The Surry Arts Council kicked off 2013-2014 fund drive yesterday afternoon by hosting a lunch event on the lower level of the Andy Griffith Museum.
The funds contributed during this fundraising period will help the Surry Arts Council continue funding arts in the community, assist with operating costs and expand the growing list of special events, programs and classes provided throughout the year.
The goal for the fundraiser, which will last until June 30, is $160,000. Prior to the kick-off event, $56,000 was raised.
The fund drive kick-off began with a performance by Surry Arts Council’s Golden Notes adult chorale group, directed by Sylvia Lowry with accompanist Rebecca Pendleton. The Golden Notes meet every Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the lower level of the Andy Griffith Museum.
Volunteers in attendance worked on donor prospect lists and requests during the lunch, which was donated by Subway’s Bill and Michell Juno and served by SAC staff and volunteers.
Alan Connolly, president of the Surry Arts Council Board, gave thanks to those in attendance and introduced Dan Harrison, chairman for the fund drive and vice president of Business Development at Renfro Corporation.
Harrison described the fund drive as a “big event” that provides the “life blood of the Surry Arts Council,” which is in its 44th year of operation. He continued by highlighting several events and praising the recent WPAQ anniversary, which brought in around 600 people to the Earle Theatre for the birthday concert.
“Arts is an essential part of our community and it impacts just about everyone in Surry County. Through programs and events offered by Surry Arts Council, we can offer a promising economic development opportunity and excellent quality of life…we showcase the richness of life in the community through supporting the arts.”
Harrison also said that the Surry Arts Council gives more than $200,000 each year through contracting and paying a wide variety of performers and artists in the community who participate in the special events, programs, jam sessions and concerts.
“We want to continue to thrive and make significant contributions to this vibrant arts community.”
Surry Arts Council Executive Director Tanya Jones also addressed the attendees and recognized the staff and volunteers in attendance, as well as special guest Sonia Dickerson, who represented Surry County Schools.
Outside of the annual fund drive, Surry Arts Council raises an additional $50,000 devoted solely to school programming. Jones said part of the goal of the arts council is to “strengthen students in order to become better citizens and smarter graduates.”
Jones also pointed out that the Surry Arts Council provides programs for people of all ages in the community, from the Golden Notes group, to a family with young children, both represented in the room by members of the Golden Notes group and Jennie Lowry Caudill, who was in attendance along with her children and her mother, Sylvia, director of the Golden Notes.
Along with enjoying the programs provided by the arts council, Caudill is also a part of the Downtown Business Association, which partners with the SAC for several events, including the annual Art Walk. Last year, the Art Walk brought in more than 65 artists to demonstrate their art in businesses throughout downtown Mount Airy.
During the fund drive kick-off, a photo presentation put together by Hobart Jones was displayed, which rotated through pictures from arts council programs held during 2012.
The Surry Arts Council has continued to thrive after 44 years serving the community. It has multiple events, classes and programs throughout the year, such as Mayberry Days, the weekly Merry-Go-Round, weekly jam sessions, the upcoming Tommy Jarrell Festival, Art Walk, Missoula Children’s Theatre, multiple community theater performances, Arts Alive, summer camps, special concerts, movies, school programs, dance programs and classes, free weekly guitar and fiddle lessons for youth, photo workshops, art classes, preschool programs and special friends programs.
Surry Arts Council programs reach a weekly average of 2,500 people with an average of four programs per week.
The Surry Arts Council oversees programming at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, the Earle Theatre, the Andy Griffith Museum, the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall and the Blackmon Amphitheatre.
A visual arts director was added during 2012, Lizzie Morrison, who brought more of visual arts presence to the arts council. Morrison is the instructor for the popular Paint the Night Away monthly art classes, as well as private art lessons and lessons for kids and high school students.
In closing, Jones said she is “hugely proud” to be a part of an organization that is making a significant difference in the lives of so many people in the community.
Those wishing to support the Surry Arts Council by becoming a supporter and/or volunteer are welcome. Memberships begin at $10 and there are multiple donation levels. Further membership and programming information is available at www.surryarts.org or by calling 786-7998 or emailing email@example.com.
Reach Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1933.