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#artfeltTHANKS generates $6,200 for RMH Foundation Crisis Response Fund, area artists

Arts Council of the ValleyThe #artfeltTHANKS project, a collaboration involving Arts Council of the Valley, Rockingham Fine Arts Association and Riner Rentals, has generated more than $6,200 to support local artists and the RMH Foundation Crisis Response Fund.

The effort was launched to use the talents of local artists to express appreciation to healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers who have stepped forward heroically to help our community cope with COVID-19.

Artists created yard signs to say “thank you” to those putting their lives on the line during these demanding times. Half the net proceeds from yard sign sales will benefit the RMH Foundation Crisis Response Fund; with the other half being split among 20 participating artists.

“The coronavirus crisis has underscored the importance of the arts in our lives,” said ACV Executive Director Jenny Burden. “People around the world have turned to the arts for personal expression and community connection, sharing visual, literary, and performing arts experiences online when being together in person hasn’t been possible.”

“It has been especially meaningful to use the arts to express appreciation for the people caring for us and keeping the wheels of our community rolling,” added RFAA Director and lead artist Ashley Sauder Miller. A second goal of #artfeltTHANKS, she noted, “was to provide some income for artists, who are among the many people negatively impacted by the economic fallout from COVID-19.”

Riner Rentals owner Paul Riner summed up the importance of the project: “The real heart behind #artfeltTHANKS has been for artists to be supported, neighbors working on the front lines to be thanked, and our community to celebrate both groups.”

Working in teams of two, artists designed 10 different designs. Participating artists are: Bahir Badry, Angus Carter, Gayle Hatcher Driver, Morgan Fink, Barb Gautcher, Zach Gesford, Jeff Guinn, Brenda Hounshell, Kathleen Johnston, Tyler Kauffman, Lana Lambert, Elwood Madison, Ashley Sauder Miller, Keith Mills, Emily Quesenberry, Karen Robertson, Viktoriya Samoylov, Katie Schmid, Brandy Somers, and Joshua Yurges.

Support for the project was provided by Artist stipend sponsor Riner Rentals; and four print sponsors: Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley, Bank of the James, GreeneHurlocker PLC, and Truck It.

For more information on Arts Council of the Valley, visit

augusta free press
augusta free press