We’re chatting with the founder of a local community arts council that strives to enrich the lives of children and adults through quality arts programming -- like their brand new "Art Bar" events! Keep reading for all the artsy details!
Located in Deerfield Township is The Arts Alliance, a community arts council that’s dedicated to enriching the community with quality arts programming.
According to Founder and Executive Director Meredith Raffel, The Arts Alliance serves a broad community that includes all of Warren County and beyond with festivals, performing arts, summer art camps, workshops, and so much more.
Raffel says she was inspired to launch The Arts Alliance after she sought to create a solution to a problem.
“It’s 2006 and Warren County is one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Ohio,” says Raffel. “This vastly growing, beautiful community, with its beautiful parks, schools, strong business base, and solid infrastructure was lacking any organized arts organization. There was nowhere for the community to congregate to enjoy the arts. There was nowhere for the talented artist pool within the region to showcase their work or teach.”
“The organization is strongly supported by a dedicated group of board members who share their talents and hopes for the future for the arts in the region,” she says. “The volunteers who serve to support the programming endeavors have been the backbone and lifeblood of The Arts Alliance.”
The Arts Alliance is also launching the Art Bar programming, which Raffel says was developed to break down barriers for people who say “I can’t even draw a stick figure.”
And because The Arts Alliance thinks stick people are people, too, The Art Bar allows people the opportunity to explore many different mediums at an affordable price, in a relaxed environment, with all the materials they need.
“Each person leaves with a project that is uniquely different as they are,” says Raffel. “These monthly programs are held on the first Tuesday of each month all year (except during the summer) at the Snyder House at Cottell Park.”
She adds that the next Art Bar will be held in September, and planning for the event is already underway.
Aside from filling a need the art community needed, what makes The Art Alliance unique is that it is here to serve the community through collaborations and partnerships.
“Nothing great ever happens alone,” says Raffel. “The organization is built on relationships with local businesses, organizations near and fear, and their local municipality. The relationship that The Arts Alliance has enjoyed with Deerfield Township is as unique as it comes. It takes local leaders who value the arts and want what is best for the community in which they serve to emulate the kind of relationship that The Arts Alliance and Deerfield Township have developed. This unique collaboration could easily serve as a model across the United States as to how a local, grassroots organization can be truly valued by their local government.”
Raffel says that she’s hoping to bring a large scale public art project to life for The Arts Alliance. “Public art is truly a beautiful gift to a beautiful community,” she says. “The Arts Alliance also hopes to continue to grow our festival inventory. There is nothing better than the gathering of community who celebrates the arts!”
To learn more about The Arts Alliance, visit their website. You can sign up for their monthly newsletter to find out more about what’s happening at the organization. You can also call them at 513-309-8585 or follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.