Tuesday, May 3, 2016

California Arts

Happy 40th Anniversary 

California Arts Council

The California Arts Council has long been an advocate for the arts – all arts, including folk arts.

This state arts agency came into existence in 1976 because it was believed that the arts were central to the lives of Californians.
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And this belief paid out in countless ways. The California Arts Council has awarded thousands of grants during its four decade history.  Not only does California now have more artists than any other state, it has been estimated that 1 in 10 jobs statewide is related to creative industries.

Here is a look at some of the grantees whose work has reached greater potential as a result of receiving this arts’ related funding.

Juan Felipe Herrera, Fresno

Herrera, the son of immigrant farm workers, received four grants between 1976 and 1987 that allowed him to serve the greater community as a poet and artist. This award winner author was able to organize a city and county-wide set of exhibits, forums and readings that gave other artists public space for their work to grow.

This former California Poet Laureate (from 2012-2014) is now the United States Poet Laureate.

Khmer Arts Academy, Long Beach

Cambodian classical dance at Khmer Arts Academy was established in the Cambodian refugee community known as Cambodia Town Cultural District. It has been reported that this is the largest such community outside of Southeast Asia. 

The first California Arts Council grant received was in 2002 and it helped the academy provide programming. It also supported efforts to secure additional of Long Beach, the largest community of its kind outside of Southeast Asia. 

Through this Multi-Cultural Entry Grant program, the academy was able to provide programming that helped to keep this traditional art form alive.  This recognition encouraged others to provide financial assistance to this small and impoverished immigrant effort. As a result it is now the most accomplished Cambodian arts organization in the country.

To learn more about all of the grantees, click here

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