Celebration of the Arts
The Cook Foundation held its first “Celebration of the Arts” reception on Wednesday, April 13th at the Main Street Event Center. The event welcomed guests who are supporters of the arts and the night’s entertainment was provided by the Cook Foundation 2010 scholarship winner, Noel Miller, who is attending Christopher Newport University as a vocal major. Jenny Crittenden, the Cook Foundation’s Executive Director, welcomed and gave a history of the Foundation and remarked on the many events and projects that the Cook Foundation has accomplished in the last 10 years including the overall support in excess of $500,000 that has been made in the community. Karen Flowe, the Cook Foundation’s secretary discussed the importance of arts education and how the Cook Foundation has been able to successfully bring additional arts enrichment to the Gloucester County schools. Rob Ruffin, of Rob Ruffin Productions, gave a moving speech regarding the impact that Theatre can have in a community and how socialization and the arts are important to everyday lives. Rob is a recipient of support from the Cook Foundation to write and produce a new theatrical production, “Boots and Kisses” that brings to life one of the last known intact sets of letters between a young husband and wife during the civil war. He expects the production to premier in the Fall of 2011.
Leslie Belvin, retired Gloucester school art teacher, discussed how arts are so important to the general community. Leslie coordinates all programs at the new Gloucester Arts on Main as well is a grant recipient from the Cook Foundation. She is developing educational workshops and exhibits for the community to engage in the arts firsthand. The evening was ended with remarks by Adrianne Ryder Cook Joseph, the Cook Foundation’s founder and President. She reiterated how the arts nurture the soul and thanked everyone for attending. The next Cook Foundation event is the Virginia Symphony under the Stars and it is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2011, 8PM. For those interested in donating to the symphony event, or to find out more about the Cook Foundation and its mission, please visit www.cookfoundation.info or call (804) 695-0700. The Cook Foundation is a private, c3 foundation and therefore all donations are tax deductible. The Cook Foundation Board members are the following:
President: Adrianne Ryder Cook Joseph
Vice President: Carolyn Dudley
Secretary: Karen Flowe
Treasurer: Rachel Burnette