Article written by Andrew Buckner

In today’s entry, we explore the wonderful wizard of all things Monterey, Cultural Administrator Rafferty Cleary.

Despite not being a Monterey native, cultural guru Rafferty Cleary has established himself as an agent of growth, a fountain of positivity, and an integral thread in the communal fabric of the city.

He is zealous for Monterey.

From welcoming guests and giving tours at the Depot Museum to working with Chris Landers and The Old Gray team to host massively successful live music events, Rafferty lives his life for the city he serves.

And, what’s more, he’s a great guy who genuinely wants to see his neighbors thrive.

Through a spirit of unification and togetherness, Rafferty has leveraged his tremendous talent and drive to expand the arts, celebrate the city’s history, and enhance the lives of those who call Monterey home.

As the son of a community-minded individual (his mother serves a similar role in his hometown of Kingsport, TN), his diverse perspective and creative approach have (alongside the efforts of previous leaders and those currently fighting for Monterey’s potential) elevated the regional impact of this hidden gem sitting atop the Cumberland Plateau.

But it isn’t easy.

Rafferty’s position is a demanding one that requires long hours, few off days, and patience.

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What’s more, his time as Cultural Administrator has seen the city weather tremendous storms including the passing of beloved mayor Nathan Walker. Through this, and many other difficult seasons, he has tirelessly and selflessly served, helping Monterey retain momentum, overcome loss, and move toward the biggest possible outcomes.

Rafferty is a friend to so many, a champion of Monterey, and an irreplaceable member of our community.

We hope he’s here for a very long time.