For 25 years, the Rural Alliance for the Arts has brought impressive cultural events to Batesville.
Outgoing President Leacarol Bennett discussed many firsts for the nonprofit during the past year at the Aug. 27 annual meeting. They included two new types of shows – comedy and a sellout country performance by a Johnny Cash impersonator – plus RAA earning the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Organization honor.
Incoming President T.J. Greene, the group’s first male leader, joked about breaking a glass ceiling. “I am the B.J. King of the RAA!” He detailed the upcoming season:
• The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra will entertain Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. at RomWeber Marketplace. “A full 16-piece orchestra will play music from the big band and swing era,” he reports. “There’s going to be plenty of room for dancing.” Chris and Laura Ault will offer free dance lessons one hour before the concert. There will be a cash bar and light food choices. Tickets cost $12 for RAA members, $15 for nonmembers and $10 for students.
• The play “Tung and Cheek” features “a pair of hard-nosed, wisecracking detectives” attempting to solve a murder at a mansion. Greene said, “I think it’s going to be a very funny show.” Friday and Saturday performances Nov. 1- 2 start with a 6:30 p.m. dinner at the Big Four Café. Attendees then will move to the nearby RomWeber Marketplace for the show, desserts and a bar. Tickets cost $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. A Sunday, Nov. 3, show at 4 p.m. with no food costs $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.
• Greene hopes to provide another first for RAA, a classic film festival at the Gibson Theatre at 7 p.m. once a month during January, February and March. The tentatively-scheduled films are in the top five best movies ever made, according to the American Film Institute’s top 100 list. “What better way to spend those dreary winter evenings” than to bring parents or grandparents to the 1952 musical “Singin’ in the Rain” (No. 5) or make a “special date night” around Valentine’s Day to view 1942’s romantic “Casablanca” (No. 3) or “leave the gun and take the cannoli” to enjoy 1972’s “The Godfather” (No. 2), he suggested. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.