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Artstart Receives California Arts Council Grant


Artstart Receives California Arts Council Grant

By Tina Azaria

The California Arts Council announced that Artstart has been awarded $46,400 as part of its Creative California Communities program. Artstart is one of only forty-one grantees statewide. 

Artstart Bench ProjectThe Creative California Communities program supports collaborative projects that harness arts and culture as vehicles for creative placemaking projects. Placemaking projects are designed to create public spaces which draw all walks of life together to enjoy a shared experience.  Supported projects represent the distinct character and quality of a community and present a vision for enhancing the social or economic livability of that community through the arts. Projects benefit residents and visitors to California’s communities by leveraging the assets of the creative sector (artists, cultural organizations and arts-related businesses) to address community needs or priorities.  All projects are designed and developed by a nonprofit arts organization in collaboration with at least one partnering organization, and centralize California artists and their work in the project design and implementation. 

Artstart Bird BenchArtstart is partnering with the Sonoma County Community Development Commission to establish arts-infused outdoor community spaces in Roseland Village Neighborhood Center (RVNC), the former shopping center on Sebastopol Road. In the next five years, RVC will be redeveloped into a mixed-use development. Currently vacant portions of the site will be transformed into interactive areas through creative placemaking, which will also inform future cultural and public art planning for RVC.

Chairman of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission Efren Carrillo commented, “This award represents an incredible investment in Roseland that will benefit both residents and visitors to the area. A new place for showcasing the arts and having fun activities which bring together all of Roseland’s diverse residents is heartwarming to see. I am looking forward to bringing my family to this new place to gather in Roseland along with the many other families through our community.”

The news of Artstart’s grant was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, which can be viewed online at

“California Arts Council grants provide vital support for projects in diverse communities across our state,” said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. “This was an historic year of state arts support. We are proud to invest more than $8.5 million in funding 712 grant projects that will stimulate local growth and prosperity, and meet the needs of our communities through deep engagement with culture and creative expression.”

The California Arts Council will continue to grow the reach of its programs in the coming year, as the result of a significant one-time state arts funding increase for 2016-17 announced last week. 

Artstart's mission is to provide job training, mentoring and fostering of life-changing breakthroughs by way of stimulating work experiences in the arts for Sonoma County youth, while creating public art for our community. Emerging artists, ages 14-21, apply for apprenticeships on projects that involve completing public and private art commissions under the mentorship of professional artists. Artstart also initiates projects that engage youth in underserved communities to create public art in their own neighborhoods and towns, with the goal of inspiring the youth and the communities where they live. Learn more at 

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. Learn more at