California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

October 23, 2014Caitlin Fitzwater

California Arts Council Invests in Innovative Arts Projects Designed to Boost Local Economies

Seven new projects reaching underserved communities supported by the Creative California Communities grant program

Sacramento -

 The California Arts Council will support seven additional projects through its new program, Creative California Communities. This program was formed in early 2014 with the goal of transforming communities by harnessing arts and culture as a key economic development strategy.

In June 2014, the Council awarded grants to a first wave of recipients for the Creative California Communities program. The Council originally awarded 23 grants for this highly competitive program, which received a total of 157 applications. At a public meeting on June 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, the Council noted that the overwhelming response to this program revealed the scope of unmet needs for the arts in our communities, and expressed an interest in funding additional high-quality proposals should future funds allow. Now the Council has done just that.

"The Arts Council is pleased to support seven additional Creative California Communities grants, which will further demonstrate the power of the arts to transform our state," said Wylie Aitken, Chair of the California Arts Council. "These high quality projects are model examples of the innovative ways in which the arts can uniquely partner with local business and government entities. Reinvention and stimulation of our urban and rural areas through the arts shows the power and importance of creativity in all phases of our collective lives."

Projects supported by the Creative California Communities program represent a wide range of arts disciplines, and 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 entities.

These newly-funded projects were among the applicants who received high rankings by a peer advisory panel, but were unable to be previously supported due to limited funds. Awards were made by the Council at a public meeting in Santa Ana on August 28, 2014. For a list of the previously-awarded Creative California Communities grant recipients, please view our press release at this link:

New Creative California Communities Grant Recipients (in alphabetical order)

Arts Council Napa Valley: Four Napa Valley arts and tourism organizations will partner to raise awareness for the region as a cultural destination by collaboratively producing and promoting events, activities, and programs as part of the 2015 Napa Valley Arts in April celebration. The festival activities will be strategically aimed at enhancing economic vitality, innovation, and artistic standards of this rural community. Napa County. $56,000.

Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco: The Chinese Culture Center will partner with the Chinatown Community Development Center to transform Chinatown through the inaugural Alleyway Solstice Festival. The festival will bring together diverse communities for innovative cultural experiences that challenge the conventional perception of the Chinatown neighborhood, including original music performances, mural paintings, pop-up street studios, and interdisciplinary performances. San Francisco County. $52,500.

Los Angeles County Arts Commission: The rural Antelope Valley desert region of north Los Angeles will receive an infusion of community building and artist-led programming activity through the new Antelope Valley Art Outposts project. This artist residency project will increase the vibrancy of two distinct Antelope Valley communities through innovative public engagement, technical assistance, and art production, in partnership with local economic development and regional planning agencies. Los Angeles County. $70,000.

Los Angeles Poverty Department: In partnership with Los Angeles City Council District 14 and the Box Gallery, the Los Angeles Poverty Department will develop the Skid Row History Museum and Archive, a pop-up community museum focused on a city-wide cultural exchange. The museum will bring a distinctive sense of artistic and historical consciousness to the major urban renewal initiatives aimed at reinvigorating L.A.'s historic Broadway Boulevard corridor. Los Angeles County. $33,600.

Pasadena Arts Council: The Pasadena Arts Council will expand its AxS Festival in partnership with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other community arts and science organizations. This unique festival will celebrate the mission of the Mars Rover and link the artistic process and scientific investigation through the theme of curiosity. It will engage local students and artists, and provide local economic benefits and tourism opportunities. Los Angeles County. $45,500.

Precita Eyes Muralists: An inner-city, community-based mural arts organization, Precita Eyes Muralists will engage youth ages 13 to 24 in an expanded Night Gallery (Walls of Respect) Mural Project. Youth will work alongside professional artists in the designing, planning, and painting of murals that will create positive change and a safer environment for visitors and residents of the Mission District of San Francisco. San Francisco County. $34,433.

San Francisco Arts Commission: The San Francisco Arts Commission will partner with the 509 Cultural Center and CounterPULSE to engage local artists in year-round activities in the Tenderloin and Central Market neighborhoods of San Francisco. Arts activities will reach underserved low-income residents on-site in transitional hotels and multiservice centers, and will culminate in a spring 2015 street festival, showcasing residents' artwork and celebrating the innovative arts practices that tell the stories of the community. San Francisco County. $70,000.


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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 Wylie Aitken, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, Charmaine Jefferson, Nashormeh Lindo, William Turner, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

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