WOMEN'S ART BOARD
Women's Art Board makes two major programs open to the public each year, Art Talks and the Barbara Rinella Luncheon. Annually presented by the Women's Art Board of Rockford Art Museum, the three-part Art Talks series features lectures that relate to current exhibitions by notable artists and art educators. Held at noon in the theater at Riverfront Museum Park for the Arts and Sciences, which houses RAM.
Barbara Rinella, a former teacher, defines herself as an "academic entertainer." For many years she has been celebrating literature and learning through her delightful programs on current books. Taking on the personas of characters from the works of great authors, she has portrayed a wide range of historical, fictional, and public figures with humor and wit. Held every October, the luncheon also features a silent auction, raffle, gift shop and book sale.
The Women's Art Board started in 1963 as an idea and proposal presented by Patricia Sneed, then Vice President and soon-to-be President of the Rockford Art Association Board of Trustees. Having observed the pluses offered by women's boards at other museums, the concept was for a new group that would provide added dimensions to existing programs. The Board was not to be an auxiliary, but would concentrate their efforts on original and enriching art programs for adults and children.
Patricia Sneed called upon Patricia Atwood to help plan and bring about this women's board. The two Pats spent many months investigating and researching how women's Boards operated at other community museums. It was decided to invite 50 women members of the Rockford Art Association who were known for their creative talents and interest in the arts to be the first members of the new Women's board of the Rockford Art Museum.
The first meeting was held June 20, 1963, and Patricia Atwood accepted the challenge to serve as the first president. The Board was ready for their first project in September-a puppet show for the Greenwich Village Air Fair. Ruthellen Mower wrote it, directed it, made the puppets and stage and Board members made up the cast. Its purpose was to entertain children while their parents enjoyed the art fair and also to provide the children exposure to "live" puppetry. A profit of $63.40 was made from the 10 cent admission which was used to support Women's Art Board projects such as guided tours of the Junior Gallery Shows. Puppet shows became a tradition and were performed at the Greenwich Village Art Fair from 1963 to 1985.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of the Women's Board of the Rockford Art Museum is to provide members educational opportunities in the visual arts and to sponsor special projects for the benefit of the Rockford Art Museum. Funds raised by the Women's Art Board are to be used for the benefit of the Rockford Art Museum.
The Women's Board of the Rockford Art Museum shall enrich the lives of its members by increasing their art awareness through monthly educational programs. It shall provide members the opportunity to share esprit de corps while providing public awareness of the Rockford Art Museum by supporting the museum, hosting opening receptions, and sponsoring educational programs for the public. Members of Women's Art Board individually support the Rockford Art Museum through their membership to the museum.
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