New data reveals arts and culture contributions to California’s bottom line

We’ve been reveling in some arts stats that came out last month: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts released new figures that paint an insightful picture of America’s creative economy. For the first time, the data reveals not just the national impact, but also break down the commercial force of the arts in each of the 50 states.

The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account tracks the yearly economic impact of arts and cultural production from 35 industries, both commercial and nonprofit. It reports on economic measures: value-added to the GDP, employment, and compensation at both the state and federal level.

In 2015-—the most recent data in the ACPSA report—the arts employed 4.9 million workers across the U.S. and contributed $763.6 billion to the national economy. That represents a nearly 40 percent growth in GDP contribution since 1998. In that same time, consumer spending on the performing arts nationwide has nearly doubled.

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And now for the part you were waiting for—California’s creative industry. It’s good news. It’s very, very good news:

  • The arts added $174.6 billion in value to California’s economy. That’s 7.1 percent of the state’s overall GDP, and comparable to the contributions of the construction, agriculture, and transportation industries combined.*
  • Arts and culture production employed 705,506 people in California paid $80.2 billion in compensation,  making up 4 percent of the state’s employment and 6 percent of the state’s compensation.

We’re sure you’re still wondering, how’d we measure up when compared to other states?

  • 1st among all states in ACPSA value added
  • 7th among all states in ACPSA value-added growth
  • 1st among all states in ACPSA employment
  • 7th among all states in ACPSA employment growth
  • 1st among all states in ACPSA compensation
  • 1st among all states in ACPSA compensation growth

Well done, California. We like this look on you. 😉

The numbers look slightly different than those gathered by the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California, a report supported by the California Arts Council. Dates and defining of terms and parameters vary from one report to the other. But the story told by the ACPSA numbers is the same, and one we art lovers know by heart: Art means business, and business is booming. And in California, where creativity is at the core of our identity, it’s important that we demonstrate that value—while continuing to grow our economy—by making a conscious investment in our artists.

Want more of the juicy details? Go on and mine that treasure trove of data for yourself. For all national findings, see this arts data profile. For all state findings, see this arts data profile.

*From the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Data Dashboard.

(Featured photo: Creative California Communities grantee Flyaway Productions.)

 

 

Blog bite: 2018 Poets’ Prize awarded to California’s poet laureate

A cause for celebration: California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia’s 2016 book, 99 Poems: New & Selected, has been chosen as the winner of this year’s Poets’ Prize. The award, administered by Lake Forest College, is presented annually to the best book of verse by an American author published within the two years prior.

99 Poems: New & Selected features 12 new poems juxtaposed with work spanning Gioia’s career, most notably examining life’s more solemn experiences of death, time, mortality, grief, love, and family.

“I’m deeply pleased to have the book recognized by this fine award. It is a pleasure to be prized,” Gioia said in a statement.

Gioia also won a Poets’ Prize in 1992 for his book The Gods of Winter, making him the first recipient in the prize’s 30-year history to be honored on two separate occasions for different works.

He will be recognized at an award ceremony and reception on May 18 in New York.

From all of us here at the CAC, congratulations!

As California’s poet laureate, Gioia’s been on the road as “poetry’s public servant” and making a visit to every county in California. To see pictures from Gioia’s travels and learn more about past and upcoming events, visit http://capoetlaureate.net.

 

 

Support arts education before Tax Day

With each passing day, we inch closer and closer to this year’s tax deadline of April 17. We have reached peak procrastination.

If you’ve yet to file, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Nearly a quarter of Americans wait until the last two weeks to take care of their taxes.

You’re also not too late to do your part for keeping creativity inside California’s classrooms.

The latest data from Create CA shows that while participation in the arts among our students has improved, there’s work left to be done. And those who need the social and academic benefits of arts instruction the most—low-income students, English-language learners—are the ones most likely to go without.

In order for California to take home the A-plus for arts access on its report card, we need equitable access to quality arts education programs for all of our students, statewide. No exceptions.

They say taxes are one of two things that are certain in life. The California Arts Council’s Keep Arts in Schools Fund is one small way to help make creativity in California’s classrooms a sure thing, too.

Between now and April 17, make a donation of $1 or more to the Keep Arts in Schools Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund. 100% of your tax-deductible contribution is applied to arts education programming supported by the California Arts Council.

You’ll be helping grantees like About Productions bring mentoring to Pueblo Continuation High School in East L.A., helping students to create their own scripts based in the history of their community. Or Yolo Arts bring its ceramics program to elementary schools in the rural towns of Woodland and Esparto.  And you’ll help Thingamajigs teach music and innovation to students in Oakland, building instruments from everyday materials while showing students how math, physics, and design are used in their creation. And so many more.

Every dollar counts. Here’s how to donate.

P.S. If you’ve already filed, that’s OK! We’re sure you’ve got some pals who like to put things off. Help us spread the word.

California Poetry Out Loud: And the winner is…

“And our winner for this year is …”

Council Chair Nashormeh Lindo smiles before making the big announcement, as a bevy of excited high-schoolers break into a spontaneous drum roll on the Assembly floor.

The 2018 California Poetry Out Loud recitation contest has come down to this moment.

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2018 California Poetry Out Loud State Champion Alexis Rangell-Onwuegbuzia.

“… Alexis Rangell-Onwuegbuzia!” Lindo finishes with enthusiasm.

The reaction of the room speaks volumes. As cheers erupt on the floor and spread to the gallery above, it’s clear Alexis was a fan favorite, winning the approval of her peers as well as the judges. In a venue like the historic Assembly chambers, where decisions are made each day by representatives of the electorate, the occasion feels fittingly democratic.

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, administered by the CAC, Poetry Out Loud offers teens the confidence to make themselves heard, with poetry as their medium. Contestants get the chance to better understand and connect with the work of the masters through their own unique interpretation and delivery.

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Runnerup Sage Innerarity.

Over the course of the two-day final competition, Alexis captured the hearts and minds of her observers, reciting three poems with style and precision: “If They Should Come for Us,” by Fatimah Asghar, “Chorus Sacerdotum,” by Baron Brooke Fulke Greville, and “The Mortician in San Francisco,” by Randall Mann.

The Orange County senior from Mater Dei High Shcool explains her relationship with poetry as a tool to promote social change on a civic level and within the world of art itself. “The arts give me the courage to express my values with an activist’s voice in the midst of the fear and ignorance residing on both sides of the ‘fourth wall,'” she said.

Sacramento County senior Sage Innerarity of Pleasant Grove High earned the prize of runnerup. Nicholas Panyanouvong, a sophomore at James C. Enochs High in Stanislaus County took third place for the second year in a row.

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Third Place Winner Nicholas Panyanouvong.

Poetry Out Loud is a statewide combined effort—this year involving the participation of 46 counties and 261 schools, the encouragement of 783 teachers, and the dedication of 30,000 students. It takes a panel of knowledgeable judges, a cadre of CAC Council Members and staff, a guest appearance from California Poet Laureate and POL founder Dana Gioia, and the backing and encouragement of countless legislators—just to name a few.

But the county finalists are no doubt the stars, and not only for their onstage presence. Their enthusiasm for one another out of the spotlight is all the more extraordinary, as heard in that volcanic moment on the Assembly floor.

“That’s what I love so much about Poetry Out Loud,” explained Chair Nashormeh Lindo. “It is the young people’s camaraderie and genuine support of one another that makes it so much more inspiring. It makes me hopeful, seeing their authentic humanity and respect for one another.”

Alexis will go on to represent California in the national finals next month in Washington, D.C., on April 23-25. We’ll have all the details for you to tune in and watch coming soon.

Congratulations to this year’s winners, and to all the county champions!

For pics, videos, and more from the final event and the state POL program, visit our online HQ for all things California Poetry Out Loud: http://arts.ca.gov/initiatives/pol/index.php.

 

(Featured photo: The 2018 Poetry Out Loud Champions in the Assembly chambers at the California State Capitol. From left to right: CAC Deputy Director Ayanna Kiburi, California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, Third Place Winner Nicholas Panyanouvong, Runnerup Sage Innerarity, California Poetry Out Loud State Champion Alexis Rangell-Onwuegbuzia, CAC Chair Nashormeh Lindo, CAC Vice Chair Larry Baza. All photos by Tia Gemmell.)

CA Poetry Out Loud: The final countdown

It’s been a beehive of activity at the CAC office this week, with staff buzzing around to put the finishing touches on the upcoming main event—the 2018 California Poetry Out Loud State Finals taking place this Sunday and Monday.

In just a few days, champions hailing from high schools all over California will compete for the state title, which includes a $200 cash prize, $500 toward literary materials for their school, an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., and a chance to win the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest.

It’s two days jampacked with excitement, all thanks to some incredible poetry brought to you by some very tenacious teens. Through the Poetry Out Loud program—created by the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the CAC—these awesome orators have discovered not just the power of words, but the power within themselves to bring them to life and give them character.

Join us on Sunday, March 18, at 4 p.m. for Round One at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. Then we’re inside the Assembly Chambers of the state Capitol bright and early on Monday at 8 a.m. to complete Rounds Two and Three, where the third-place winner, runner-up, and California Poetry Out Loud 2018 state champion will make themselves known.

View the event page and check out the event program for more details, including a special presentation from Poetry Out Loud founder and current California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia.

 

The event is free and open to the public both days, although space is limited. Can’t make it but still want to see what it’s all about? Tune in to Assembly TV on Monday morning to catch Rounds Two and Three as they are broadcast live from the Capitol: www.calchannel.com/live-webcast.

The CAC will be busy on its social media networks during the event, too, of course! Check out our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds for regular live updates, and join the conversation using #POL18.

(Featured photo: The 2017 state finalists in the Senate chambers at the California State Capitol.)

They are the champions: 2018 California Poetry Out Loud

In a little over two weeks’ time, nearly four dozen high-schoolers from across the state will join together in a partial takeover of downtown Sacramento. They’re headed to the Capital City to step up to the mic—competing at the California Poetry Out Loud State Finals.

This will be the 13th year that the California Arts Council has administered Poetry Out Loud and produced the state finals. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (and the brainchild of our current California Poet Laureate, Dana Gioia, during his time as NEA Chair), Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. California’s POL is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., and has held steady in the top tiers of participation and growth since its inception.

This year’s competition series encompasses 46 counties, 261 schools, and 783 teachers, reaching nearly 73,000 students statewide.

The excitement starts with Round 1, on Sunday, March 18, 4 p.m. at the Crest Theatre. Students will recite one of three selected poems for judges to evaluate and score. Then it’s off to Round 2 the next morning at 8 a.m., in the historic Assembly chambers of the Capitol building. A small group of competitors will move on to a third and final round the same morning. One winner will be chosen to represent California in the national finals, April 23-25 in Washington, D.C.

But each teen is already a champion in their own right, having beat out their peers first in their classroom, then at school, and finally at the county level.

Click here for the list of 2018 California Poetry Out Loud county champs.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners – you have made us California proud! We can’t wait to see what you all have in store for us at the finals.

The 2018 California Poetry Out Loud State Finals are a free event open to the public, although space may be limited. For more details about the two-day final event and the state POL program, visit our online HQ for all things California Poetry Out Loud: http://arts.ca.gov/initiatives/pol/index.php.

(Featured photo: The 2017 state finalists in the Senate chambers at the California State Capitol.)

“Site” seeing: 4 things you may not know about the CAC website

This week on the California Arts Council blog, we’re taking you on a “site” seeing tour of arts.ca.gov. If you’ve never before perused the items of our website’s drop-down menu, you may have overlooked some worthwhile stuff. Here’s the scoop on four great resources worth checking out!

1. Artist Calls & Arts Jobs.

If you’re an artist, arts administrator, or art student seeking work, or just an arts enthusiast looking to break into the field, these are for you.

  • This Artist Calls page includes organizations seeking various creative talents for exhibitions, performances, photography and film shoots, and more.
  • Next comes the Arts Jobs page—we maintain a comprehensive list of vacancies within arts organizations, whether it’s in the art department or accounting. (Most positions posted are in the state, but the occasional out-of-state opportunity is listed as well.)

All the listings can be sorted by specific criteria to help you zero in on whatever best suits your needs. Seeking candidates for a position, exhibition or performance? No problem. Take advantage of our easy-to-use submission forms to have your post included on the appropriate page!

2. Grants.

Obviously, our website features lots of info on the 15 different grant programs we administer. But did you know we got the memo about other grants, too? Our Grants webpage features a database for grants available from outside organizations—also easily sorted to get to what you’re looking for faster. If you’re a grantmaker that wants to give visibility to an opportunity, submit your information to editor@cac.ca.gov.

3. Conferences & Workshops.

Looking for learning opportunities as an arts administrator or educator? Need assistance navigating the world of grant writing or grantmaking? We’ve got a calendar of conferences, workshops, webinars, and training opportunities to help you sharpen your skill set and broaden your knowledge base. To recommend a listing to be added, shoot us an email at editor@cac.ca.gov.

4. Research & Reports.

Keeping up to date in the arts means staying informed of the latest in case studies, strategies, and science. We’ve collected hundreds of reports about the arts. Browse our research database by topic, explore our page of arts terms and concepts, or get some background on the benefits of the arts to education, the economy, and health.

P.S. Listings from most of these pages are regularly featured in our weekly Arts Council newsletter, ArtBeat. Sign up here and never miss the latest updates!

From the director’s chair: An interview with the CAC’s Anne Bown-Crawford

Just before the new year, we got some great news: Governor Jerry Brown had appointed a new director to head up the CAC, Anne Bown-Crawford. Anne is a champion for arts education in California and a leading arts advocate with a sphere of influence stretching from her local school district in Humboldt County to the international stage.

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California Arts Council Director Anne Bown-Crawford. Photo by Mia Shope.

Anne’s been with us for nearly a month now, and the Council and staff have been delighted to work with her and get to know her better. Now it’s time to dish a little deeper to you! We asked Anne a handful of questions to shine more light on her background in arts education and community service, her thoughts on the future of the arts field, and the tasks and challenges ahead for the CAC—as seen from the director’s chair.

The mission of the CAC’s is to advance California through the arts and creativity. What is your personal mission for the arts, and how does it impact your professional one?

Connecting young people to their voice and nurturing in them the agency to make connections between the social and cultural contemporary issues that shape their lives has always been of personal and professional importance to me. In my mind, making those connections is crucial to their success in the 21st century. Our communities as a whole, including our youth, need creative strategies to become proactive instead of reactive within their culture. By reducing the sense of alienation and fragmentation found in contemporary society, we can best nourish healthy communities.

I hope to continue and expand this commitment to the California Arts Council’s programs and initiatives in ways that are consistent with CAC’s mission, vision, and values.

I feel particularly inspired by the CAC’s work in strengthening respect for cultural heritage and advancing racial equity and in nourishing arts education in schools and communities, and even within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. These actions are essential for our civil society’s health.

A strong, inclusive, and thriving civil society then positively impacts our entire state, including the economic and governmental landscape.

You are a champion for arts education. How will that play for you as director of the CAC?

Building arts education models has been a hallmark of my career. The most effective models have been partnerships based on collaboration, both within educational institutions and in community arts settings, that connect to the economic development of the region and the state. These partnerships concentrate on robust learning and the transferable skills needed to promote innovation, economic growth, and creativity.  I look forward to doing the same type of work at the CAC, and more!

For me, meaningful, creative education sits at the center of so much, it touches every aspect of CAC’s work, whether it is in corrections, cultural districts, or community arts organizations.  It sits at the center of a healthy community overall.

You are also a big proponent of technology, which has a long and rich relationship with the arts. In the postdigital era, what kinds of innovations in the arts have you seen that excite you?

I love the way technology has added to the tool sets available to artists. It has expanded our vision. I also delight in the fact that so many artists are involved with designing the digital devices, interfaces, etc. that we all use every day. We all hold art right in our hands, all the time! Technology offers ways to stretch the old boundaries of making and creating in very exciting ways. Being able to combine programming with two, three, four dimensions, in time-based art, offering up unusual solutions to creative challenges is inherently fascinating to me. Those art forms range from the sonic to virtual reality, to visual images changed and created with digital data, to completely immersive sensory experiences. And, ultimately, technology has the ability to make art more accessible to wider audiences, both as creators and consumers.

What is one surprising thing you’d like for the arts field to know about you?

Well, that’s a tough one, since I’ve been living my life for the past four decades in front of an audience, whether in a classroom or out in the community.  Perhaps some folks around the state might not be aware of the fact that I not only have a visual art studio practice, but I played lead drum (tenor) in a steel drum orchestra for many, many years, and was taught by Ray Holman, one of the masters of the steel drum from Trinidad, a frequent guest of Humboldt County.

What strengths do you see in the work of the agency? What challenges lie ahead?

The strengths I see in the work of the CAC are well reflected in the lenses we use to focus the work: building public will for the arts; equity—ensuring that California’s diverse populations are always reflective in the work and accessible to all; serving as the leading authority and champion for the arts in California, regionally and nationally; and working to ensure that standards of excellence, relevance and effectiveness sit at the center of all of our programs and services.

Perhaps the biggest challenge, aside from trying to survive political currents, is how to serve and have a meaningful impact in every sector of this huge state. There is so much diversity, so many underserved populations, and—to put it simply—so much geographic territory to pay careful attention to in California, that can seem daunting.  At the same time, as the sixth largest economy in the world, California is home to an amazingly vibrant and robust creative economy. That economic landscape, that pervasive feeling that we can be nimble and innovative while lifting up the diversity that makes California so unique, will help nourish and connect our work here at the CAC.

The fun final question: If you were hosting an intimate dinner party, and could invite any three people, living or dead, who would they be, and why?

Jim Bown, my father, because he has taught me well how to follow my dreams, work hard, be an effective public servant/leader, and how to be a compassionate mother.  President Carter, for his life-long commitment to humanitarian work around the world. And Michelle Obama, because of the strength, lively spirit, sharp intelligence, and good grace she demonstrated in her role as a leader during the Obama administration. And I’d really love to talk about what comes next for her!

And then, since I really believe in filling out a table, I would add Ruth Bader Ginsberg, for her vibrant opinions on the strength of women in our society; Jerry Seinfeld for his great good humor and ability to draw good humor from others; and Paula Scher, because of her remarkable, articulate work in design, blurring the line between pop culture and fine art in her work as a graphic designer, painter, and art educator.

Meet the CAC Staff, Part 2

It’s time for another blog where you get to know the CAC staff! Since we’re deep in the throes of grant season around here, part two in our series introduces the amazing Programs staff that coordinates the 15 different grant programs we offer.

hamnahName: Hilary Amnah
Title: Arts Program Specialist
First on the roster is our newest addition to the Programs team! Originally from the Hocking Hills of Ohio, Hilary has a passion desert landscapes and for artist-led, collaborative community projects. She had the chance to contribute to a mural of influential women in history called “Work in Progress,” led by pop artist Jann Haworth, featuring portraits of Ruby Bridges, Queen Elizabeth, Marie Curie, Jane Austen, and many more.
On a sillier note, we have a passion for the ambiguous conviction of her answer to the question, “What’s your favorite food?”
“Probably pizza,” she said. “But it has to be good pizza.”
Hilary coordinates the Creative California Communities, Cultural Districts, and Arts and Public Media programs.

jbonilloName: Jaren Bonillo
Title: Arts Program Specialist
Jaren is our resident photographer. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts with a photo concentration and an MFA in photography. She uses her talents to document her frequent travel adventures—most recently to Denmark, Sweden, and Colombia. Her favorite artist? Marcel Duchamp. “For his ability to innovate and communicate through a broad range of artistic mediums and processes,” she said. Jaren also loves hiking and exploring new restaurants.
Jaren coordinates our State-Local Partnership program, Statewide and Regional Networks, Professional Development, and Organizational Development programs.

sgilbrideName: Shelly Gilbride
Title: Programs Officer
You know you’ve got a great staff when one of your favorite recent travel memories involves a canceled flight and co-workers. “Andrea, Hilary and I had an amazing adventure driving back to Sacramento from San Bernadino. Podcasts, good company, and a stop for delicious tacos made the trip,” said Shelly. So sweet! But what about when we asked what she’s up to when she’s not working? “Parenting!” she replied. “But even then, it STILL involves art!” She also makes time for her favorite pastimes: modern dance, yoga, and running with her early morning running buddies.
Shelly heads up the program team, directing implementation of grant programs and special projects, and overseeing grant review panels. She also coordinates the Reentry through the Arts program.

jjongName: Jason Jong
Title: Arts Program Specialist
Jason is a force here at the CAC, and the story’s no different outside the office. He’s the executive producer of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Cultural Village and the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, a talented percussionist, and a father of three, for starters. He also serves on several local community boards, but hopes to find more time this year for the out of doors, hiking, kayaking, and camping.
Jason coordinates our Veterans in the Arts and Cultural Pathways programs, and facilitates our partnership with the National Arts and Disability Center to administer the Arts and Accessibility Technical Assistance program. His technical prowess has also proved invaluable support to the program staff in our move to a new online platform for grant applications.

jmillerName: Josy Miller
Title: Arts Education Program Specialist
Josy shared a story with us that sums up her passions and personality so well, we figured we ought to just pass her the mic: “My great-aunt Judith, a very important figure in my life, took me to Paris when I was 15, and I was completely changed. In addition to taking me to the Ballet Opera of Paris and too many world-class museums to name, she taught me what true beauty and pleasure one could experience around the dinner table. The arts and food have been two centerpieces of my life ever since.” Her love of Shakespeare and stinky cheese have become so clear.
A mother of two boys, Josy is the lead on all of our arts education-oriented programs and initiatives, coordinating the Arts Education, JUMP StArts, and Research in the Arts programs as well as California’s Poetry Out Loud program.

aporrasName: J. Andrea Porras
Title: Arts Program Specialist
Andrea’s favorite color is “rainbow.” We hope that conveys the slightest bit of the extraordinary life and color she brings to our world! Andrea shines from so many facets, we don’t know where to start. Emcee, Reiki Master, National Latino Arts & Culture leadership fellow, roller skater who learned to swim in the San Felipe Springs of her Texas barrio, her favorite work of art is her son’s “every improv.” Andrea is an avid volunteer who “lives to dance in service,” as she says. Fun fact: She was once a guest on a live television show in Mexico City where a medicine man performed a healing on her.
Andrea coordinates our Local Impact and Artists in Communities grant programs.

The Programs staff would collectively like to remind you to check out all the different grant opportunities that are currently open for applications! Deadlines are fast approaching for many of our programs. And be sure to reach out to the corresponding smiling faces of the above staff with any questions.

Coming soon: Part 3, the final entry in our Meet the Staff series!