Rockford Area Arts Commission

Rockford Area Arts Commission receives operational grant

January 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

Organization finances multiple artistic, musical endeavors The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs spread a little holiday cheer to Rockford this year in the form of a $6,000 grant to the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC). The money will be used to supplement the RAAC’s operating budget in 2012. The Arts Commission supports the Rockford Community Band, the Rockford Community Choir, the new Rockford Community Children’s Choir, the Rockford Community Orchestra, the Rogue River Artists Association and the Rogue River Community Theater. They also host several events throughout the year including Art in the Park, ArtCapsule, A Taste of Rockford and the brand new, inaugural Ice Festival Ball, which will take place on Friday, January 13th at the Blythefield Country Club to kick off the Rockford Ice Festival Weekend. “We strive to promote all forms of art,” says Mindy Miner, RAAC Treasurer. “It’s a challenge to showcase all the great artistic talent we have in Rockford in ways that are fun and affordable for the public. For example, all of our performing group concerts are free to the public, which we want to encourage. But, they are not free to put on. This grant will really help us get off to a good start in 2012.” Art is always happening in the Rockford Area and January is no exception. If you want to improve your acting skills, the theater group is hosting acting classes on Mondays in January at the Rockford Reformed Church. Visit Rogue River Community Theater on Facebook for sign-up information. If the short days and long nights are getting you down, dance your blues away at the inaugural Ice Festival Ball. It’s the perfect night out with a three-course dinner at Blythefield Country club, live music from Blue Star Pilot, a guest appearance by the Ice King, Randy Finch, a performance by dancers from the Rhythm Dance Center and magical entertainment by Russ Niedzwiecki. To buy tickets or get more information on this and other exciting RAAC events, visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.  

New event scheduled to kick off Ice Festival

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) invites you to polish up your dancing shoes and capture the magic of a special evening they have planned for you. The inaugural Ice Festival Ball is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 13 and calls itself “the perfect date.” It is easy to see why with the highlights of this special evening. With the purchase of a ticket, lucky attendees will receive a three-course dinner, entertainment, a live band, and childcare through the WWW Family YMCA. If you are like most and scratching your head over finding the perfect Christmas gift, consider this option—it has the best of all worlds. It offers excellent food, a romantic twirl in loving arms, and a safe place where the children can’t say “I’m bored.” “The Ice Festival Ball will be a great night out,” said Jeff Lewis, chairman of the RAAC. “It will showcase local artists, musicians and dancers. The proceeds will support the local arts programs and initiatives of the Rockford Area Arts Commission. We really do think an Ice Festival Ball ticket would make a great Christmas gift. And, if you don’t think your spouse will buy one for you, buy one for them.” The magic takes place surrounded by the beautiful atmosphere of Blythefield Country Club. As for entertainment, Blue Star Pilot will take the stage to urge dancing, the hands of Russ Niedzwiecki will perform magic acts, and two dance demonstrations will be performed. “People have asked me about the dress code for the event,” Lewis said. “If you want to dress up, that’s great. If you want to be casual, just don’t be jeans-and-a-sweatshirt casual. If you want to wear a tux, let me know and I’ll wear mine, too!” Since the ball is the kickoff to the Third Annual Ice Festival, Randy Finch of the Ice Brigade will be performing an ice-carving demonstration at the country club. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30, and will feature a live band, entertainment and dancing from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Childcare at the YMCA starts at 6 p.m. and children must be picked up by 10 p.m. Tickets for the Ice Festival are $100 per couple and may be purchased at Rockford City Hall, or vouchers […]

Local business sponsors holiday program that gives back to community

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Reds on the River partners with area nonprofits with gifts ‘that keep on giving’  When the hustle and bustle of the holidays has passed and families turn their attention to the New Year, one local company will deliver gifts “that keep on giving” through six local charities. Reds on the River in Rockford has partnered with the following organizations and will donate 10 percent of a person’s gift card sale to the benefiting organization requested by the purchaser. • North Kent Community Services ( • Rockford Education Foundation ( • Rockford Relay for Life/American Cancer Society ( • Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA Strong Kids Scholarships ( • Friends of the White Pine Trail ( • Rockford Area Arts Commission (on Facebook) Lance Climie, manager at Reds on the River, noted, “We love being a part of this community. We also recognize that many families are struggling in this tough economy—not just at the holidays but year-round. Consequently, we are lending our support by donating 10 percent of a gift card sale to the nonprofit designated by the purchaser. In doing so, we can help underwrite vital services such as food and clothing, utilities support, education, health and wellness, the arts and the environment.” The program kicked off November 15 and runs through December 31. Those wishing to purchase Reds holiday gift cards for family, friends and colleagues may stop into Reds during normal business hours and designate the organization they wish to receive 10 percent of the total gift card sale. Reds will track sales by each organization and send each organization a check after the New Year. Sandy Waite, executive director of North Kent Community Services (NKCS), is thrilled to partner with Reds. “On behalf of the nearly 19,000 visitors to NKCS in 2010 and almost 5,000 volunteers, we are grateful for Reds’ generosity with the holiday gift card program. We distributed approximately 620,000 pounds of food and more than 115,243 articles of clothing and household items last year to families in north Kent County, and the need for food, clothing, and utilities and shelter support continues to grow. Reds’ gift will help us meet this need—it is a gift that can change lives.”

Art Capsule bigger, better despite rainy weather

August 11, 2011 // 0 Comments

Jeff Lewis, chair of the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and the idea guy who came up with Rockford’s Art Capsule event, said more people voted on the 30 local art displays in 2011 than in the first year. “We had a thousand votes, which was more than last year,” Lewis said. This year’s event, designed with the theme of Rockford for the art submissions, culminated on Saturday, August 8 with voting and sampling fare from Rockford restaurants in the second annual Taste of Rockford. Art Capsule voting also took place all week long with art offered in a variety of categories and venues all around downtown. Ten restaurants took part in the Taste event, with all money going to RAAC. A total of $1,300 was raised. Local restaurants participated by offering samples from spring rolls to sliders and tasty treats to top off the edible tour of downtown. Lewis said the restaurants were very generous, providing quality and quantity of impressive proportions for just a dollar or two per sample. Art Capsule was also a popular success. Best of Show was taken by Connie Kuhnle for her “Faces of Rockford.” Best Two-Dimensional Art went to local painter Linda Bassford, who presented “Watermelon Kids.” Best Three-Dimensional Art was won by Lois Carpenter with “The Dam Fish.” Best Photography was a tie between Dan DeWard with “Dream, Believe, Perform, Achieve” and Stacy Niedzwiecki with her work “Wash – Rinse – Repeat.” “It wasn’t bad for a wet, rainy day,” said Lewis.

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