RRAA receives donation check towards Community Outreach Programs

RRAA’s Community Outreach Chair, Meredith Chapman receiving donation check from the Kiwanis Rio Rancho Foundation President, Dave Heil

On Thursday, Jan. 10th, 2013, the Rio Rancho Art Association (RRAA) received a check from the Rio Rancho Kiwanis Foundation in the amount of $1,000.00. The donation was given with the intent for it to be used towards community outreach projects: particularly towards youth oriented activities in the community.

The Rio Rancho Art Association is a not-for-profit, all volunteer, regional organization dedicated to improving the quality of lives in our community, through the arts. As an open, regional art association, all artists are welcome of all levels and mediums to join, exhibit their artwork, further their skills, and become a part of an active, vibrant art organization. The art association also encourages art lovers from everywhere to get involved in RRAA (you do not have to be an artist to join).

What makes the Rio Rancho Art Association (RRAA) different?

There are three major differences between RRAA and other art organizations.  First of all, one does need not be a resident of Rio Rancho nor is there a jurying process to join. The association embraces all visual art mediums and all levels of abilities. Emerging artists, as well as professional artists, can become a member of RRAA.

The second  is stated in their slogan, “Artists reaching out through art”. RRAA is dedicated to using the unique talents of their members to improve life in our community. By donating time, talent, knowledge and art, they help enrich, enlighten and celebrate life. Members will be part of a vibrant and diverse network of artists and art lovers. The art association provides networking for artists (and those seeking an artist), monthly adult art programs, community assistance through art, art programs with the local school district, children’s programs, local venues for artists to exhibit at, and other art exhibitions and competitions, In fact, many of the members of RRAA have sold their very first piece of artwork through RRAA. The organization brings art to the community in public spaces: they bring art to the people.  A wonderful example of this comes from the art exhibited at the Lovelace Westside Hospital-an elderly wheelchair bound  lady who is often a patient at Lovelace Westside makes it a point to have hospital staff members take her to view the art that hangs there daily because it helped her to ‘forget’ why she was there. Having art in spaces, be they private or public, adds to the quality of life. Art from RRAA members can be seen throughout the community: Joe’s Pasta House, Cafe Bella Coffee, Esther Bone Library, Timbuctu Restaurant, New Mexico Bank and Trust, Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation, and at O’Hares Restaurant.

The third is that RRAA has an extensive community outreach program including recurring events such as the after school S.A.F.E. program with the RRPS district. Artists visit some of the elementary schools and work with the children in art projects. In the past, RRAA has done programs with La Academia Esperanza, A New Day, has sponsored cash prize awards to student art shows such as the Westside Art Show, the RRPS Senior Art Show and the Sandoval County Youth Art Show. The organization has also donated art to many nonprofits to use for their fundraising efforts such as the Mayor’s Gala (formerly know as the Mayor’s Ball), the Boo Ball, Watermelon Mountain Ranch Furr Ball, the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, the Coronado Monument, the Visionaries and Haven House. Art supply donations and camera equipment donations have also been made to the Rio Rancho High School, Cleveland High School, A New Day and the RRPS after school S.A.F.E. program. RRAA also makes continual donations by way of cash and dry goods to the St. Felix Pantry and Storehouse West. These are just some of the ways that the Rio Rancho Art Association has contributed to our community.

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