RAAC is celebrating its 40th anniversary and its many volunteers and supporters are thrilled to be engaged in the arts with as much energy, focus, and talent as it did when created in 1982. We are recognizing this sustained vitality and diversity of programs and participation with our new logo that reflects our rich history and current vibrancy.
RAAC is a nonprofit organization deeply rooted in Rappahannock County. Since our beginning in 1982, our all-volunteer organization has focused exclusively on enhancing the lives of community residents through exposure to the arts and active participation in art programs. We believe strongly that a community infused with the arts is a stronger, livelier, more creative one that is better prepared for the future.
RAAC offers exciting programs of all sorts — community theater, concerts, talks by artists and subject matter experts, films and post-movie discussions, art exhibits, summer camp and after-school programs, and the famous Fall Art Tour. RAAC also offers grants to artists and arts organizations through its Mitchell Arts Fund.
RAAC was born in 1982, when interested neighbors and friends came together to organize the various artistic and community events going on in the county. They were spurred into action by the impending closing of the old drive-in theater, Magic Mountain Cinema. There was also a need to find a venue for the Rappahannock Players, a group of local thespians with a large following in the county.
At that time, the old historic theater in Washington, the Gay Street Theatre, was operated by Freeman Allan who showed an eclectic mix of popular and underground movies. The Gay Street Theatre became the new venue for the Rappahannock Players until 1992. It was there that RAAC provided a home for local arts and community events including concerts and the annual talent show.
RAAC gave up their Gay Street Theatre home in the early 1990s which later became the Theatre at Washington, owned and operated by Wendy Weinberg until 2014 when it was purchased by Nancy and Dick Raines. To this day, RAAC’s films are still shown there along with a rich assortment of talks and performance programs. Across the street was the Ki Theatre where, for many years, Julie Portman produced plays, readings and other performances. By 2008, the Ki Theatre became the new home of the RAAC Community Theatre where so many sold-out plays have been produced. And in 2022, during the Covid pandemic, RAAC returned to the Theatre at Little Washington which has, once again, become the center of RAAC’s many events—plays, movies, talks, concerts.
In its early years, RAAC employed an executive director to assist and coordinate volunteers. For over 35 years now, RAAC has carried out its mandate exclusively as an all-volunteer organization with an active Board of Directors and an energetic core of volunteers. RAAC is viewed as a model nonprofit community arts organization by the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Our annual State of RAAC report is available here.
Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community
PO Box 24
Washington, VA 22747
© 2023 Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community.
The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied or collected for personal or
professional use without the prior written permission of the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community.