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.

Blog bite: The 2016-17 Annual Report has arrived!

It’s amazing how time flies! This week, we released our 2016-17 Annual Report, capturing a glimpse into a year’s time at the California Arts Council. Among its 45 pages are a collaborative welcome note from our 2016-17 Chair and Interim Director, highlights of the year’s accomplishments, a breakdown of the agency’s key activities and grant program offerings, and more. The report also includes spotlight pieces on the newly launched statewide California Cultural Districts and a white paper excerpt tackling the issue the affordable housing for artists. And last but certainly not least, we honor the year’s grantees with a roster of their awards and some breathtaking photography straight from the source. View a digital flip book edition of the report here.

New funding opportunity: Serving youth in state Juvenile Justice facilities through the arts

The California Arts Council believes in the arts as an essential tool for healthy human development for populations. Our JUMP StArts grant program is designed with that value in mind, to serve as a positive intervention for youth facing incarceration. The program mobilizes partnerships between arts organizations and juvenile justice entities to create arts learning opportunities that foster positive socioemotional, behavioral, academic, and developmental outcomes for system-engaged youth.

This year, we’re offering two grant strands for the JUMP StArts program: a grant opportunity supporting work at county and community-based facilities, plus a brand new opportunity supporting work at state Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities. Arts organizations may apply for up to $50,000 in each strand, with a chance to receive funding in both strands simultaneously.

Planning grants are also available to support arts organizations with the process of developing an arts for incarcerated youth project. Organizations are able to receive a Project Grant in one strand and a Planning Grant in the other strand during the same funding cycle.

The deadline for all JUMP StArts applications has been extended to February 23, 2018.

While you can find complete details on our website … here’s a handy FAQ about this new funding opportunity:

State DJJ Facilities: What’s new this year?

In 2017, the Senate Budget Act dedicated funds specifically to expand the program, including service to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Youth Facilities. DJJ is an active partner to the California Arts Council for the expansion of our JUMP StArts grant program.

Applicants may apply and be funded for a project in a county-operated or community-based facility(ies), and may also apply and be funded for a project in a DJJ state-operated facility(ies) during the same funding cycle. These applications will be submitted, adjudicated, and funded as separate grants.

Where can these projects take place?

The following DJJ Youth Facility Sites are designated for JUMP StArts programming:

N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility
Stockton, CA 95215
Note: Program facility for males.

O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility
Stockton, CA 95213
Note: Program facility for males.

Ventura Youth Correctional Facility
Camarillo, CA 93010
Note: This facility serves as a reception center-clinic for both males and females.

How can my organization apply for project support?

Organizations interested in serving youth within the state juvenile justice system at one of the aforementioned three DJJ sites should review the JUMP StArts grant guidelines in detail.

CAC Arts Education Program Specialist Josy Miller is available to provide technical assistance to any organization interested in applying to the JUMP StArts program. Josy can be reached at josy.miller@arts.ca.gov.

DJJ is standing by to support organizations interested in proposing projects. All applicants proposing a project at a DJJ site must be in touch with Teresa Perez at teresa.perez@cdcr.ca.gov to plan the project and to secure a letter of support.

Are there other ways to be involved?

Planning grants are available to support arts organizations that have identified a juvenile justice facility/agency partner and are in the process of developing an arts for incarcerated youth project. These planning grants give organizations the opportunity to take the time to design the project thoughtfully and to include meaningful contributions to that design from both partners. The planning grants also can be used to pilot aspects of the program and to conduct any necessary training and/or professional development for the project staff.

  • Previous recipients of a JUMP StArts grant are ineligible to apply for a Planning Grant in the County/Community Facilities strand.
  • Applicants may not receive a JUMP StArts Planning Grant and JUMP StArts Project Grant in the same strand during the same funding cycle.
  • Planning Grant requests may be made for $2,500 for a one-year grant, and do not require a match.

And… there’s still time to apply!

If your organization is interested in providing this important service to our state’s young people … we want you to succeed as an applicant. It’s our goal to equip grant seekers with the tools to put forth a competent, competitive application. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Josy Miller with any questions.

The deadline for all JUMP StArts applications has been extended to February 23, 2018. You can learn more on our website at http://arts.ca.gov/programs/js.php.

Smart needs art: Support creativity in the classroom through your state tax return

The new year is here, and for those of you who are on the ball, that means time to get to work filing your 2017 taxes. And time for us to remind you to donate to support arts education when you do.

We know you understand the value of arts at school. They’re a key factor in helping future generations succeed, boosting their academic achievement, social skills, and rates of attendance and graduation, while preparing them for a workforce that values creativity above all other desirable qualifications.

You also know they aren’t given the prominent place they deserve: Less than 40% of California’s students have arts courses as part of their curriculum today.

Help us change that tomorrow!

How to contribute

Individuals may make tax-deductible contributions in amounts of $1 or more to the California Arts Council’s Keep Arts in Schools Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund, which can be found in Voluntary Contribution Section 110 (425) of the “540” individual state tax return form.

Are you filing with TurboTax? We’ve got the step-by-step directions to make a donation.

100% of your tax-deductible contribution is applied to arts education programming supported by the California Arts Council.

Get the word out

We’ve assembled a page of resources for you to help spread the word about the Keep Arts in Schools Fund. Promote it on social media, in your newsletters, or on your website. While you’re at it, encourage your fellow art supporters to do the same.

So break out the calculators and the shoebox full of receipts, start crunching, and support creativity in the classroom with the Keep Arts in Schools Fund. Every dollar counts.

P.S. For those of you last-minute filers, don’t worry! There’ll be another nudge along shortly. 😉

Meet the CAC Staff, Part 1

Welcome back! We hope you all have had a fantastic start to your 2018 so far, taking time to make time, spending the holiday season with your friends and loved ones. In that spirit, we thought we’d kick off the first blog of the year with an introduction to our family at the California Arts Council, and give you a chance to learn a bit more about what they do and who they are. Part one begins with our administrative staff.

Name: Bintou CoulibalyBintuo_3
Title: Senior Accounting Officer
Bintou oversees the accounting staff and handles fiscal reporting to state control agencies. Born in the Ivory Coast, she says her move to the United States was one of her greatest life adventures. In addition to speaking English, French, and at least five different African dialects, Bintou has all the qualities of an incredible listener, often topped off with a witty reply. She enjoys reading, cooking, and playing soccer with her three children when she’s not here with us—though if you ask her what she does outside of work … here comes that wit we mentioned: “Sleep.”

rdiazName: Richard Diaz
Title: Receptionist
Richard’s our go-to guy for all the office needs—fielding and directing calls from our main phone line, delivering the mail, purchasing office supplies, and storing CAC records. When he’s not representing at reception, he spends his time off working on model planes and cars, or playing old-school video games. He also enjoys the company of family and friends, furry incarnations included. Richard has three dogs: Scooby, Shaggy, and YoYo.

JHamlin_2Name: Jared Hamlin
Title: Accountant I
Jared’s part of our accounting staff, processing payments to our grantees. Some quick math about Jared: His favorite colors (green and orange) + his favorite food (pizza) = Michelangelo. As in his favorite Ninja Turtle, not the Renaissance artist—our interests can sometimes stray from the more obvious, you know! Jared’s also recently married. He and his newly betrothed just moved to a new place in order to add a dog to their current two-cat lifestyle. Congrats, JareBear!

YJimenezName: Yurika Jimenez
Title: Accountant I
Yurika is without a doubt the owner of the sunniest disposition of the CAC staff, with a smile that may require UV protection. She also loves the color “pink!” and eating “sushi!” (both followed by enthusiastic exclamation points in the staff survey—you see what we mean?). As one of our accountants, she’s got a head for numbers… and so much more. In a recent staff meeting, we were delighted by this diva’s operatic rendition of the birthday song. Move over, Marilyn!

mmoscosoName: Mariana Moscoso
Title: Arts in Corrections Program Analyst
Mariana’s administrative specialty lies with our Arts in Corrections program, coordinating contracts, program development and monitoring. Her interests in life, however, are less specialized, more just special. Mariana is deeply inspired by tradition, with her Afro-indigenous roots shaping her understanding and place in the universe. She speaks four languages—English, Spanish, German, Italian—and is working on a fifth, Tz’utujil. Mariana recently participated in the WESTAF Emerging Leaders of Color Cohort, and has an impressive collection of bead jewelry and a cat named Machiavelli. How cool is all of that? We say very.

Name: Nicole Sancheznsanchez
Title: Procurement and Contracts Analyst
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” That line, by Robert Brault, is Nicole’s favorite quote, and it sums up her life philosophy well. Nicole’s responsible for agency contracts and procurement activities here at the office, but at home, she’s responsible for her two young sons, ages 8 and 13, who she says inspire her every day to be better. She often serves as Team Mom or even Coach for whatever sport is in season. “Their hobbies are my hobbies!” she adds. Except for her love of skydiving—the boys will have to wait until they are a bit older for that one.

Name: Debra WaltmanDebraW_2
Title: Director of Administrative Services
Debra heads up the aforementioned administrative support staff while also handling all things budget, in addition to contract completion, interagency agreements, and purchasing. Outside the office, the music maven makes time to teach herself guitar, check out concert scene and serve on the Girls Rock Sacramento Advisory Board. Debra’s attitude about her team, and of all of the staff at the CAC, is a fitting close to Part 1 of our Meet the Staff series:

“One of my favorite things about the Arts Council is the culture. We are all open and accepting of each other as individuals—not just as co-workers.”

Well said.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Meet the Staff series, coming soon!

2017: The Highlights

It’s been such an eventful year here at the California Arts Council, full of advancements toward fulfilling our vision—a California where arts and culture thrive on our streets, at our schools, and in the hearts of every resident.

Looking back, we couldn’t possibly list all the wonderful achievements of our grantees, Council, and staff without penning a novel. To save you from scroll fatigue, we hope you’ll settle for this abridged list of some of our biggest accomplishments of 2017.

MORE THAN 1,000 GRANTS AWARDED

More than $15 million in state funding was invested in California nonprofit organizations and units of government for their work spanning the Arts Council’s 15 unique program categories, benefiting students, veterans, arts educators, at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated individuals, underserved populations, and communities at large. The 1,076 grants awarded are the largest investment in grants for the Arts Council since the 2002-03 fiscal year.

$6.8 MILLION PERMANENT BUDGET INCREASE

June’s announcement of the 2017-18 state budget turned a one-time $6.8 million increase from this fiscal year into a permanent one, extending the reach of the California Arts Council’s grant programs to more sustainably meet the needs and demand for arts and cultural experiences benefiting diverse communities across the state.

IMPACT OF CALIFORNIA’S CREATIVE ECONOMY GROWS

Now in its fourth year, the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California continues to emphasize the value of our state’s creative industry, drawing a direct relationship between California’s place as the sixth largest global economy and its artistic residents. This year’s report cited a $406.5 billion creative economic output, responsible for 10.9 percent of the state’s GDP.  As an addendum to the report, the Arts Council commissioned a white paper targeting the housing crisis in California to identify ways to fight the displacement of California’s artist population.

ARTS IN CORRECTIONS REACHES ALL STATE ADULT INSTITUTIONS

California’s Arts in Corrections program has become internationally renowned for its high-impact, innovative approach to addressing the state’s critical public safety needs and rehabilitative priorities through the arts. Made possible by an interagency partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, arts programming now reaches all 35 state adult correctional institutions – a significant increase from the 20 institutions served by the program in the previous fiscal year.

THREE NEW GRANT PROGRAMS LAUNCHED

Building on the success of the Arts in Corrections program, the California Arts Council introduced Reentry Through the Arts, a grant program rooted in the belief in the arts as an agent of change for the formerly incarcerated. We initiated Research in the Arts, the first program of its kind supporting original research on the value and impact of the arts. And we revamped and reinstituted our Arts and Public Media program to better engage our communities in arts and culture storytelling.

CALIFORNIA CULTURAL DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED

The California Arts Council launched its California Cultural District program in 2017, designating 14 districts to comprise the program’s first cohort. Aligning with the mission and values of the California Arts Council, the districts will celebrate some of the thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities of California while unifying under an umbrella of shared values, helping to grow and sustain authentic grassroots arts and cultural opportunities, increasing the visibility of local artists and community participation in local arts and culture, and promoting socioeconomic and ethnic diversity. Additional new districts will be eligible to apply for state designation in 2019 through a finalized certification process.

Whew! That’s quite a bit, and really, we’ve just scratched the surface of the meaningful work that’s taken place here this year. As we plan for next year and the years to come, we’ll continue to strive for quality service, bettering our communities, improving lives, and celebrating California’s vibrancy through increased access to the arts.

Happy holidays, from all of us ! See you in 2018!

Creative Forces San Diego: Where arts and military meet

The California Arts Council was in San Diego last week to participate in a pivotal regional event. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is now one of 11 clinical sites nationwide to join the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, aimed at leveraging creative arts therapies to improve the lives of military personnel, veterans, and their families in local communities.

More than half a million members of the armed services are currently living with traumatic brain injury or PTSD. Arts therapy integration and community arts programming can play an important role in their recovery, accomplishing goals outside the boundaries of traditional medical treatment. Recognizing California serving as home to nearly 2 million veterans and 200,000 active military members—more than any other state—identifying ways to better connect the two fields becomes an imperative.

The daylong Creative Forces Summit on December 7 rallied together military personnel with professionals in the fields of art and health for a day of presentations, panels, and performances designed to encourage collaboration and ideation in support of military and veteran families. Many locally based CAC grantees from our Veterans in the Arts program were on hand as well, to impart knowledge and offer perspective on developing arts programming specifically for veterans, and to showcase the creative work of veterans involved with their projects.

We were honored to be asked by the NEA to lead the coordination of this event, and we’re proud of the collaborations and dialogue that emerged as a result. The summit inspired many productive conversations, before and during, and continues to provoke thought leaders in the field. It’s clear that California, and the greater San Diego area in particular, is home to many innovative and impassioned people and programs serving our veterans, active military, their families and their caregivers. We’re excited for a future that will take rehabilitative arts opportunities for our military to the next level.

We’re also looking forward to an exchange of ideas with fellow Creative Forces summits being held in other states, taking advantage of one another’s available resources, sharing brainstorms and best practices to allow each site to grow cooperatively while simultaneously customizing concepts to fit each region’s needs.

Thank you to the National Endowment for the Arts for leading the charge on such a vital issue. We’re also grateful to Deputy Secretary Keith Boylan and our partners at CalVet, for their participation and their interest in how the arts can support their mission. And a most sincere thank you to the San Diego Region Creative Forces Planning Task Force, for a job well done:

Check out a few summit highlights below. For more clips from Creative Forces San Diego, visit the California Arts Council YouTube channel.

  • Keynote Address – Sgt. Benjamin Tourtelot, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) and Lisa Fagan (17:33)

 

  • Creative Forces: From Clinical to Community Panel Discussion / Q&A (1:19:12)

 

 



Photo by Rebecca Vaudreuil

The California Arts Council's Veterans in the Arts grant program provides project support for nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and veteran’s assistance agencies to reach veterans, active military, and their families across California. Applications are now open. Visit the Veterans in the Arts page for program details.