RAGBRAI group, Moore honored for cultural contributions
Cultural organization representatives, civic leaders, artists and those interested in the community came together for an evening to share experiences, talk about cultural progress in 2013 and lay groundwork for the future during the Fairfield Cultural Alliance fourth annual Celebration of Arts and Culture Nov. 12 at ICON Gallery.
Denyce Rusch was the emcee for the evening. She spoke about how thrilled the Fairfield Cultural Alliance was to receive so many applications for mini-grants this year. Because all the applicants were so highly qualified, smaller amounts were given to support more individuals and nonprofit organizations, she said.
June Lowenburg of Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk spoke about the ongoing success of the monthly event and how it continues to grow in size, talent and diversity. She said one of the galleries had 500 people walk through at the November art walk. Lowenburg said gingerbread houses were currently being made for the December Gingerbread Extravaganza art walk.
She added art walk organizers are excited about the upcoming year and encourage feedback and suggestions from the community, including new themes for future art walks.
James Moore reported on FAIRfest. There has been much excitement about the level of success for this first time multi-day summer event. It was centered around the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center and featured national, regional and local music, food and sustainable fun. Spearheaded by solar-powered KRUU-FM and supported by many businesses and civic groups, the festival inspired more than $80,000 in funding and countless volunteer hours so it could be a free event. Planning for FAIRfest 2014 is underway for June 20-22, with the vision of creating a signature annual event.
Michael Halley spoke about the process of organizing and planning RAGBRAI. He commended the hard work and commitment of innumerable volunteers as well as general support from the community. He reported $25,000 of RAGBRAI profits were distributed in the form of grants to local nonprofit organizations and legacy projects. He said local businesses reported much-increased profits.
Terry Baker of the RAGBRAI committee showed the letter from Guinness World Records confirming Fairfield now holds the world record for “the largest gathering of people wearing false mustaches.”
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by Ann Bosold on fiddle and Tom Allen on guitar. They played an Irish medley and Kerry polkas for the program, and classical background music before and after the event.
The highlight of the evening came when Rusch announced there would be two Cultural Contribution Awards because balloting had ended in a tie.
Mayor Ed Malloy presented the first award to the Fairfield RAGBRAI Organizational Committee in appreciation of its unparalleled effort in making the RAGBRAI event in Fairfield a success. Committee members include Michael Halley, Terry Baker, Julie Harvey, Tammy Jones, Rustin Lippincott, Dennis Lopp and Tracy Vance.
Rusch presented the other award to James Moore, director and co-founder of KRUU radio, in appreciation of years of providing artistic vision, a platform for musical performance and creative speech in the form of volunteer community radio for Fairfield and beyond. KRUU was the lead organization for FAIRfest 2013.
Rusch pointed out the community is so rich in art and culture, it is difficult to narrow the award down to one or two recipients per year, and she hoped all of the worthy organizations and individuals can be honored and celebrated by Cultural Contribution Awards in years to come.
The Fairfield Cultural Alliance is the group responsible for the Fairfield Cultural District designation from the state of Iowa.
The alliance publishes a Fairfield Walking Tour booklet and administers the Cultural Trust Fund.
Its board, which presented the evening to the community, encourages all those interested to join the alliance. The group meets regularly throughout the year and takes part in projects supporting and giving recognition to the arts and culture of the community.
For details, contact Marcia Tiffany at 469-6182 or firstname.lastname@example.org.