On Saturday, March 25, 2023, together with the Board of Directors of the Kent Cultural Alliance, I happily called Leslie Prince Raimond and her family out of the crowd at 101 Spring Avenue so that she could, at long last, cut the ribbon to officially open the Vincent and Leslie Prince Raimond Cultural Center, home to the Kent Cultural Alliance.
So many people made the renovation of this historic, anchor building in Downtown Chestertown, the County Seat of Kent County, happen. From the extraordinary generosity of many individual donors, to the more than $1 million in capital grants from the State of Maryland, Stories of the Chesapeake, and Del. Jay Jacobs and Sen. Steve Hershey’s sponsorship of a General Assembly Bond Bill. We thanked our outstanding contractor, Osprey Custom Carpentry – owned and operated by Pete and Emily Battcock – who delivered a finished product that came in under budget. We thanked all of the artists, in all disciplines and across all ages who gave work/performances to this celebration. And of course, we thanked Leslie Prince Raimond and her late husband Vincent Raimond, for their legacy of support for and encouragement of the arts in Kent County these last 50 plus years.
Any event host’s greatest fear is leaving something or someone out. And I did just that. That person is Bob Ingersoll. Bob has, from my very first phone call to him in 2018, been right here, on site, at my side, guiding me and our team in the renovation of this space. Bob has crawled under, over and through this building countless times. His knowledge and his incredible generosity of time and resources, is truly unmatched. Bob has led the renovation projects not just for the Raimond Center, but also for Sumner Hall, Kent Attainable Housing, Sultana and many more. His contribution to this project was critical, and I must take this moment to share our gratitude with all of you.
Kent County is an amazing place to live, work, and create. KCA is so very excited for this next chapter. We of course look forward to welcoming you, the people of Kent County, into our space, and to coming to see you in your neighborhoods and communities across our area.
Thank you to everyone who helped us bring this dream to fruition. And special thanks to you Bob Ingersoll for all you have done for us and for the people of Kent!
Director, Kent Cultural Alliance