Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

September 3, 2013

Classic film fest joins RAA lineup


Expenses were $97,595, including cultural events, $28,414; Arts in Education Program at six public and private schools, $26,000; art auction, $16,555; payroll, $8,016; Music and Arts Festival to support Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concert, $5,000; administration, $4,455; and Young Artist Showcase, $3,419.

Four were praised for their contributions. Bennett presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Gary Schrott, Osgood, who builds sets for the fall dinner shows. “Gary is a construction wizard and has taken our set building to a whole new level. He has become a wonderful friend to the RAA.”

The Business Award went to Jeff Byard, Versailles, owner of Jeff Byard Sound. Bennett recalled, “We were struggling with contracting light and sound technicians for our shows. Jeff is knowledgeable, dependable, easy to work with and reasonably priced.”

Jeff Gratz, Batesville, was the President’s Award honoree. According to Bennett, “Ten years ago, he donated a dinner with multiple courses of exquisite gourmet food” and continued the auction contribution each year, raising “thousands of dollars for RAA. No one puts their heart and soul into their donation as much as Chef Gratz,” who was out of town.

Pam Burroughs received the Arts in Education Award from Rural Alliance for the Arts founder Jolene Rockwood. The 29-year Oldenburg Academy art teacher retired last spring. Rockwood said the recipient “is known for her excellence in teaching,” and noted, “She’s been an instructor at many schools,” including Thomas More College and Indiana State University. “She is one of our excellent local artists and has received recognition for her artistic projects” at national competitions. The silver and gold jewelry-maker has exhibited works in Texas, Florida, Detroit and many other locations. Burroughs thanked “a community that supports the arts. It’s very rare.”

Outgoing board members Bennett, Lori Feldbauer, Rita George and Eric Linville were recognized as well.

In addition to T.J. and Barb Greene, incoming officers are Vice President Regina Siefert and Secretary Elaine Howell. Other board members elected or re-elected at the meeting are Chris Ault, community theater; Rachael Berkemeier, grants; Kathleen Bohman, publicity; Mary K. Cambron, asset manager; Mary Mattingly, newsletter; Judy Meyer, photographer; Brandi Myers, hospitality; Jeff Pawlik, social media and technology; Mary Ellen Rippe, marketing and public relations; Dr. Jim Roberts, school liaison; Connie Rozman, community art show; Jen Saner, graphic artist; and Vonni Williamson, Young Artist Showcase.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.


Becoming an arts supporter • RAA has eight membership levels: bravo, $2,000; encore, $1,000; benefactor, $750; patron, $500; platinum, $250; gold, $100; silver, $50; and member, $25. Members receive discounts on tickets and other perks. • More information is available on the Web site

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