Although the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors declared in a resolution recognizing November as “Cultural Arts Awareness Month,” after the resolution was read, it quickly became a tribute to Betty Matthews, Chairman of the Chesterfield Center for the Arts Foundation Board of Directors.
Ms. Matthews has been the standard bearer of the arts center project for as many as 11 years.
Matthews was surrounded by 25 supporters as the resolution was read. For Matthews, the unexpected flowers for her birthday and a rousing Happy Birthday song added to the emotion of having one more piece added to the effort that she has put her heart and soul into.
The resolution, introduced by Bermuda District Supervisor, Dorothy Jaeckle, gives credence to the arts in the county.
In declaring Chesterfield County Cultural Arts Awareness Month, the Board of Supervisors recognizes that the arts are an essential component of a vital and thriving community and that enhancing opportunities to benefit from the cultural arts is integral to the quality of life in Chesterfield County.
The Chesterfield Center for the Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the private funds necessary for the proposed Chesterfield Center for the Arts.
The Arts Center is to be built on county land adjacent to the Chester Library and will be funded through a public/private partnership. In 2004, Chesterfield County citizens approved a bond referendum designating $6.9 million for the Arts Center. The Foundation’s goal is to raise at least $2 million by November 2014 in order for the project to move forward. The county continues to be a strong supporter of the Arts Center with a formalized Letter of Understanding issued in August of this year.
Arts organizations throughout the county will be celebrating Chesterfield County Arts Awareness Month with performances and exhibitions. On November 2, the Richmond Symphony will perform Gounod “Petite Symphonie” and “Preludes and Fugue” brought together in a celebration of orchestral joy in Schubert’s Sixth Symphony at First Baptist Church Centralia at 7 p.m. A pre-concert reception will be held at 6 p.m. at the arts center’s foundation office at 11801 Centre St. in Chester prior to the concert. For a list of cultural arts activities in the county, visit the Chesterfield Center for the Arts Foundation website at www.artschesterfieldva.org .