The RiffRaff Arts Collective, a cooperative and interdisciplinary group of performing, visual, literary and healing artists, is based in a multi-purpose creative zone in downtown Princeton, West Virginia. Three buildings house 2 live performance venues, a state of the art recording studio, 6 artist studios, a music school with nearly 200 students, and a fine art gallery, and major expansion is on the horizon. Several creative entities make up the collective: The Room Upstairs, a beautifully restored turn of the century ballroom, plays host to weekly music gatherings, experimental theatre, workshops, art shows, and more. LLyniuM entertainment produces annual events like Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival and All Together Arts Week to inspire unity and provide enriching experiences for the community. Stages Music School provides music instruction with an emphasis on fostering a love and appreciation for the arts. Audible Art Studios offers multitrack recording, mastering, artist development services and more. The "Studios on Two" area is home to five newly remodeled studio spaces and a spacious gathering area. The Turnaround Concert and Gathering Hall hosts recitals, plays and special events and is available for rental. Core artists live and work in and around the downtown space and offer a wide range of services from graphic design and custom photography to multitrack recording and music instrument repair. Located in downtown Princeton, West Virginia, The RiffRaff Arts Collective has pumped soul into neglected turn of the century structures, and is breathing life back into a once depressed downtown area. With new businesses sprouting up all over Mercer Street, there is hope for a bright and prosperous renaissance in this small West Virginia town.
What's UP With The RiffRaff
Here is a wonderful article about The RiffRaff in WV South Magazine: "Get a Little Culture with The RiffRaff."
Option 22's newest album, "The Change," is now available! It is composed of 11 original songs ranging in style from Americana to Funk to New Age to World Rock with messages about life, love and the need for change on the planet. Visit option22.net to order a copy and find out more about Option 22, part of the core of The RiffRaff.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Audible Art Studios in The Room Upstairs in The RiffRaff.
Click here to find out more about the studio.
Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival
September 5-8 will mark the 10th annual Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival at The Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem, WV. We pour our hearts & souls into the event which features two stages full of music and dance performances, workshops, a children's village, healing arts, artisan vendors, drum circles, a parade, an after hours cabaret, camping and more. Presented by LLyniuM entertainment, the core of The RiffRaff Arts Collective, the event is a weekend long immersion in the creative arts and has been called "an inspired, forward thinking diversion from the norm." The goal of the festival is to celebrate diversity and promote unity. The event has become an annual convergence of creative minds from Southern WV and has been referred to as "a creative oasis."
Find more information and tons of photos, visit:
Princeton Renaissance Project
Something very exciting is currently happening in downtown Princeton. After years of energy sparks, a certain synergy has taken hold, and The RiffRaff are now teamed up with The City of Princeton, Community Connections, The Princeton Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, Princeton Times, ETB Boggess Architects, the WV Community Development Hub and more for The Princeton Renaissance Project. While it is a multi-dimensional effort, one of the most exciting aspects of it is the acquisition of the old Lavon theatre, just a few doors down from The RiffRaff. It is currently in the fundraising stages now, and Renaissance Project has signed a purchase option agreement on the theatre. We have six months to raise the funds to purchase the space, and then the renovations can begin to restore the theatre to its former glory. It will house movies, music and much more. Read more about The Princeton Renaissance Project, part of the Blueprint Communities program, here:
Mural Projects!The RiffRaff is organizing and facilitating multiple mural projects in downtown Princeton. Read about them here:
One project, Artists Alley, is being sponsored by Golden Artist Colors, as a result of The RiffRaff's presence at the Americans For the Arts Conference in Pittsburgh last spring.
All Together Arts Week
All Together Arts Week Paints the Town!
May 4-11 marked the fifth annual county wide celebration of the arts and community. The RiffRaff hosted a Kick-off Event May 4 which included Art Alive in the Streets, music and merriment and the 5th Annual All Together Arts Parade. Click here for details about the May 4 event, and here for more info about All Together Arts Week, which The RiffRaff created to bring creative people from around the area together.
Out & About
Here is a great article from Princeton Times, "The RiffRaff Bringing Artists Together For Nearly A Decade."
The RiffRaff was honored to be featured on a panel discussion
for the Americans For the Arts Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, PA
in June 2013. The discussion was about the benefits of cultural districts.
Currently The RiffRaff are involved in neighborhood development such
as an 8 wall mural project and Blueprint Communitities, cooperating with
The City of Princeton and Community Connections to beautify downtown.
Students at Stages Music School have been performing in
Nashville and Boston and around WV, making music videos
and changing the world! Check out their constant stream of
Tina Antolini, the producer of a
revolutionary program on N.P.R. called State
of the Re:Union, came to check out The RiffRaff.
It was a thrill to meet her and Al Letson,
the show's creator and host. Al says,
"Remember, things do fall apart; it's up to us to
put them back together!" Click the link
below to hear the story and view more photos
of their visit to Princeton.
Our part of the story begins at 12:32 in
A Look Inside The RiffRaff
This is a documentary about The RiffRaff by OurMountainState.org. For the complete version of the story with captions, please link to this fantastic community development portal for the great state of West Virginia.
In The Room Upstairs:
Every Monday from 7-11pm is Open Stage Night in The Room Upstairs. All ages and styles are welcome: Poetry, dance, and music of any genre. New and experimental material and mediums are encouraged. Expect to hear RiffRaff regulars like Option 22, the Captain Lazerblast Band, Miss Behavin', and Melissa McKinney. The Room Upstairs turns into a wide open creative space, with markers and crayons for drawing and all kinds of opportunity for artistic and musical conversation and collaboration. A donation of $3 for non-performers and 2$ for those performing is asked to help defray operating costs. Drinks and Snacks are Free. **This is a family event, so please censor your material accordingly.**
Contemporary Dance Group
This is an open group which explores contemporary dance and creates original works for performance. Anyone wishing to explore dance is welcome. FREE. Call 425-6425 for days and times.
The RiffRaff Arts Collective's retail gallery sits on the corner of 9th and Mercer Streets. It houses the works of resident artists and other regional
Calendar of Events
A Special Thank You To Our Supporters!