Kent Arts Commission awards funds to Rainier Chorale; six other groups
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
March 16, 2011 · 10:15 AM
Annette Bailes, as treasurer and a member of the Kent-based Rainier Chorale, knows how much the funding from the city of Kent Arts Commission means each year to the group.
"It guarantees we'll be able to provide a very first-class concert," said Bailes, the choir treasurer and grant chairwoman since 1997.
The Rainier Chorale was one of seven groups that received a total of $8,450 in February from the arts commission for 2011 projects.
Ronda Billerbeck, the city of Kent cultural program manager, oversees the funding of local projects. The Kent Arts Commission picks the recipients based on applications from the groups. The money for the community arts support program comes from the city's general fund.
"For us, it's one of those programs that's really rewarding," Billerbeck said. "We are able to do quite a bit with very little."
The Rainier Chorale received $2,250 from the city. The 60-plus member choir is made up of local talent ages 16 to older than 80. The choir started in 1982 and has received funding from Kent for nearly 20 years.
People pay dues to belong to the choir, which also raises money through private donations. The funds from the city goes to a specific project.
"We use it to hire other musicians," said Bailes, an alto in the choir. "It might be a brass band or a handbell choir or percussion. We also have used it to hire an organist who plays part of a program. We know we have additional funding for quality musicians."
Some of the funds are used to buy music.
"Music is very expensive to buy and we don't just do the same music over and over," Bailes said.
The Rainier Chorale gives at least three performances per year, including an annual holiday concert. The choir's next performance is a Choral Masterworks concert at 7:30 p.m. April 9 and at 2 p.m. April 10 at Kent United Methodist Church, 11010 S.E. 248th St.
The concert will include a variety of music styles from Renaissance polyphony to Schubert classics to 20th-Century selections. Jeff Busch and Friends, a Seattle percussion group, are the guest artists.
New members are welcome to try out for the Rainier Chorale. For more information, go to www.rainierchorale.org.
Funding from the arts commission is intended to support artists and organizations that provide high quality arts experiences for Kent residents. Only programs taking place in Kent or the Kent School District service area are eligible for funding.
"An organization has to specify the project that it will be funding for the public benefit," Billerbeck said. "Many (applicants) are returning organizations, but they must go through the process each time."
The following groups received funding from the arts commission for 2011:
• Rainier Chorale: Masterwork, holiday concerts, $2,250
• Rainier Youth Choirs: Honor Choir performances, $1,000
• At the Ridge Theatre: 2011 theatre camp and main stage show, $1,350
• Kent-Meridian High School Drama Club “The Royal Players”: Spring Musical: Little Shop of Horrors, $1,000
• Kent Senior Activity Center: Jazz, Folk & Art event, $1,350
• Kent-Meridian High Literary Magazine: Ink’d Expressions magazine and poetry slam event, $1,000
• South King County Genealogical Society: Live History at the Saar Pioneer Cemetery, in-kind video services and $500Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.