“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.

anneportrait
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!

Blog bite: NEA awards $3.4M to California nonprofits

A brief yet bountiful blog bite: The NEA announced today its first grant awards for the 2018 fiscal year—including a grand total of $3,363,000 for 132 California nonprofit organizations! The federal funds fall under two NEA grant categories, Art Works and Challenge America.

Read the NEA’s announcement and view the full list of grantees here.

We’re happy to congratulate all of our state’s recipients, and we see a lot of familiar faces among them. Seventy, to be exact! More than half the organizations receiving ArtWorks and Challenge America grants are also California Arts Council grantees.

(Featured photo: The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, will receive an NEA Art Works grant to support an arts education outreach program that serves middle and high school students in San Diego. The museum also receives support from the California Arts Council.)

 

Blog bite: #Instagrantee posts grantee work center stage

As an arts agency, it only seems fitting to have an Instagram feed filled with color, culture, and creativity! Starting today, our grantees are taking center stage. We’re introducing the #Instagrantee! True to the heart of our mission, we’ll post a weekly pic under that hashtag to showcase the valued work of some of our beloved grantees. Look for our first #Instagrantee photo later today — and follow us at @calcartscouncil.

P.S. Are you a current grantee with some great photos and want to be featured? We’re happy to have them! Email your submissions to photos@arts.ca.gov, using the subject “Instagrantee.” Be sure to include your organization name, grant awarded, a brief description of the image, and any photo credit information.