Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Year In Review

Recently, the RAA held its Annual Members Meeting. This is a chance to elect board members, check out the climate of art in Riverwest, and get together to talk with fellow artists. The juried exhibition, The Thin Line was up for viewing in the gallery as well.

I won't bore you with some of the details of the meeting (being that said 'details' were mostly about the building itself, and I always tune out when that happens, sorry). But I will say that every committee gave a brief report on their status. Grants have been applied for, so that we can possibly hire a part-time staff member next year.

The gallery committee has been working hard to bring quality and diversity to our Riverwest neighborhood. Last year, the RAA hosted 10 exhibitions in its space, The Jazz Gallery. The shows were changing just about every month, sometimes with only a week in-between, to get a new exhibit ready for the public. For an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, that boils down to a pretty serious amount of art that we handled. And, to attain much of this art, we put out free calls for local artists/art, for several of our shows last year. Additionally, we have some really great shows coming up, and an intriguing new partnership with UWM students and Raoul Deal...

The programming committee will most likely still partner with other local organizations to continue bringing free art activities to children and families. Last summer, The RAA partnered with COA, and Skyline Music Festival, as well as RW24. We also made art with the many children attending The Summer of Peace Festival. We would like to continue in the direction of partnership, and possibly add new venues to our summer, community programming list.

Of course, the bottom line, as with all meetings, is that the RAA needs more support. We need more funding, and we always need volunteers...to be on committees, work with children or community programming, to gallery-sit, and a variety of other activities, such as building repairs. So if you are handy with tools (your hands or your brains), we could use you, and would be so glad to get the help.

Please consider donating just one afternoon of your time to the Riverwest Artists Association. Or, if you seek a deeper involvement in the arts in your local community, please consider joining the Board of Directors, the gallery committee, the programming committee, or the building committee...all could use your help.

Other than that, we talked, and laughed and looked at some really excellent art at the Jazz Gallery...we're the RAA, and this is where we live!

The Jazz Gallery, RAA Community Art Center is located at 926 East Center Street, in the heart of Riverwest, Milwaukee.

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