// The Latest @ The RAC //
Through the Rowland Arts Center, our mission is to encourage the young people in our community to DREAM BIG and to equip them with the education, resources, and skills they need to be successful in middle and high school and life beyond.
A key component of The RAC is the development of transformational relationships. Our team – which is primarily made of volunteers who are passionate about raising up the young people in our community - will invest their time and energy as mentors, seeking first to offer an environment of safety and trust, then working intentionally to have meaningful conversations with the students. Through these relationships, our mentors will identify areas of need for the students – physical, emotional, academic, etc. – and work to develop plans and/or programs to help meet these needs. Our volunteers are caring adults who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences (i.e. teachers, counselors, musicians, pastors, etc.) who desire to see positive, tangible change in the lives of young people.
Opened in 2013, the Rowland Arts Center (RAC) has made great strides in reaching out and investing into our community since opening. Our team launched an annual after school mentoring program (Mentors & Meals) in the fall of 2016 for 5th & 6th grade students. The RAC's Summer Programming, which includes drop-in hours, enrichment classes, and special events every Friday have kept middle and high school students engaged in a positive and safe environment when school is not in session. Our employability program, Project Launch has successfully trained and supported high school students seeking help to land jobs here in the community. Through hands-on job training in The Cairn Coffee House on the first floor of our building, students have learned what it means to work hard, become employable, and more importantly learned skills that will serve them in future careers. In addition to the programs above, we have a drop-in center for middle and high school students to hang out in a safe, positive environment every day after school.
The RAC became designated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in early 2017 and we plan on investing even more time, money, and resources into our community. RAC staff is working diligently on providing future programming for young women, expanding our after school mentoring program to include 7th & 8th grade students, and are always looking for business partners to bolster our Project Launch program.
Mentors & Meals: Clark County
“Your time & attention helps unlock the potential in our community's young people.”
joseph miller| executive director
In 2009, a study done by the Clark County Community Actions Forum found that at any time in downtown Winchester, 60-70 teens were wandering the streets and participating in destructive behaviors including run-ins with law enforcement and the abuse of drugs and alcohol. The pervasiveness of generational drug & alcohol abuse in Central Kentucky means that hundreds of children in our city are fighting an uphill battle to find significance and purpose with little or no support from traditional family structures. Seeing the need, a local church, Calvary Christian Church decided to step in the gap and work towards becoming a catalyst for change. Calvary's hope was to establish a place where young people in our community could have a safe place for teens to find acceptance apart from dangerous behaviors; and where they could foster relationships and develop skills that will allow them to grow into successful, responsible, independent adults.
Under the leadership of Calvary Christian Church the idea of a community teen center was born. Out of that vision, the Cairn Coffee House was established as a means to help launch and sustain what is now the Rowland Arts Center. In the spring of 2017, the Rowland Arts Center came out from under the leadership and direction of Calvary Christian Church and became a 501(c)3 non-profit youth services organization. The Cairn Coffee House remains on the bottom floor of our downtown location and continues to contribute to the RAC mission. The Rowland Arts Center currently occupies the second floor, with hopes to expand into the third floor in the near future.