Lori McKinney

Co-founder/executive director

Lori is a songwriter, creative place-maker and community development rockstar. After studying theater at JMU and University College, London, and experiencing life-shaping world travel, she felt called to return home to WV, build community around the creative arts and produce events which would bring people together and inspire change. Lori searched for collaborators and hit the jackpot when she found her soul mate, Robert. The two flowed together though their shared passion of music and desire to build a better world. Choosing to plant roots in Lori’s hometown of Princeton, together they founded Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival and Option 22 in ’04, formed the RiffRaff Arts Collective in ’06 and All Together Arts Week in ’09. In ’12 she and Robert teamed with members of the community to create Princeton Renaissance Project, a multi-faceted downtown development effort. She feels blessed with an amazing team of creators and a mutual space in which to create, encourage and inspire one another and the community. Robert and Lori, joined by Option 22, now tour the region inspiring and empowering community transformation with their original multi-media production, Create Your State. 

Robert Blankenship

Cofounder/creative & technical director

Robert is co-founder of RRAC and a multidisciplinary artist excelling in photography, video, music, sound engineering, lighting, and design; he is a renaissance man. His work extends in countless directions building the vast scope of activities the collective produces, as well as creative endeavors through he and Lori's production enterprise LLyniuM entertainment. He has designed and engineered our gallery and performance spaces, and is the technical mastermind behind Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival, The Downtown Countdown, Create Your State and all of our programming. His visionary and technical genius engineered our virtual broadcasts; these online events have garnered praise for their high tech and pioneering creativity.

Billy Morgan

photography & Video production

Billy Morgan is a filmmaker, musician and certified audio engineer. He worked as an engineer at Blue Sprocket Sound, production manager for ABC-News Harrisonburg and NBC-News Asheville and Asst. Producer for PBS’s Untamed. Before joining RRAC, he produced the original travel docuseries Wandering Down the Road for Amazon Prime. He says filmmaking is the culmination of all his skills--audio, video and storytelling--and it is the most efficient way to make an impact.

Ary'an Graham

Youth development/production assistant

Ary'an Graham is a rock star musician, drum teacher, and college student. She was the first student at Stages Music School, and now, at 21, she teaches drum lessons at the school that shaped her. For the past five years she has been touring the East Coast with The One Voice Project, an anti-bullying and empowerment tour, and she's also an advocate for Free2Luv, a national nonprofits who's mission is to end bullying. Ary'an plays drums with Option 22 and, for the past 13 years, has been playing music with bass player and best friend Kayla Lynn. Ary'an also tours with Create Your State, inspiring and empowering community transformation through the arts. Ary’an manages the Art Boutique and assists with all aspects of the collective, from event production to assisting in the gallery. She is an integral part of the youth development aspects of RRAC and The One Voice Project.  

Lacey Vilandry

Artist, gallery attendant

Lacey Vilandry joined RRAC in ’19; she works in and shows her extraordinary visionary art in The RiffRaff Art Boutique. She earned a BFA from JMU in '16 and continued her education at the Vienna Academy of Visionary Art. She has shown in several fine art gallery settings, has been a featured live painter at dozens of festivals, and helps design and curate shows as a founding member of The Pigment Sanctuary, and further established a bricks and mortar location for this collective at 860 Mercer Street within Wild Roots Coffeehouse. Her love for painting stems from coming from an artistic family. As a child her mother instilled in her an artistic practice that provided not only a way to provide an escape in stressful times, but also to express and cultivate her imagination. She was named Artist of the Year with the Crystal Chalice Awards in ‘17. During the summer ’18 she continued her education journey at The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. She is exploring all the different paths open to her, and while she’s excited to see where it leads, she is thoroughly enjoying the journey. She led the painting of a major mural in The Historic District of downtown Princeton in Spring 2021, and created her own multi-mural project featuring native wildflowers around The Grassroots District in 2022. 

Melissa McKinney

Youth development director

Melissa has been a music educator for over 20 years, inspiring youth to find their voice and make a difference through music. She founded Stages Music School in 2008, bringing an incredible force of energy and activity to downtown Princeton, and teaching young artists to use their voices to make a positive impact on the world. She created The One Voice Project anti-bullying and empowerment concert tour to uplift youth, and provide artist development for young musicians including the popular teenage rock band The Change. A powerfully gifted vocalist and songwriter herself, she has performed on countless stages, and is currently recording an album of her original musical works. She is also a resident teaching artist with LEAF Global Arts. She serves as youth development director for RRAC.