Rappahannock Art League, Inc.
19 N. Main Street
Kilmarnock VA 22482
Mission Statement

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. 
Web and Social Media
Multi-Media Comments
CEO/Executive Director Sukey Starkey
Board Chair Sukey Starkey
Board Chair Company Affiliation Arts Educator - Retired
Contact Information
Address 19 N. Main Street
Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Telephone 804 436-9309
Fax 804 xxx-xxxx
E-mail ral@ralgallery.com
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2000
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $95,900.00
Projected Expenses $95,900.00
Additional Documents


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. 


  •  By keeping expenses down, we managed to stay in the black through difficult economic times.
  •  In addition to our regular workshop program, held two large adult painting workshops with nationally-known artists in a larger, rented venue resulting in a small profit and excited students.
  •  Expanded the Children’s Art Program, enabling us to hold Saturday morning winter classes (smARTS) and to award more scholarships to Summer workshop participants.
  •  Kept our year’s schedule of quality exhibits high despite a downturn in sales. 


  • Provide a permanent "art wall" for area students, grades K-12
  • Make an all-out effect to bond with local business and provide more chances to encourage tourism (especially with the Chamber, Town Hall and the Boys & Girls Club.
  • Increase networking with other art leagues in our area and initiate exchanges, such as artists and teachers.
  • Work diligently on building a larger and more diverse audience.
Our most pressing needs include:
  • A larger classroom facility that is well equipped.
  • A major overhaul of our gallery's lighting system, especially in our Exhibit Room.
  • Additional artists applying for wall space in our co-op gallery during this economic downturn.
  • More dedicated volunteers taking on major programming and management responsibilities, especially in reaching out to local business and building a wider audience (community enrichment).
  • More funding for our children's arts and education programs, including scholarship funding for further education in the arts, as well as awarding grants to school teachers and the Boys & Girls Club. 
The Rappahannock Art League (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 enables us to show and sell local artists' work, conduct art workshops and programs for the general public, and provide space for special arts groups to meet and work.
In 2016 RAL had 339 members, 106 volunteers, 60 exhibiting artists, 14 art shows, 49 workshops, 12,156 visitors and an annual budget of $114,000. In its written comments on our 2016-2017 General Operating Grant Application, the Virginia Commission for the Arts cited our strengths:
  • Oldest and largest visual arts organization in the area
  • Economic driver and anchor for visual arts in [sic] Rappahannock
  • Artistic quality is good
  • Presents a variety of arts media. Good outlet for artists to sell work
  • Programming is highly accessible to people of all ages
  • Some art exhibitions are juried.
  • Strongly volunteer-led organization with gallery management provided on a part-time basis
  • 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.
 In early 2016 we replaced our failing roof at a cost of $26,500. With further major repairs likely and expansion/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. The membership ratified the board's unanimous endorsement of the plan at our quarterly membership meeting in January 2017. The 18-month strategic plan implementation plan is under way. 
CEO Statement
Mary Ellis, President, is a lifetime artist and photographer who has worked as a color and design specialist as well as a fashion coordinator and instructor. Since joining RAL, Mary has been the window designer as well as the "go to" person for design and hanging help. Before being elected President, Mary served as RAL Secretary.
Sukey Starkey, Vice-President, has been immersed in a creative environment her whole life, and brought those talents to her previous jobs as teacher and school library media specialist. Sukey is in charge of the Children's Arts & Education Program at RAL and is an advocate for teaching art in schools, commenting that it helps to support learning and student achievement in addition to making well-rounded students.
Ann Vliet, Secretary, first came to art through theater, studying scene and costume design. She has directed over 30 college theater productions. Ann specializes in photography and digital imaging, and has been branching out into drawing and painting as well. She has held various volunteer positions at RAL and also provides displays, signage and posters for the Gallery. 
Sharon Mundy, Treasurer, is a retired accountant from Richmond, VA. She moved to the Northern Neck less than 10 years ago, and joined RAL with hopes of doing some volunteer work as well as finding a place where she could persue her love of "art appreciation." 
Hope Towner, Managing Director, is the only paid staff at RAL. She works part-time and has her hand in most aspects of the Gallery. Hope comes from a career in theater, most recently as Marketing Director for Berkeley Repertory Theater, as well as PR Director at Arizona Theatre Company. She first got a taste for the arts in DC, working at Arena Stage and enjoying the many galleries and museums.  
Board Chair Statement
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Northern Neck
Middlesex County
While we are based in based in Lancaster County, our services reach out to 5 counties on both sides of the Rappahannock River and occasionally even further afield.  We are located in a favored quiet tourist spot Kilmarnock, VA) and often partner with local hotels and inns to offer art retreats and other activities with them.
Board Chair
Board Chair Sukey Starkey
Company Affiliation Arts Educator - Retired
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2016
Email sukey.starkey384@gmail.com
Board of Directors
Board Members
Ken Baker Artist
Tonya Carter Children's Librarian
Anne Cotter Community Volunteer
Jan Dobrowolski Community Volunteer
Lella Lee Edwards Artist
Mary Ellis RAL President
Barbara Kershner Retired
Les Kilduff Attorney
Patt Lawler realtor
Sharon Mundy CPA, retired
Lee Pulling Community Volunteer
Sukey Starkey Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 9
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 0
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 50
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 67
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
No CEO.  We are all volunteers, with a well-established system of division of responsibilities among officers and standing committees. Our most recent challenge is the economic downturn (we include a co-op sales gallery and several fund-raising activities and depend on grants and donations to help us with our children's programs).  We are seeking to broaden our audience in our own and neighboring counties and to deepen our relationship to the business community, especially the tourism sector. We have one part-time paid position, Managing Director.
Executive Director
Executive Director Sukey Starkey
Experience We have no CEO as such, but our president fulfills that function. She is the past vice-president of the RAL board, hangs her art both at our gallery and the library, and the local schools. She has spent a lifetime working in children's education.
Her art medium is primarily mosaic.
Co-CEO Hope Towner
Term Start Apr 2013
Email ral@ralgallery.com
Title of Managing Director. Part-time.
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 101
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 0
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Date Strategic Plan Adopted July 2013
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

The gallery offers the work of 60+ local artists for sale, many of whom have won State, regional, national and international awards and recognition for their work. Artists rent exhibit space and rotate as volunteer sales personnel. The gallery handles all art sales, collects a 25% commission and remits sales tax.   Except for children's art and displays on loan, all art is for sale.  RAL Members not exhibiting in the co-op also have a chance to enter monthly gallery exhibits, including the annual Holiday Shop.  The gallery building also provides a classroom for adult and children's workshops; the exhibit room for group shows, receptions and the Holiday Shop; space to display children's art; space for meetings, lectures and forums; and office space for gallery administration as well as for RAL's broader activities.

Budget $42,600.00
Short Term Success
Long Term Success

Our workshop program, populated largely by retired citizens, offer opportunities for enjoyable, creative experiences and a chance for further development. We offer 20 to 30 workshops each year (beginner to advanced) in media ranging from watercolors, pastels, acrylics, oils and photography to jewelry, basketry, pottery, stained glass, mosaics and furniture making. They are taught by qualified artists, mostly local, with nationally known artists imported for Master Classes two or three times a year. We also offer at least one evening workshop for those who cannot attend day sessions.

Budget $15,800.00
Short Term Success
Long Term Success
Description We attempt to bring some of the advantages of metropolitan living to our rural community, as well as an awareness of its own indigenous art and artistic potential. This includes a monthly lecture and forum series, monthly exhibits in our gallery, two libraries, a hospital and a retirement center, an annual week-long major community event (our Labor Day Show), bus trips to important art museums in Norfolk, Richmond, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and New York. We foster participation in five weekly open-studio groups  in painting and photography and in our workshop program. RAL’s Studio Gallery, featuring quality art attractively displayed, has been a cornerstone in Kilmarnock’s downtown revival. We are a strong supporter of the campaign to support local shopping and we have partnered with local businesses, such as the Tides Inn, to offer art retreats, exhibits and workshops, bringing many tourists and visiting shoppers to Kilmarnock.
Budget $38,700.00
Short Term Success
Long Term Success

We support and supplement our school art programs by granting classrooms funds for art supplies and equipment, offering winter Saturday workshops and summer Art Camps, sponsoring student tours of major art museums, co-sponsoring an annual student art festival, mounting displays of children's art in our gallery and granting scholarships to local college-bound art students.

Budget $900.00
Short Term Success
Long Term Success
CEO/ED/Board Comments
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $95,900.00
Projected Expenses $95,900.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$99,271$106,040$107,977
Administration Expense$8,509$3,804$2,645
Fundraising Expense$2,689$5,195$1,661
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.120.980.95
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%92%96%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%30%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$299,794$286,525$288,563
Current Assets$118,484$97,417$91,220
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$695$530$245
Total Net Assets$299,099$285,995$288,318
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities170.48183.81372.33
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 10/2015View
Organization Comments
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 prepared by Dehnert, Clark & Co., PC
  • Financial statements prepared internally by the organization
  • Financial information provided by Form 990