Wednesday, August 10, 2022

First Night Williamsburg’s last $12,500 given to nonprofit Arts & Culture Fund

Members of the First Night Board of Directors present a check to Williamsburg Community Foundation. L-R: Rick Nahm, WCF trustee; Ron Adolphi, Treasurer, First Night; Shelby Hawthorne, Board, First Night; Nancy Sullivan, WCF Exec. Dir.; Ron Lodzieski, WCF Board Chair. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)
Members of the First Night Board of Directors present a check to Williamsburg Community Foundation.
L-R: Rick Nahm, WCF trustee; Ron Adolphi, Treasurer, First Night; Shelby Hawthorne, Board, First Night; Nancy Sullivan, WCF Exec. Dir.; Ron Lodzieski, WCF Board Chair. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Community Foundation)

First Night Williamsburg is coming to a close after 24 years celebrating New Year’s Eve in Williamsburg, but its legacy will live on in the area’s arts and culture fund.

First Night Williamsburg recently donated its final proceeds to the Williamsburg Community Foundation’s Arts & Culture Fund, according to a foundation news release.

The proceeds totaled $12,584.97.

“We are so grateful to First Night for entrusting the Foundation with this contribution,” said Nancy Sullivan, executive director of the Williamsburg Community Foundation. “Because of this, the Foundation will be able to continue First Night’s legacy of bringing wonderful music and art to so many in our community.”

In its 24 years, First Night Williamsburg has hosted about 125,000 guests in downtown Williamsburg to enjoy wintry events, fireworks and more.

Lack of available funding and struggles to attain the necessary number of volunteers led to last year’s cancellation of the First Night event.

The funds will support the nonprofit Williamsburg Community Foundation, which serves as a “philanthropic center for the community” and provides a range of grants and scholarships.

The Arts & Culture Fund fuels grants for a variety of programs in the local community. Funds also help increase access to the arts through performances and discount tickets, place public art and free performances in public places, and increase the management capacity of arts organizations through staff and volunteer training.

“In the past, Williamsburg Community Foundation’s arts and culture grants have supported performances at the local library by the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, children’s theatre workshops and productions by Stagelights Theatre, and a community-building music workshop at William and Mary,” the release said. “Most recently, Virginia Regional Ballet was awarded a grant to train their instructors to teach dance to special needs students, which they plan to implement this year.”

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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