Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

April 15, 2014

Fresh venue for art auction

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Rural Alliance for the Arts volunteers invite the community to kick off their shoes and let art move more than their soles at the 24th annual Art … Etc. Auction Saturday, May 3. This year’s theme is “Art & Sole,” says publicity coordinator Kathleen Bohman.

The auction will be held at the barn at Walhill Farm. “We are excited to utilize this new venue for the auction,“ says auction chair Natasha Kellerman.

The evening gets underway at 6 p.m. Guests may peruse the tables of silent auction items and enjoy some of Walhill’s signature food offerings, such as blue cheese and bacon bruschetta, spinach-and-cheese stuffed mushrooms, and cranberry barbecue pulled pork sandwiches. At 8:30 p.m. master of ceremonies Jeff Kuehl, Columbus Area Arts Council regional services director, will begin the live auction.

There are a variety of highly anticipated items on the auction block – from catered, private dinners to professional and college sports tickets and, of course, lots of art. Six trips are offered this year with destinations that include South Beach, Fla.; Sedona, Ariz.; Washington, D.C.; a NASCAR weekend in Chicago; and overnight packages in Louisville and Indy. Practical services can also be acquired, ranging from spa treatments to oil changes and dance lessons. There is also the highly-sought-after cash raffle with $1,000 going to the lucky ticket holder.

Kellerman notes, “This is all done in support of the arts. It’s a lot of work to put on, but it’s our major fundraiser to provide all the things that we do, such as visiting artists, local theater and art shows, concerts and comedy. We promise to show everyone who puts on his or her stilettos, high-healed sneakers, boots or flip-flops a good time – all for a good cause!”

Attendees do not have to be RAA members to attend. It’s an evening of good friends, great food and lots of fun. RAA executive director Joan Kuhlman reveals, “After the live auction, a local band will entertain, so wear your dancing shoes!”

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $55 until April 25. After that date or at the door, tickets are $60. For reservations or more information, persons may call 812-933-0355 or visit Rural Alliance for the Arts can also be found on Facebook.

RAA's importance • The organization provides over $30,000 each year to the four public and two private Batesville area schools through its Arts in Education Program. Ninety-five percent of RAA income goes directly to programs for the community and its schools. Studies have shown that the presence of a strong arts program in a community attracts skilled employees, strengthens business and commerce, improves schools and raises student test scores. The nonprofit's Arts in Education Program was chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of the best in the nation and it was designated a state master site by the Indiana Arts Commission.