The Raleigh Fine Arts Society (RFAS) had its beginning in 1964 when a small number of volunteers staged an exhibition of local art at the Olivia Raney Library in Raleigh, North Carolina. The following year the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, Inc. was formed.
The role today of The Raleigh Fine Arts Society remains as it was in 1965: To cultivate, promote, and engage in the arts. That means identifying, supporting and recognizing creative people and helping assure their work is seen, heard and appreciated.
This organization has established and nurtured the essential links among those who support these pursuits, those who enjoy them and those whose hands, hearts and minds create them. Since the 1970s The Raleigh Fine Arts Society has been actively involved in a variety of projects in support of the arts.
Their work includes an annual juried exhibition for multimedia visual art featuring established and emerging artists across North Carolina. Artists representing more that 60 counties have entered, and the general public has a chance to view their work.
In 1999 The Raleigh Fine Arts Society began a new tradition: an annual Choral Celebration for elementary schools in Wake County. On two consecutive spring evenings each year choral groups and their teachers perform before a packed house at the Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall, home of the North Carolina Symphony.
The Raleigh Fine Arts Society’s annual Literary Contest is open to short story writers from every high school in Wake County, public or private. More than 500 entries were received last year. Winning students will attend an awards ceremony in the spring, where they will receive cash prizes and hear a noted author as a keynote speaker.
Raleigh Fine Arts members serve as dedicated docents and volunteers to the NC Executive Mansion, the NC Museum of Art, NC Museum of History, the NC Symphony, Carolina Ballet, and the NC State University Gallery of Art and Design (Gregg Museum).
Additional volunteer opportunities have included Haywood Hall, Mordecai Historic Park, and the Joel Lane House Museum.
The Raleigh Fine Arts Society took on the restoration of Pullen Park's historic Denzel Carousel and has twice published a 100-page book entitled Raleigh:A Guide to North Carolina's Capital.
For its years of service in support of the arts, the organization has been awarded the prestigious City of Raleigh Medal of Arts and the Paladin Award sponsored by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County. In 1988 the Literary Contest won the Medal of Arts Award. And in 1994 The Raleigh Fine Arts was awarded the Medal of Arts Award for its outstanding contributions to the arts in Raleigh and Wake County. RFAS was inducted into the Raleigh Hall of Fame in October 2014.