RAAC Claudia Mitchell grants awarded to 16 worthy Rapp applicants

Rappahannock Piedmont Blues Festival honoring Woodville blues guitarist John Jackson among recipients

RAAC has announced that $51,128 in grants will be awarded this year to 16 worthy Rappahannock artists and organizations, including planners of this September’s inaugural Rappahannock Piedmont Blues Festival at Eldon Farms honoring Woodville-born blues guitarist John Jackson.

A 2019 Mitchell Arts Fund grant will help support the Rappahannock Piedmont Blues Festival at Eldon Farms on Sept. 28, honoring Woodville-born Piedmont blues guitarist John Jackson, seen here in 1997 singing “Steamboat Whistle” at the Barns of Wolf Trap. Jackson died in 2002. Courtesy Photo

In keeping with the vision of the Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund, the grants reward and encourage individual artists of all ages and organizations who are working to foster the arts in Rappahannock County. This year’s grants include a diversity of educational and performance projects, a variety of media, emerging and established artists, arts programs within community-based organizations, and collaborative projects.

“The Board and its Mitchell Arts Fund committee are thrilled at the diversity and quality of art-making in the county,” says RAAC Board president Matthew Black. “These artists and organizations align with RAAC’s mission of inspiring art and building community in the county.”

Since 2012, RAAC has given away $260,000 in Mitchell Fund grants to more than 60 artists and organizations in the community — a 26-fold increase over the initial bequest from Claudia Mitchell, RAAC’s president for many years and a dedicated supporter of the arts and community.

Of the many “worthy” applications received by RAAC, the following 16 were chosen to be recipients of this year’s Mitchell Fund grants, which range from $1000 to $6000. RAAC congratulates:

— Appalachian Dulcimer Museum, for a sound system in the new performance space at Estes Mill.

— Lillian Freeman Aylor, for the final production and distribution of her memoir, “My Rappahannock Journey: The Life of Lillian Freeman Aylor.”

— Belle Meade Montessori School, for the student design project, “Open a Door to Rappahannock County.”

— Child Care & Learning Center, for its multi-part arts programming for the 2019-20 school year, including puppet residency, performance, music and movement classes for pre-school children and summer camp for school-age children.

— Lorraine Duisit, for the recording and production of an album of original songs, in partnership with bandmate, Robert “Smiggy” Smith.

— Sue Davis Gabbay, for the production of a book of original poems focused on her new life in Rappahannock, with illustrations by Kerrie Gabbay Mullany.

— Headwaters Summer Chorus, for its summer youth chorus program, with new additions this year of younger students’ group and adult participation.

— Janet Kerig’s Arts & Crafts Camp at Hearthstone School, for scholarships and art supplies for her Waldorf-inspired camp.

— Kid Pan Alley, for songwriting residency-workshops at Hearthstone and Rappahannock Elementary Schools during the 2019-20 school year.

— Living Sky Foundation, for its support of Rappahannock Red Tent Sisterhood’s two-day Red Tent Festival on March 21-22.

— Mountainside Dance Center, for scholarships for young and adult dance students, plus a collaborative dance showcase in February 2020 with visiting children’s dance company, Hope Garden Ballet Academy.

— Clayton Pearson, for woodworking equipment for a young emerging artisan working in deer horn and wood.

— Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, for its music mentoring program with band students at Rappahannock County High School and Rappahannock County Elementary School during the 2019-20 school year.

— Rappahannock County Elementary School, for the purchase and installation of a kiln for K-9 art classes.

— Rappahannock Piedmont Blues Festival, in support of the inaugural music and cultural festival honoring Woodville-born Piedmont blues guitarist John Jackson at Eldon Farms on September 28.

— 1000 Faces Mask Theater, for production of Peggy Schadler’s new mask performance piece “Another Crack in the Cosmic Egg” on September 28 at Castleton Farm.

The 2019 grantees will receive their checks and be celebrated by members of the RAAC Board and Mitchell Fund committee at a Grant Give-Away party in June. Net proceeds from RAAC programs and especially the Fall Art Tour, combined with contributions from our generous donors, have made this ongoing support possible.

To learn more or to make a direct contribution to the Fund, go to RAAC’s website www.raac.org and click on Mitchell Arts Fund.

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