The JRCAH was founded in 2008 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit as a more intentional means for collaboration among Lynchburg arts and humanities groups, especially after a presentation by other arts councils in Virginia at the Academy of Fine Arts in June 2008. At that time, JRCAH's board adopted a strategic plan focused on providing information about, access to, and advocacy for, the arts and humanities in Central Virginia, and on building a strong membership organization. Annual funding was obtained from organizational and individual memberships, local foundations, individual and corporate gifts, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. An interactive website with a calendar on which cultural and arts organizations could post and share events was also created.
As a good steward of the Arts & Humanities in our region, we challenged the House of Delegates to maintain state funding, worked with the Lynchburg City Council and staff to create an Arts & Culture District and a grant program to provide funding assistance for projects within the district. In addition we published a demographic and informational survey of almost all arts patrons, providing information for grants and research about our arts community at large.
To recognize organizations and individuals that have helped strengthen the arts and humanities in our area, JRCAH has previously hosted the Voice of the Arts and Humanities awards night, a black tie event. Other projects included a holiday Arts Bazaar, Art for All Ages activities during Lynchburg's First Fridays events, and the popular "LOVE" sculpture on the city waterfront.
The JRCAH Board realized that as times change, so do the needs of our Arts and Humanities community. In 2015, with the agreement of the board and its members, JRCAH was reorganized as an all-volunteer organization, working on an entrepreneurial model to enrich the cultural lives of citizens. Our public art projects are not limited to any creative medium or genre. As a catalyst of public art our role may include fundraising, design competitions, project management, promoting, documentation/permit guidance or other roles as needed by project creators and/or artists.
Arts and humanities play a vital role in stimulating society and developing vibrant communities. They lift our quality of life, have a crucial impact on our economy, foster creativity, heighten our cultural intelligence and deepen our collective sense of humanity. Our goal is to provide that experience and quality of life to the citizens Lynchburg, one public art project at the time.