At the Rutherford Arts Alliance, we owe our story to creative momentum that goes back decades in our community. But more recently, in 2017 the inaugural Murfreesboro Arts Laureates identified a need to better connect area creatives. This put in motion a series of meetings that led to the Alliance formation. By the latter half of 2018, more than 60 community volunteers—including artists, educators, and business, nonprofit and government representatives—were participating in these meetings and contributing to the vision for the Alliance.
Several volunteers contributed their experience with an earlier arts council effort, and we also benefited from the input and guidance of the Tennessee Arts Commission, MTSU Arts, MTSU Liberal Arts, graduate faculty of MTSU’s Social Innovation and Not-for-Profit Management program, the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of Murfreesboro, Carpe Artista in Smyrna, the Discovery Center, the Center for the Arts, and others.
We take an expansive view of the arts, including visual, performance, literary, culture and heritage, and more. We want to connect people of all ages and have included a youth council in our charter.
We’ll be honest…building a new organization from the ground up isn’t trivial. Our executive committee is still dotting i’s and crossing t’s as we develop policies and establish financial and operational best practices. When that foundation is firm, we’ll enlist more volunteers to both envision and implement projects that may include arts education, public art, unique collaborations between arts and business, and more.