The Rapp for March 24

‘Ambassadors’ wanted

Shenandoah National Park’s 75th anniversary planning committee is looking for a few good volunteers to help with the park’s 75th Anniversary celebrations during 2011 in the park, the Shenandoah Valley and here in the Piedmont.

“Ambassadors” is what the park is hoping for, says a spokesperson, to help in booths at festivals, act as greeters at events and answer questions in welcome centers. Requirements include a love of the park and pride in the history and culture of the Valley and Piedmont around it, and a willingness to learn more about both the park and the region. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, too.

Park staff is hosting two training sessions for potential Park Ambassadors — on March 28, 2011 at Warren County Community Center in Front Royal, and on April 4 at a Greene County location to be determined. Both start at 9 a.m. and last about three hours.

For more information on volunteering, contact 75th anniversary project coordinator Donna Bedwell at or 540-809-3418, or contact Rappahannock tourism coordinator Laura Overstreet Details about the 75th anniversary are online at

visitor to last year’s studio and gallery tour communes with a Hans Gerhard work at the Washington fire hall, tour headquarters. Photo by Megan S. Smith.

Artists wanted — and vaunted

To showcase the work of local artists who have participated in the annual Artists of Rappahannock Studio and Gallery Tour, the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) has created an online “Artist Registry” at its Web site. The registry adds incentives for artists to participate in the tour — new participants are now being sought; see below — and affords post-tour exposure by providing links to artists’ and galleries’ own Web sites.

“We hope with time also to include not just visual artists,” said RAAC president Kevin Adams, “but also musicians and thespians from the county.”

To find the registry (designed by local Tod Morgan), visit and click on “Local Artists.”

The seventh annual tour is scheduled Nov 5-6 RAAC is looking for new Rappahannock artists and galleries, and those interested in participating should contact Robert Ballard (540-675-1411, or Nancy Raines (540-937-5693, by March 31. Prospective participating studios will be visited April 4-15.

‘The Fighter’: April 1

The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community screens “The Fighter” at 8 p.m. Friday, April 1 at the Theatre in Washington. This sports drama about boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward’s unlikely road to the world light-welterweight title was nominated for a best-picture Oscar, and Melissa Leo, who plays the mother, won the award for best supporting actress. The film is rated R and runs 115 minutes. Admission is $6 ($4 students), and the concession stand will be open for popcorn, candy and water. For a complete review of the film, visit

‘Straight Talk’ for families

A group of concerned Rappahannock citizens has combined area resources to offer a community workshop for parents and their high school or middle school students. The workshop, “The Teen-Parent Connection: Straight Talk for Families,” consists of 45-minute sessions (using discussion, DVDs, skits and more) on such topics as personal worth, healthy/unhealthy relationships, teen sexuality, abstinence and the influence of the media on teens.

Teens and parents are invited to this free event, which includes lunch, at Rappahannock County High School from 9:30 to 2 on Saturday, April 9. It’s presented by the Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia Education Center and the abstinence-focused nonprofit organization Worth Your Wait (

Pre-register before April 1 by contacting Marie Riedel at 540-675-3638 or For questions, contact Riedel or Joan Beattie (540-987-8315) or Jeff Light (540-987-9523).

Alumni sought from segregated schools

Rappahanock County High School students are looking for their counterparts from many years ago — alumni from the old Scrabble School or any other so-called Rosenwald School in Rappahannock County.

Rosenwald Schools were the names applied to thousands of schools in the United States that were built primarily for the education of African-Americans in the early 20th century. They were so named in honor of Julius Rosenwald, part-owner and president of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., who contributed seed money for many of the schools. The need arose from the chronic underfunding of public education for African-American children in the South, who were required to attend segregated schools.

As part of an eighth-grade English and history project, students from Jan McKinney’s classes are seeking the alumni to interview.
Anyone who might help with this oral history project is asked to contact Jan McKinney, who can provide more detailed information at 540-987-8575 or

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