FRIDAY FOCUS: Fredericksburg All Ages

Do you enjoy music? The arts? Being a part of the community? Fredericksburg All Ages is a non-profit organization that gives youth affordable arts programming, leadership development and many more opportunities. The organization was founded in 2006 by a group of young musicians who wanted a place to play/enjoy music without having to drive to far away cities. Through their own inspiration they created Fredericksburg All Ages! We spoke to Adam Bray, Founder of Fredericksburg All Ages, to discover upcoming events, such as their concert series and some of the challenges they face being a youth-driven organization.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

A: Fredericksburg All Ages is a youth-run music and arts nonprofit that creates youth leadership opportunities and builds community through all-ages live concerts and other arts opportunities. As our name suggests, we welcome people from all age groups.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: As the person who started the organization in 2006 and still oversees it, I know a lot of the teenagers who were involved in Fredericksburg All Ages early years and who are now graduating from college and entering the workforce. Some of my favorite moments are when they contact me out of the blue and thank me for starting Fredericksburg All Ages and mention how being part of it was really beneficial to their lives growing up.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Our biggest challenge is also our biggest asset. Fredericksburg All Ages has existed for 10 years without any paid staff and all of our programming has been organized and planned by youth. This is an incredible learning opportunity for those who get involved and it helps ensure that Fredericksburg All Ages programming is relevant to young people in the area. The challenge is that youth don’t stay youth for very long – it has been difficult to maintain continuity as volunteers graduate and go to college and new volunteers cycle on. In the future, we hope to raise enough money to hire an Executive Director. We have also never had a dedicated space for concerts. We rent various rooms out around downtown Fredericksburg at a nightly or hourly rate. Not having a place of our own (and having to use different spaces) presents a lot of challenges – setting up, tearing down and moving equipment for every event causes confusion from event attendees about where to go, etc.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: On average, Fredericksburg All Ages typically hosts two events per month so there are always upcoming events. We’re excited about our 10-concert series to commemorate our 10-year anniversary in the Fall. The first concert of the series will be on Sept 10th (which is the exact anniversary of Fredericksburg All Ages first show) and the series will last through the end of January.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: We really appreciate donations. We’re encouraging people in the community who support what we’re doing to sign up for recurring donations for $10/month (to celebrate our 10 years). Recurring donations help cover our basic expenses and overhead so that we can focus on doing new and exciting things.

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