Rutherford Arts Council
Submitted by Katie Pippin
On August 14, the first meeting of the Rutherford Arts Council was held at Borough Hall. Founding members Valkiria Duran-Narucki and Katie Pippin welcomed the seventeen residents who attended. Councilman Edward Narucki, who is the council liaison to the Rutherford Borough Arts Committee, was not present. The committee is the official Borough government arts entity, which likely will be comprised of several members of the Arts Council. Members for this committee are currently being selected by the Borough.
The idea for the RAC came about last year at a Citizens Finance Committee meeting. Member Katie Pippin asked then committee chair, Councilwoman Stephanie McGowan, why Rutherford does not invest more of the municipal budget into arts programs for residents. The answer was that “nobody has asked for it .” Over dinner with the Narucki family, the concept for the Arts Council was born. Its goals are to unify and expand the arts in Rutherford.
The RAC’s mission statement reads, “The Rutherford Arts Committee seeks to create a community-driven arts program for its residents. Its main goal is to celebrate, inspire and support young artists and musicians who are passionate about the arts and spark greater interest in the arts. This goal will be accomplished by unifying and expanding the existing art and music programming in Rutherford offered by the Recreation Department and the Rutherford Public Library. Additionally, the Rutherford Arts Committee will also reach out to art and music related businesses and individual professionals in the community who will want to contribute their talents to the enrichment of the programs. This program will include multiple disciplines for youth and adults such as: Visual arts, community beautification, movement and dance, theater, music, STEAM and technology and media.”
Some ideas that the RAC would like to explore for Rutherford include:
Featured local artists
A “teen arts” style festival for students
An arts scholarship
A porch concert series
Community theater program
Battle of the bands
The Arts Council is currently in the process of writing its bylaws. It has applied for 501c3 status, and is actively seeking individuals to serve on the executive board. The RAC is also seeking committee heads (no arts experience required).
Funding for the Council will be a combination of membership dues, grants, with the possibility of municipal support in the future. Membership for individuals will be $15/year, $30/year for groups, and corporate sponsorships are available.
The Arts Council will be meeting on the 4th Wednesday of every month. The next meeting is September 25th at 7:30pm in the Blue Room of Borough Hall. For more information, the RAC can be found on Facebook, or online at rutherfordartscouncil.com. They can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.