infused with the arts is stronger, livelier, and more connected. This conviction has remained true since our founding 35 years ago. Our organization rests on three pillars: dedicated and talented volunteers, artists and participants who make our programs happen, and supporters who contribute to RAAC so generously. All of this underlies our mission to Inspire Art and Build Community!
Matthew Black, President
Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community