RFA History

Lakeside Theater photo

Rangeley Friends of the Arts

The RFA has sponsored a Summer Concert Series since 1968.  This concert series, which included artists ranging from classical to country, Broadway to bluegrass, has grown into a twenty event summer program of great variety and movies on the big screen.

In 1975, we expanded the program to include sponsoring performances by various artists for the youth of our community.  In 1985, this program was expanded to a full school series of several performances.  RFA works closely with the school administration arranging workshops and seminars by talented artists and performers.  Field trips to the Portland Symphony, Art Museums, Theatre at Monmouth, Portland Stage and the African Museum have greatly enhanced the lives of the students.

The RFA initiated the Student Lesson Program in 1980, assisting local students with the cost of private instruction in the arts.  This program is available to all students taking instrumental, piano, voice and dance lessons.  In 1988, RFA offered its first scholarship to a graduating senior from Rangeley Lakes Regional School who was continuing an education in the arts.  Since 2009, the RFA offered Drama Camp for students in grades 2 through 6.  In 2013 we added Teen Drama Week for students in grades 7 through 12. 2016 will see the first Westerhoff-RFA Music Camp for ages 8-18!

The first local musical production was performed in 1976: a condensed version of a popular Broadway musical.  Since then, RFA has produced many full length musicals and plays.  RFA considers this effort one of the most important, as it involves the entire community in the arts in the most direct way; as performers and production staff.

RFA has a sound financial management system which has enabled us to operate in the black every year, including during the recent recession. With the acquisition of the Lakeside Theater in 2013, the organization is now taking on increased budget and responsibility, and consequently will play a larger role in the revitalization of Rangeley’s downtown.

Our new home on Main Street has been filled with music, drama, movies and entertainment of all kinds.  Our primary focus: To transform the Lakeside movie theater into a welcoming, up-to-date Community Arts Center.  Hundreds of volunteer hours by the board and friends has begun this process. Inspiration and commitment by the Rangeley Friends of the Arts has changed the fabric of our community and created an enhanced sense of place for the Rangeley Lakes Region. In 2015, we received a major grant from the Davis Family Foundation to achieve another step in the renovation, construction will be underway from Jan – Mar, 2016.

Donations to the RFA are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.  Thank you, and enjoy the upcoming season of performances and events.


In residence at the Lakeside Theater, 2493 Main Street
PO Box 333, Rangeley, ME 04970     207-864-5000

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