California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

October 20, 2011Mary Beth Barber

Social networking race between California and Arizona gets national attention

California in the lead in a state arts agency "Facebook 10K" as the National Endowment for the Arts and the D.C. arts agency join the fun

Sacramento -

When Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council, met the head of the Arizona Commission on the Arts at a national meeting that happened to take place on California Arts Day (October 7), he tossed out a fun contest idea: which state arts agency could get to 10,000 "likes" on their Facebook page first?

Two weeks, the addition of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and thousands of "likes" later, the contest has gained national attention. "State arts agencies across the country are becoming increasingly sophisticated and active in their use of social media to connect with their constituents," noted the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in a press release today. The nation's arts agency offered a grand prize to the state that crossed the 10K "likes" finish line first.


The NEA press release notes that before California and Arizona started their Facebook 10K race, it was the DC arts agency that had the most Facebook "likes" of all state arts agencies. California had approximately 4,600 "likes" and Arizona had around 4,300 on October 7, while DC had around 5,000. Since then California has taken the lead, but as of 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time on October 20, no arts agency had broken 6,000 "likes."

Watson and Bob Booker of the Arizona arts agency still have to determine their own stakes for the Facebook race, and have asked the public for suggestions on what to wager. Fun and family-friendly suggestions for the victor's spoils (or the loser's penalty) can be made to the California Arts Council at or by going to the main agency website at and linking through the Facebook icon. (Reporters interested in interviews or more information may contact Mary Beth Barber at 916-322-6588 (office), 916-835-5580 (cell) or

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the Arts and Creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Vice Chair William Turner, Wylie Aitken, Michael Alexander, Andrew Green, Adam Hubbard, Charmaine Jefferson, Terry Lenihan, and Susan Steinhauser.

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