California's Kids and Communities Boosted by State Assembly's Investment in the Arts
California’s Kids and Communities Boosted by State Assembly’s Investment in the Arts
New grant programs and arts education initiatives will touch 43 California counties
With a grant from the Arts Council, Kala Art Institute will bring
together multiple community partners for Print Public, a new placemaking
project along the San Pablo Avenue Transit Corridor in West Berkeley.
Less than one year ago, on July 15, 2013, the California Arts Council
received $2 million in savings from the 2013 State Assembly operating
budget. With this one-time support, the Council was able to fund 34
grant projects and two major arts education initiatives,
reaching 43 counties across California.
The programs and initiatives supported by the Council reflect its
longstanding commitment to arts education and California's young people,
and a desire to stimulate economic development in communities around
the state through the arts and creativity.
Speaker John A. Perez directed the one-time funds to support arts and
arts education programs in California communities via grants or direct
services only. Funds were not used for the Council’s administrative
costs. The funds were encumbered during the 2013-14
fiscal year and are to be expended for activities completed by June 30, 2015.
“We are grateful to Speaker Emeritus Perez and the State Assembly for
their belief in the power of the arts to transform our communities, grow
our economy, support our young people, and improve our state,” said
Wylie Aitken, Chair of the California Arts Council.
“This investment has reinvigorated our arts community – and we know the
impact of these projects will be significant and enduring.”
Aitken continued, “The momentum resulting from this vote of confidence
has been remarkable. Our agency just received a one-time state general
fund budget increase of $5 million for fiscal year 2014-15. With these
new funds, the Council stands ready to address
the pressing issues of the arts field and of the state in the year to
Craig Watson, Director of the Arts Council remarked, “Over the next
year, as these new projects and initiatives take place, there will be
remarkable stories to tell of the great impact from these arts and
culture investments. With their enthusiasm for these
programs, our constituents have shown the critical need for the arts in
California’s communities, and an ability to quickly and creatively act
to engage in new opportunities.”
With the one-time Assembly funds, the Council aimed to support a limited
number of exceptional projects in order to reach out to new
communities, serve geographically diverse populations, build greater
public awareness of the contributions of the arts, and
encourage partnerships between arts organizations and local businesses
and governments. Below is a summary of the supported initiatives and
Arts Education Initiatives
The Council invested $300,000 in each of two arts education initiatives,
partially resulting from two years of work by a statewide arts
education coalition known as Core Reforms Engaging Arts To Educate
(CREATE) CA . The California Arts Council is a
founding organization of the
CREATE CA coalition, which addresses the full inclusion of arts into
the California public education system. The coalition has engaged in
extensive discussions, planning, and collaboration with a variety of
organizations, associations, and individual leaders.
The two high-impact, “shovel-ready” arts education investments include:
Turnaround Arts CA,
a program using arts
education strategies to significantly improve ten of California’s
lowest performing elementary schools, in partnership with the
President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the California
Department of Education.
Creativity at the Core,
program of the County Superintendents Educational Services Association,
which places arts at the forefront of Common Core adoption in
California with support from professional arts organizations. This
statewide initiative will help teachers and administrators
navigate the new Common Core standards by using the arts in
professional development training, leading to student success in Common
Core and 21st Century learning.
Competitive Grant Programs
The Council created three competitive grant programs that were
administered through an open call for applications, advisory panel
review, and Council review and approval. These programs resulted from
identified state and Council priorities, a strategic
plan listening tour conducted across California, and a survey to the
field. In a very short period of time, the Council developed grant
guidelines, conducted multiple advisory panel review sessions, reviewed
individual applications, and voted to award funds.
These grants are the largest awards provided by the Arts Council in
The three competitive grant programs are:
(Juveniles Utilizing Massive
Potential Starting with Arts) supports high-quality arts education and
artists-in-residence programs for at-risk youth – youth within the
jurisdiction of California's juvenile justice system – in classroom,
after-school, or incarceration settings. The Council
received 37 applications for this program, and was able to award a
total of $209,000 to seven organizations in diverse settings across
California at a public meeting on April 23, 2014 in San Jose.
Arts on the Air
supports the creation,
broadcast, and distribution of original public media content designed
to expose Californians to powerful stories about the arts and their
value. At a public meeting on June 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, the Council
awarded a total of $200,000 to three public television
and radio stations, resulting in a 37-county reach and the creation of
multicultural and Spanish-language programming. Fifteen organizations
applied to this program.
Creative California Communities
projects representing a wide range of arts disciplines, which aim to
revitalize neighborhoods through the arts, foster new arts engagement,
stimulate tourism, create jobs for artists, invest in young people, and
build relationships between local arts, business,
and government, and non-arts entities. CCC is the largest of these
one-time competitive grant programs created by the Council. At its
inception, the Council anticipated spending $700,000 to fund seven to
fifteen projects, but the field’s response to this call
for applications was overwhelming. The Council received 157
applications for this highly competitive program, and upon reviewing the
applications, awarded 24 grants totaling $1,042,477 at a public meeting
on June 18, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Examples of Funded Grant Projects (in alphabetical order)
A Reason to Survive, San Diego County: ARTS
Enterprises will expand their already-successful artistic and community
opportunities for at-risk youth, artists and businesses, all based on
the creation of artfully designed goods and services
by youth artists. $50,000 CCC grant.
AmadorArts, Amador County: “River Reflections”
will harness the arts over a six-month period to build awareness and
appreciation of the Mokelumne River among the 1.4 million people who
depend on its water, from the Sierra foothills
to the East Bay Area. $40,000 CCC grant.
Armory Center for the Arts, Los Angeles County:
The Armory Center for the Arts will provide standards-based arts
education through Learning Works at Homeboy Industries, led by Master
Armory Teaching Artists who have a passion for educating
and mentoring at-risk and in-crisis youth. $22,500 JUMP StArts grant.
First Voice, San Francisco County: First Voice
will curate Suite J-Town, a multicultural, inter-generational series of
events, performances and exhibits created to revitalize the San
Francisco Japantown neighborhood, celebrate its
100-year history, and commission young artists to contribute their
voice for future generations. $50,000 CCC grant.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County: The first California tour of
It Gets Better, a new stage work blending music, theater and
multimedia, will travel to underserved communities across the state with
a message of hope and tolerance. Each performance will cap a week of
community dialogue and art-making addressing
prevention of high-school bullying. $50,000 CCC grant.
KQED, Northern California: KQED will pilot a
new multimedia thematic collection exploring the intersection of art and
social issues in California through the eyes of artists from diverse
backgrounds. Distribution of “SPARK: Arts and
Social Issues” is expected to reach 28 California counties via
television, radio, interactive and education platforms. $75,000 Arts on
the Air grant.
Marin Shakespeare Company, Marin County: Marin
Shakespeare Company will build on its eleven years of success bringing
Shakespeare to San Quentin Prison, to combine drama therapy, study and
performance, and autobiographical writing
to the youth at Marin Community School. The focus will be on Romeo and Juliet
and its themes of love and hate, peer groups, authority figures,
decision-making and self-destruction. $31,500 JUMP StArts grant.
Peralta Hacienda, Alameda County: Peralta
Hacienda will design an interactive outdoor “museum without walls”
called the Urban Book, creating an arts and performance gathering place
in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. $50,000 CCC grant.
Plumas County Arts Commission, Plumas County: “Plumas
Artisan Made” will provide branding support with business and marketing
training for local artist entrepreneurs in the far north of California,
to develop, execute and promote a
new economic strategy for this rural area. $40,000 CCC grant.
Radio Bilingüe, Central Valley: Radio Bilingüe
will produce and broadcast eight short-form features and eight call-in
interview/talk shows called “Raices – Los Maestros,” highlighting
innovative Latino artists who are ensuring that
younger generations know and experience art and what it can offer their
lives and communities. All productions will be broadcast in 23
California counties, streamed live, and archived for public use. $50,000
Arts on the Air grant.
San Benito County Arts Council, San Benito County: “Activate
Downtown,” in partnership with the Hollister Downtown Association, will
harness the arts as a catalyst for economic growth, neighborhood
revitalization and community engagement
in Hollister, through coordinated events and site-specific projects.
$42,500 CCC grant.
View a full list of funded grant projects at the links below: