The Surry Arts Council kicked off its 2018 Fund Drive during a recent gathering of more than 70 volunteers at the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre, the largest group ever to attend a kick-off.
The Surry Arts Council’s community ambassadors, the Golden Notes, entertained and encouraged the guests to sing along. Sylvia Lowry directs the group and Judy Gosnell is the accompanist.
The Surry Arts Council staff and volunteers served the lunch that was donated by Subway. Volunteers worked on prospect lists during lunch writing notes on each letter. Those present included Surry Arts Council Board members, spouses of board members, the Golden Notes, members of basket makers and the quilting clubs that meet at the arts council, volunteers involved in community theatre and line dance, staff, arts ball committee members, and other supporters. All were enthusiastic about the importance of the arts to our community.
Kelly Merritt, president of the Surry Arts Council Board, welcomed guests and thanked volunteers. Following a prayer, Brian Royster, Surry Arts Council Board vice chairman and fund drive chairman, stressed the importance of the fund drive to ensure that the arts remain an important part of our community.
This event officially kicked off the fund-raising effort to raise $175,000 for the Surry Arts Council’s operating budget in 2018-2019. The council is kicking off the campaign with over $75,000 raised to date. The quality of life and economic impact of the arts was emphasized.
Melissa Sumner introduced staff. Madeline Chitty, Shelby Coleman, and Marsha Todd gave a program overview and shared the new 2018 summer brochure and information about the new visual and performing arts programs and camps.
Surry Arts Council Board members and volunteers were thanked for their hard work year-round. A photo presentation, put together by Hobart Jones, ran continuously during the kick-off with scenes from arts council programs this past year.
Recent and upcoming programs announced included the Arts Ball which was held on Feb 23 and the Women! Mount Airy Old-Time Retreat and Tommy Jarrell Festival held March 1-3. Melissa Sumner encouraged folks to spread the word about ongoing movies at the Historic Earle Theatre and noted upcoming movies.
Upcoming programs include Henry Cho, comedian on March 9th and Mick Moloney and Niall O’Leary on Saturday, March 17th.
The Surry Arts Council oversees programs at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, the Historic Earle Theatre and Old-Time Music Heritage Hall, the Andy Griffith Museum, the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre, and the Blackmon Amphitheatre. Free community programs are held weekly at arts council venues. More than 2,500 individuals are reached each week by Surry Arts Council programs.
Membership and program information is online www.surryarts.org or may be obtained by calling 336-786-7998. Contributions can be mailed directly to the Surry Arts Council, PO Box 141, Mount Airy or made online.