California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

February 02, 2016Caitlin Fitzwater

California Arts Council Publishes "Forty Stories, Forty Years"

Commemorative publication highlights stories of forty grantees from 1976 to today

SACRAMENTO -- The California Arts Council has published a commemorative book profiling stories of forty grantees, past and present, celebrating 40 years of the California Arts Council, California's state arts agency. 

The publication, "Forty Stories, Forty Years", features photos and a narrative profile for forty featured individuals or organizations, all of whom have a rich history and connection with the California Arts Council.

The online publication can be viewed at:

In 2016, California's state arts agency celebrates its 40th anniversary. During its four decades of existence, the California Arts Council has awarded more than 30,000 grants- a total investment of $368 million. California is home to more artists than any other state, and the creative industries account for 1 in 10 jobs statewide.

"This collection of stories illustrates just how vital the arts are to the success and health of our state's communities," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "As we celebrate 40 years of the California Arts Council, we honor the rich history of California's arts community, and we look ahead to an exciting future of support for the arts and creative expression in the golden state."

The book opens with a commemorative message from Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and includes an introduction outlining key milestones of the past 40 years at the California Arts Council.

In his commemorative message, Governor Brown states, "As Governor in 1976, I created the California Arts Council on the basis that the arts are central to the lives of Californians. Government investment in the arts is critical to support the expression of new ideas and cultural diversity across our society. The arts and creativity play a key role in ensuring California remains a vibrant, thriving state to live in and to visit - our state's artists and creative communities are among the many features that make California so unique."

The forty featured organizations and individuals are:

  • Abhinaya Dance Company, San Jose
  • Association of California Symphony Orchestras, statewide
  • Alliance for California Traditional Arts, statewide
  • Anjani Ambegaokar, Walnut
  • Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena
  • Arte Américas, Fresno
  • AXIS Dance Company, Oakland
  • California Indian Basketweavers Association, statewide
  • California Lawyers for the Arts, statewide
  • California Poets in the Schools, statewide
  • Community Arts Partnership at CalArts, Santa Clarita
  • Cultural Odyssey, San Francisco
  • Danielle Brazell, Los Angeles
  • Dell'Arte, Blue Lake
  • Destiny Arts, Oakland
  • East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Richmond
  • El Teatro Campesino, San Juan Bautista
  • First Voice, San Francisco
  • Ink People Center for the Arts, Eureka
  • Juan Felipe Herrera, Fresno
  • Kala Art Institute, Berkeley
  • Khmer Arts Academy, Long Beach
  • Latino Arts Network, statewide
  • Latino Center of Art and Culture, Sacramento
  • Lily Cai Dance Company, San Francisco
  • Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Los Angeles
  • Malashock Dance, San Diego
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego
  • Modoc County Arts Council, Alturas
  • Plumas Arts, Quincy
  • Radio Bilingüe, Fresno
  • San Diego Youth Symphony, San Diego
  • San Jose Taiko, San Jose
  • Sierra Repertory Theatre, Sonora
  • Small Press Distribution, Berkeley
  • South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa
  • Tandy Beal & Company, Santa Cruz
  • Theatre Of Hearts/Youth First, Los Angeles
  • Tim Miller, Los Angeles
  • WorldBeat Cultural Center, San Diego


Related: My Creative CA Video Series

The California Arts Council has also created a series of short-form, documentary videos to be released online that celebrate creative expression in California. Learn more at


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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Nashormeh Lindo, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at



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