Meredith Raffel is the founder/executive director of The Arts Alliance, a community arts council serving Southwest Ohio.
Created to build a more cohesive community through the arts, Meredith saw a need and a void in Warren County, Ohio as it pertained to the arts and cultural programming in the region. Meredith enlisted a group of dedicated individuals who worked to build an organization that has served this growing and diverse community through quality arts programming. Founded in 2006, The Arts Alliance has presented programming to thousands of community members near and far.
“Leadership doesn’t always need to look like a boastful and powerful person. I wouldn’t classify myself as “great” leader, but I know what I do possess is a great vision and the ability to bring great people to the table. Knowing yourself and being honest with yourself is truly the key to any successful outcome. I know my strengths and my weaknesses. My ego has never gotten in the way of my vision, because I’m driven more by humility. Credit and success are nothing if built all alone.”
Under Meredith’s vision, The Arts Alliance has been built on the idea that “we are better together”, meaning collaborations and partnerships are the cornerstone of the organization. These partnering building blocks serve to strengthen relationships, not only through the arts, but also to build this region as an arts destination.
Meredith has built strong relationships with local businesses, organizations, and a unique foundational friendship and working relationship with the municipality of Deerfield Township. The Arts Alliance was named Small New Organization of the Year by the Warren County Foundation and was nominated for the Governor’s Award through the Ohio Arts Council.
Meredith has taken what was once an idea to create a valued and successful organization that features arts festivals, performing arts concerts, arts workshops, and summer art camps that have served to enhance the lives of the community.
Meredith holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the EW Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University (Broadcast News Sequence). Prior to founding The Arts Alliance, Meredith has worked in television production for Sport Time Productions and Redna (P&G) Productions. Promotions for WXIX-TV, Research and Development for David Kallaher Productions, Sales and Marketing for Sound Images. Meredith has continually written in a freelance capacity and currently is writing content for the Deerfield Township portion of CenterPoint Magazine. Meredith also oversees various client’s social media platforms.
Meredith has served on countless committees during her tenure as executive director of The Arts Alliance, including the Marketing Committee of the Warren County Imagination Library. Meredith is an avid photographer. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and yearly solo journeys. Meredith is the mother of three boys and lives in Mason with her husband Tim and their two Portuguese Water Dogs, Bondi and Blue.
MADE Chamber and community involvement:
I have served on the Leaders Are Made Committee and have enjoyed watching this program grow!
I founded The Arts Alliance 16 years ago because I saw a void in the community as it pertains to the arts. I have strived to create a organization that exudes creativity and community through the arts and to build this region as an arts destination. The arts are the fabric of a community. Working with Deerfield Township for the past 10 years has elevated my mission and my vision. They have shown me how much they value us through generosity, sharing of ideas, and bringing ideas to life. I wouldn't be here with them.
I serve on the marketing team for the Warren County Imagination Library.
Why is being part of the Mason Deerfield Chamber important to you/your organization?
The MADE Chamber speaks to me because they are the most solid connectors in our region. They truly want to see every business and organization succeed. No one works harder to weave us together.
Fun facts about you/your business:
I am an Ohio University graduate with a degree in Journalism, I own two Portuguese Water Dogs. I'm a photographer and a solo traveler.
I am the only paid employee of The Arts Alliance. The organization is built on the strength of our volunteers and community. The idea for The Arts Alliance was created as doodle on a napkin with my dad.
Like the emerald, businesses and organizations have many facets. Which facet is your strength and why?
I think my greatest strength is collaboration and partnership. Building trusted relationships is the most glorious way to build a solid organization. We are all better if we build it together.
If your company culture, or personal persona, had to be summed up in five words or less, reflective of a gemstone, what would they be?
Build a better community, everyday!