The Surry Arts Council is raising the curtain on its slate of activities for 2017.
This includes the launching of a community fundraising campaign with a goal of $170,000 to supplement the organization’s costs.
The Surry Arts Council, now in its 48th year, oversees programs at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Historic Earle Theatre and Old-Time Music Heritage Hall, Andy Griffith Museum, Andy Griffith Museum Theatre and Blackmon Amphitheatre.
Free community events are held weekly at arts council venues, with more than 2,500 people reached each week through its programs.
The $170,000 fund goal this year is the same as 2016.
A luncheon late last week at the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre kicked off the campaign, which was attended by more than 60 volunteers.
Though that event officially launched the effort to generate $170,000 for the Surry Arts Council’s operating budget in 2017-2018, more than $71,000 has been achieved to date.
To help emphasize the need to garner the remaining funds, the volunteers learned about the quality-of-life and economic impacts of the arts locally. A photo presentation highlighting scenes from arts council programs in the past year, assembled by Hobart Jones, ran continuously during the kickoff event to illustrate the variety of events offered.
Volunteers worked on fundraising prospect lists during the luncheon, which included writing notes on letters to prospective donors.
Those present included Surry Arts Council Board of Directors members; spouses of board members; a musical group, The Golden Notes, the Surry Arts Council’s community ambassadors, who also provided entertainment for the gathering under the direction of Sylvia Lowry, with Rebecca Pendleton as accompanist;
Also, members of basket-making and quilting clubs that meet at the arts council; volunteers involved in community theatre and a new youth drama club director; council staff members; Arts Ball committee members; and other supporters.
Surry Arts Council board members and volunteers were thanked for their hard work year-round, and the importance of the fund drive to ensure the arts remain an important part of the community was stressed to them.
Also during the fund drive kickoff, Antonia Cawley, the Surry Arts Council’s director of operations, introduced other staff members and provided a program overview, including sharing a new 2017 summer brochure.
Upcoming events announced for the near future include the Arts Ball to be held on Feb. 24 and the Tommy Jarrell Festival, March 2-4
Jerry Douglas and The Earls of Leicester will be featured at the Historic Earle Theatre this Friday and Bryan Sutton on March 4.
In addition, Cawley mentioned ongoing movies at the Earle, including “Valentine’s Day” on Wednesday; “Fences,” which opens on Feb. 19; “Manchester by the Sea” on Feb. 24 and “Lion,” March 3.
Everyone is invited to be a part of the arts in the community as a supporter and/or volunteer.
Surry Arts Council individual memberships are available for $10 and family memberships, $25.
Membership and program information can be accessed online at www.surryarts.org, by calling 336-786-7998 or contacting a member of the Surry Arts Council Board of Directors or Fund Drive Committee.
In addition, contributions can be mailed directly to the Surry Arts Council, P.O. Box 141, Mount Airy, NC, 27030.