Inspiring arts in the community and the community in the arts.
Organize, sponsor and foster the visual arts through exhibits, educational programs, and cultural activities that reflect and enrich our broader community.
Provide an environment for creative growth of our members and the community.
Inspire community interest and interaction by celebrating our area’s cultures, heritage, and natural beauty through the visual arts.
1. Adopted a transformational Strategic Plan. Harold Burnley, a retired Altria strategic planning executive/RAL exhibiting artist, facilitated a team of 10 RAL members, our Managing Director & our Treasurer; 2 former RAL Presidents served as consultants, providing valuable institutional context.
2. Strengthened our board. Increased meeting frequency from semiannually to monthly, adopted staggered, 3-year terms for continuity in carrying out long-term planss. Elected 6 new directors with professional expertise in finance, trust & tax law, information technology, marketing, & outreach, one of which is an African-American woman.
3. Formed Watermen’s Way, an 18-month public outdoor art partnership, with Virginia’s River Realm, Steamboat Era Museum, Lancaster by the Bay Chamber, and Virginia Watermen’s Association.
4. Launched monthly Paint Like the Masters workshops, Saturday Teen Paint Nights, and a 5-week Fundamentals of Photography night course to attract high school students and working age adults. These unintimidating, fun programs offered on weeknights established that students & working adults respond to entry-level programs that don’t interfere with school and work.
1. Build organizational capacity to transform RAL from a league of older, predominantly white, established artists to an art hub that employs the visual arts to galvanize and embrace all sectors of the community.
2.Grow and diversify our membership beyond the predominantly white retirees and schoolchildren of all races that we already serve well.
3. Increase attendance at free monthly Art Talks, Art Shows, First Friday Opening Receptions.
4. Develop a comprehensive fundraising plan to secure the future of our organization and our physical plant.
5. Communicate and collaborate frequently and effectively with RAL members, the public, the business community, local and regional governments/agencies, other non-profit organizations.
1. Undertake gallery improvements necessary to increase strategic plan mandated increases in revenue, membership, donations, and competitiveness: LED track lighting, application of uniform neutral paint, lobby renovation, and reception/sales/hospitality area installation.
3. Replace inefficient pen-and-paper recordkeeping with a secure, cloud-based nonprofit database management system that enables us to automate, integrate, and easily access membership, donor, registration, on-line payments, attendance, contact, and financial records for evaluation and communication.
3. Establish an endowment fund to secure the long-term future of RAL and a capital campaign to fund renovation and expansion of our facilities to support programs and generate operating revenue.
4. Expand 2018 workshop line-up and refine scheduling to appeal to a broader audience.
5. Overhaul and redesign RAL website and social media to current best practices for arts organizations.
Rappahannock Art League (RAL) puts quality visual arts experiences within easy
reach of rural Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula residents. We are the largest
and oldest visual arts organization in the area. In 2016 RAL had 339 members and 12,156 visitors, and held 49 workshops, 14 art shows, 10 Art Talks, and 12 First Friday Receptions.
RAL was founded in 1949, incorporated in 1990, and obtained 501(c)(3) status in 2000. For 60 years the organization conducted meetings, workshops, Art Talks, and exhibitions in church basements, restaurants, libraries, and businesses. We acquired the c. 1925, 4200-square foot storefront we occupy today in 1999. Our permanent home on Main Street in Kilmarnock enables us to show and sell local artists’ work, conduct art workshops and programs for the general public, and provide space for artist development groups to meet and work.
The current condition, size, and configuration of our space now constrain our capacity to increase income from gallery sales and workshop fees beyond current levels. Last winter we replaced our failing roof at a cost of $26,500. Our HVAC system is obsolete. Our building is not insulated. Lighting is inefficient and uneffective. Utility bills are exorbitant. With further major work imminent and expansion and renovation necessary to support mission and generate operating income, we formed a strategic planning team of RAL members to draw up a blueprint for the future of our organization and the facilities to support it.
In its 2016 written comments on our 2016-2017 Application for General Operating Support, the Virginia Commission for the Arts noted our strengths:
· Economic driver and anchor for visual arts in Rappahannock.
· Artistic quality is good.
· Presents a variety of arts media. Good outlet for artists to sell work.
· Some art exhibitions are juried.
· Strongly volunteer-led organization with gallery management provided on a part-time basis.
· The board size is appropriate.
· Fiscally responsible with strong cash on hand.
· Commitment to arts instruction in the schools is commendable.
· Instrumental in the formation of the new Artisan Trail.
The Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula of Virginia are scenic, rural, coastal communities bounded by the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Outdoor recreational opportunities, quaint small towns, resorts, state parks, and national landmarks attract retirees, second homeowners, boaters, campers, and tourists. So it's no surprise that 67.7% of our audience comes from the Northern Neck, 13.3% from the Middle Peninsula, 10.6% from the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area, and 5% from Northern Virginia.
Managing Director Hope Towner has 25 years’ experience in nonprofit arts management. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management at American University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. While her prior experience is in the theatre arts sector, her organizational roles and responsibilities are a perfect match for the big job of being the only paid staff member of a small nonprofit visual arts organization.
Hope managed the Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Communications Department senior staff and its $1,000,000+ budget. She planned and implemented a new website, online ticketing and a long-range strategic plan. She directed subscription campaigns, cultivated sponsors and produced promotional and special events.
At the San Jose Repertory Theatre and the Arizona Theatre Company, Hope was responsible for developing and placing print, radio and television marketing communications to increase awareness of the theatre and its programs. She worked closely with photographers and graphic designers to reinforce the theatre’s message visually.
As a Producer at the Children’s Theatre of Arlington, Assistant to the Executive Director of the Arena Stage, and Assistant box office manager at Arena Stage. Hope worked behind the scenes carrying out the administrative duties that make the show go on at any nonprofit arts organization.
· Director of Marketing and Communications, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
· Media Relations Manager, San Jose Repertory Theatre
· Associate Director of Communications, Arizona Theatre Company
· Public Relations Director, Arizona Theatre Company
· Assistant Theatre Manager, University of Maryland
· Producer, Children’s Theatre of Arlington
· Assistant to the Executive Director, Arena Stage
· Public Relations Assistant, League of Washington (DC) Theatres
Artisan Trail: RAL is an affiliate of the Northern Neck Artisan Trail and site #45. 9 RAL artists also operate studio sites on the trail.
Watermen’s Way: Partnering with Virginia’s River Realm Tourism Council, Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce, Steamboat Era Museum, and Virginia Watermen’s Association to present a yearlong outdoor public art project designed to stimulate interest in the men/women who shaped our regional identity and encourage residents/visitors to explore Northern Neck/Middle Peninsula attractions.
The Fine Art of Steamboat Dining: Annual, joint awareness/fundraising dinner and auction for RAL and the Steamboat Era Museum. The 2017 event takes place at Good Luck Cellars April 8.
Youth Education: We collaborate with the Lancaster County Public Schools, Chesapeake Academy and the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck to provide visual arts instruction and supplies to local students.
Wharton Films Project: Rediscovered films that document ordinary blacks and whites doing everyday things in the 1920s and 30s will be shown at RAL the month of May 2017. The purpose of the exhibition is to attract people who can to shed light on the people, places, events depicted in the films for a PBS documentary produced by the local James Wharton Film Project.
RAL is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday year-round. Located in Kilmarnock, Virginia, the retail hub of the lower Northern Neck/Middle Peninsula, we provide local artists with a high visibility sales outlet & residents/tourists with a convenient place to view & buy works of art. Our Gallery houses works by 55-75 jury-selected Exhibiting Artists who rent display space. They staff the Studio Gallery on a rotating, volunteer basis to provide insight into our artists, their work, and our art programs. All RAL members are eligible to enter and sell their works at the themed monthly art shows in our Exhibit Room.
While major museums are a day trip away, RAL fills the need for a full-service art center here at home. Residents and visitors attend free, monthly Art Talks featuring prominent speakers from the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. They board the bus for trips we conduct to major museums. Open studios in painting, drawing and photography meet regularly in our classroom. Our free, monthly First Friday Art Show opening receptions are much anticipated and well-attended.
We offer regular, year-round youth art instruction at RAL, the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck, Lancaster County Public Schools, and Chesapeake Academy. We feature monthly student art shows in our gallery and encourage the young artists to visit the gallery and attend free First Friday receptions with their families and friends. We grant classroom funds for art supplies and equipment so teachers don’t have to pay for them out of their own pockets. We have a longstanding college art scholarship program. And in October 2016, we began monthly Paint Nights for teens on Saturday evenings. The Virginia Commission for the Arts says our "commitment to arts instruction in the schools is commendable."
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia7501 Boulders View Drive, Richmond, VA 23225804-330-7400 | www.tcfrichmond.org