Seven Organizations Focusing on Children or Arts Receive Funds from Cultural Arts Rotary Foundation

A total of $10,600 is awarded to six local and one international organizations to benefit primarily childrens’ organizations, with an emphasis on the arts. To encourage and promote arts and children’s wellbeing, each year Cultural Arts Rotary gifts organizations applying for funds through its Foundation. This year’s awardees for 2016‐17 are:

  • Children’s Musical Theaterworks ‐ $1,250 ‐ costuming for a full scale production in 2017
  • West Africa Vocational School ‐ $1,000 – educational and vocational materials for phase 2 of the New Entrepreneur’s Program to assist with welding, mechanics, and computer skill development for youth in West Africa.
  • Civic Learning Partnership Project ‐ $800 – production of two documentary videos for the Democracy School Program at Sutter Middle School, Baird Middle School, and Keplar Neighborhood School. Five hundred students in 18 classes will choose a community problem project which will be documented by Sunnyside High School’s Video Academy.
  • Howard K. Watkins Photographic Archives Project ‐ $500 – improve website to provide better access to the collection as well as increase the number of photographs available online
  • Jazz Fresno ‐ $1,000 ‐ the annual community event, When Art Meets Jazz
  • Focus Forward ‐ $1,250.00 ‐ the Spoken Word Poetry project and the annual Focus on Youth Success event
  • Fresno Arts Council ‐ $4,800 – children’s art display at the Water Tower

Cultural Arts Rotary cultivates creativity through service. Meeting every Tuesday noon at Arte Americas, funds are raised through fundraisers to benefit the community, with a particular focus on youth arts. For more information on the club or its giving, please go to

Central High Winteract at Children’s Hospital

The Central High School Interact Club held their third annual Winteract at Valley Children’s Hospital. This year the theme was Dr. Seuss books. Children could pin the heat on the Grinch, pin the hat on the cat, decorate a stocking, toss a bean bag, or write a letter to Santa. Additional activities and a gift of a book and knitted caps or gloves rounded out the evening.

A Toast to the Town


Cultural Arts Rotary Club of Fresno presents “A Toast to the Town” (formerly Storyland and Jazz) at Rotary Playland at Roeding Park on Saturday, September 10 at 6 pm. This annual fundraiser will feature great music by The After Dinner Mints with a special appearance by Clarkia Cobb and Fresno’s Finest Restaurant Tastings. Wine, beer and soft drinks will be available for purchase. The proceeds from the event will benefit youth arts programs.


Describing the Mints’ music is a challenge. Their repertoire includes jazzy favorites from the Swing Era, novelty songs from the 1940s, the pre-rock jump blues of Louis Prima, fiery Latin dance tunes, soulful Ray Charles covers, odd songs about food, and a few “modern” numbers (from the 1960s!) Add in some odd costume choices and slightly inappropriate props, and voila: After Dinner Mints!

Don’t let the “food” nicknames throw you. Jazz fans will recognize Mark Ribera (Pea), Les Nunes (Ham), Dale Engstrom (Gløgg), Craig VonBerg (Kraut), Brian Hamada (Rice), John Lauffenburger (Butter), and Mike Dana (Soup) as some of the busiest jazz performers on the scene.



Check back for news about our 2017 Fundraiser!

October 27, 2015 Meeting Recap

Click here to view the photos (downloadable for only two weeks)

President Larry called the meeting to order and Rotarian Terri read a Paul Harris quote relating to business practices and the influence of Rotary that goes beyond money to the good of stakeholders and customer service


President Larry presented Mark Sutton with his official pin as incoming member of the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World

He presented a Brazil pin to Past President Laurel to add to her extensive collection

He presented a Rotarian Magazine and Seoul, Korea pin to President Elect Elva, as well as a tourist map and guide of important places to see

Larry shared a Proclamation for the Arts and Humanities signed by Mayor Ashley Swearingen which includes Cultural Arts Rotary as one of the key players


Sandy gave a really positive report. Although sponsorship revenue was down by about half of last year, everything else was up, including net income at $24,200. We sold more tickets (didn’t have a method to track, but feel had over 300); fewer restaurants but plenty of good quality food (did not run out); more revenue from both program ads, silent auction and decorations. And cost of venue was higher by $2,000. So, gross income at $36,500, expenses at $12,300, resulted in net income of $24,200. We gave ourselves a hand, appropriately. This revenue all goes to the club foundation, and $10,000 is returned to the club for operating and community service disbursal. We have an ongoing commitment to the Fresno Arts Council of $4,800 annually to keep the Water Tower Arts Shop open which is paid out annually in increments. We have about $9,000 for community service allocation, and need to be thinking about next year. Important to find corporate sponsorship, which is critical to realizing growth of charitable contributions to the community to meet our mission of arts opportunities for youth

Marcy asked if we have considered non fund raiser fund raising, and President Larry that is one good point to consider.


Jackie introduced returning guests Michelle Scott and son Rodney Scott. Michelle spoke of her interest in arts involvement as an artist

Jackie introduced organist Tony Imperatrice and shared his upcoming project of presenting Play it like Virgil for the Rogue Festival in the Tower District the last weekend of February through the first week in March. Tony has developed a remarkable, entertaining and educational presentation, which was seen last year by at least a dozen of our Rotarians, and his costs start at $1,600 and go up. Jackie pledged her support and urged others to support as well. If you would like to support Tony, you can do so through Jackie. He’s not approaching the club for support because as an individual he does not have a 401 (c)3 designation.


We will ring the bell for Salvation Army at Edwards Theater on Friday Dec. 4 and Saturday Dec. 5 at times to be determined

Richard is again chairing the Christmas Family Project with team captains Sue, Tom, Laurel, Elva and Jerry. We’ll get team notices and items needed for the families in the Teague Elementary School area, and will gather at the Fresno Rescue Mission on Saturday Dec. 12 to organize and wrap at 9:00 A.M. and deliver at 10:00 A.M.


Matt distributed and reviewed Profit and Loss Statement for July 2014-June 2015, budget and actual for July 2015-2016, and Profit and Loss July 2011-June 2015. There was discussion on where we need to contain costs and increase revenue (lunch costs, dues, etc.) and Brooke asked each table to discuss the possibilities.

APOLOGIES – Your editor had to leave for Grandma Duty! There will be a special mailing to detail the outcomes of the Survey Monkey and decisions on expenses and revenue and new policies.

It is a pleasure to experience Service Above Self with the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World!

Jacqueline L. Ryle
Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno

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