The Arts Council of Washington has changed its name to the Four Rivers Arts Council and revamped its coverage area and mission.

The group was formed six years ago under the umbrella of the Washington Historical Society and Downtown Washington Inc.

In 2019, the arts council decided to break off and become an independent entity.

“We decided we needed to grow up and be on our own,” said Rebecca Weis-Mayor, president of the Four Rivers Arts Council. “We broke from the Historical Society and (obtained) our own 501(c)(3) and amended our bylaws and mission.”

Aside from the name change, becoming independent and amending its mission/bylaws, an additional change was made— expanding its service area. The arts council now serves a larger geographic area.

“We are now serving more regionally,” Weis-Mayor stated.

The organization still plans on being a big part of Downtown Washington, but also wants to be a resource for art in the surrounding cities in Franklin and St. Charles counties.

“There are a lot of communities like New Haven, Augusta and Union, that can benefit from having an arts council that can serve them,” said Chad Greife-Westenhall, vice president of the arts council. “Not only are we branching out to those communities to share, but also to get more community involvement.”

The name change is reflective of the larger area served.

“Four Rivers is a well used name in this area and everyone knows you are talking about the Franklin and St. Charles county region,” Greife-Westenhall said.

It is hoped that the regional focus also will increase membership numbers. Membership benefits have been modified to better fit the needs of the members. There are two types of memberships people can sign up for — one for artists and another for patrons.

The two membership categories have different levels so they are more unique and specific to the person involved.

Residents in the region can access information on the organization, mission, events and membership through the Four Rivers Arts Council.

2020 Events

This year, the Four Rivers Arts Council will host several events, fundraisers and workshops. The group also plans to do public art projects like the mural near Marquart’s Landing in Washington.

The arts council will host the second annual “Ball of the Two Well-Known Gentlemen” Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. held at the Busch Brewery, Washington. The event will include gin and jazz, featuring the band Friends of Aaron.

General admission is $15 which includes one free drink token and entry. VIP tickets are $25 and includes a free drink token, entry, patron’s choice of table, free Gin and Tonic upon entry, one dessert and a coffee.

Tickets can be purchased on the arts council’s website.

For more information on the Four Rivers Arts Council and its upcoming events, visit www.fourriversartscouncil.org or email fourriversartscouncil@gmail.com.