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‘Beach Bash’ for the arts

Rooftop party raises much-needed funds for Roseville Arts
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Don’t have a trip to the coast planned for this summer? Don’t worry.

Instead, enjoy a beach party right here in Roseville at the inaugural Blue Line Beach Bash Saturday, June 11. The rooftop celebration will be held atop the gallery on Vernon Street in downtown.

“Patrons of the arts and those who are ready for some summer fun won’t want to miss this event that will literally bring the beach to Roseville,” said Roseville Arts CEO Julie Hirota, in a press release.

Well, maybe not literally. But there will be sand and several beach-themed features to entertain attendees and raise money for Roseville Arts, the nonprofit organization behind the Blue Line Gallery.

Funds raised at the event will support children’s arts programs in the community. Roseville Arts hosts summer camps, workshops and Saturday art activities for kids.

The 48-year-old organization relies on contributions from individuals and corporate funding, which have dried up in recent years during the economic crisis.

In 2006, Roseville Arts received $305,081 in donations. Three years later, that amount shrank by 35 percent to $106,313. In 2008, donations hit the lowest mark in recent years at $75,661.

In 2009, the organization brought in a total revenue of $231,655, according to its tax return, but spent $349,523 for a deficit of $117,868. The organization had $715,000 in net assets.

Last year, Roseville Arts earned about $100,000 in contributions, Hirota said.

“During recent years, all sources of funding for nonprofits — major gifts, donations, corporate donations — have decreased due to the economy,” Hirota told the Press Tribune. “In particular, funding for the arts nationwide has been on a steep decline. At the very same time, Roseville Arts is trying to fill the gap left by cuts to arts education in public schools.”

Hirota is encouraged by signs of an improving economy, but said fundraisers remain a crucial part of successful nonprofit organizations.

So those attending the Beach Bash can feel good about supporting a local arts organization, while enjoying food, wine and beer from area restaurants, wineries and breweries. Sample dishes from Beach Hut Deli, Mas, Basic Urban Kitchen and Bar, Rubino’s Ristorante, Cathy’s Cakes, Tandori Nights, Tahoe Joes, Sierra Nevada, Crane Brothers Winery, Shady Coffee and Tea and more.

Dance party band Mother Mayhem will provide live entertainment.

Attendees can also participate in a raffle for custom-designed surfboards, painted by local artists. Kelly Peterson, who owns Layers of Color, is a sponsor of the event. She also serves on the organization’s board of directors.

“The Blue Line Gallery is such an important part of the culture of Roseville,” Peterson said. “Their programs and exhibits are chosen for the entire community to enjoy. With Layers of Color also located in downtown Roseville, it’s important for all business owners to work together and support each other.”

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Roseville Arts staff may not want to shout it from the rooftop, but the organization can use your help.

The nonprofit group behind the Blue Line Gallery is facing tough economic times. Earlier this year, the organization instituted reduced gallery hours and curator Beth Rohfles was recently laid off because of financial troubles.

“It was very hard to leave after investing so much, along with so many others, to make the Blue Line Gallery a recognized state-of-the-art venue and arts leader in northern California,” Rohlfes said. “Of course, I am very worried about the future of Roseville Arts and other struggling arts groups.”

Rohlfes had worked for the organization for 12 years.

“As a result of a decrease in funding, we have had to let some long-term employees go,” said Roseville Arts CEO Julie Hirota. “We are very sorry to see Beth leave, and wish her the best success with her new endeavors.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.

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Blue Line Beach Bash

When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, June 11

Where: Roof of the Blue Line Gallery, 405 Vernon St. Suite 100 in Roseville

Cost: Tickets are $50 each or $80 per couple

Info: Food vendors, live music, surfboard raffle, artwork. To purchase tickets, call (916) 783-4117 or visit www.rosevillearts.org.