As of January 1, 2020 the Kent County Arts Council will be known as the Kent Cultural Alliance, with a simple vision of Celebrating Creativity, Connecting Communities, Sharing Conversation. More than a year in the making, the Board of Directors, led by President Clark Bjorke, and Director John Schratwieser are thrilled to release the new name and logo (Designed by Kent County native, Kate Livie of Alosa Communications) as they begin the next chapter in the now 45 year old organization. Founded in 1975 by Vincent Raimond, and then led from 1989 to 2017 by Leslie Prince Raimond the arts council is the official designee of the Maryland State Arts Council for the purpose of regranting state arts funding and for supporting the artistic and cultural health of the County.
In January of 2018 Schratwieser took on the role of director after Mrs. Raimond’s retirement. It was immediately announced that the organization had purchased the historic Mansfield/Eliasson house located at 101 Spring Avenue in Chestertown and would begin a campaign to raise funds to fully renovate the space as a center for arts and culture. To date, the Kent Cultural Alliance has raised more than $850,000 toward its $1.2 million goal. They are very excited to enter in to the final public phase of the campaign which will allow multiple opportunities for support at all levels of giving ability. The center will be called the Vincent & Leslie Prince Raimond Center for Arts & Culture honoring the couple’s half-century commitment to increasing the quality of life in Kent County.
The building renovation project is being led by Kent County’s “master builder” Bob Ingersoll, in partnership with Barton Ross Architects and Jay Silcox Engineering. Major funding has been received from Maryland Heritage Area Stories of the Chesapeake, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Shared Earth Foundation with additional support from many generous community members. The first phase of renovation, a new foundation, has been completed by Paul Roberts Construction of Worton, MD and bids are now going out for a contractor to execute the final phase, the internal and external build, as represented in artistic renderings done by Barton Ross and Jay Silcox.
The new Logo was a collaborative effort between Ms. Livie and several members of the KCA’s Board of Directors and it incorporates a popular and historic quilt pattern known as “Flying Geese”. “What better symbol, to represent an organization who’s mission it is to bring people together, through art, culture, and collective history, than a quilt” said Director John Schratwieser. “Quilts are instantly recognizable, they reflect cross generational and cross cultural qualities, and they literally and figuratively wrap us together as one people. Selecting the ‘Flying Geese’ pattern was a natural choice for anyone who knows and loves this county we call home.”
In the coming weeks and months a new website will launch, new grant opportunities will be developed and new partnerships will be announced.
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