Five Sonoma art projects awarded county grants

Creative Sonoma has chosen three Sonoma Valley nonprofits for creative arts and culture grants and two local projects have received “Pop Up Creativity” funding from the art-advocacy division of the county Economic Development Board.

Art Escape Sonoma was awarded a grant to expand its bilingual art offerings. Sonoma Bach was awarded a grant to perform a Handel piece. Sonoma Conservatory of Dance was awarded a grant to stage the world premiere of a Persian ballet. Brad Maihack of Springs Creative received funding for a pop-up art installation along Highway 12 in the Springs. Judy Scotchmoor of Teen Services received a pop-up grant to create a 6-foot-tall sculpture made of discarded kitchen utensils. The grant amounts were not disclosed.

In total, $338,500 was awarded to 35 projects. The grants range in size from $1,000 to $33,000 and were awarded to some of the county’s most established arts organizations as well as start-up creative ventures.

The Pop Up Creativity Grants are designed to fund temporary creative projects that can enliven streets, sidewalks, alleys, plazas or other public spaces.

Eight Pop Up Creativity projects received a total of $38,500 and $300,000 Cultural Arts Grants were awarded to 27 nonprofit organizations, including museums and culturally specific organizations that produce arts and culture programs, services and events.

“These funds are supporting an incredibly diverse slate of activities, which reflects strong innovation in our creative sector,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, in a press release announcing the grants. “From a ‘Flatbed Music Festival’ and Spanish language story hours to a tiny gallery art exchange, two world premier symphonies, a world premier ballet and a student marimba band, these projects will offer a point of entry to the arts for enthusiasts and newcomers alike.”

Theater, visual arts, film, performing arts, poetry, traditional and folk arts are among the genres of expression that will be presented through these projects. Several grant projects use the arts to address social issues including climate change, homelessness and youth empowerment. Activities will take place in concert halls, schools, community plazas and riverfronts, parks and street fronts.

This is the first year that the Cultural Arts Grants were distributed by Creative Sonoma, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2019. Creative Sonoma provides grants, training and networking resources for residents who contribute to the creative spirit of Sonoma County.

Since 2015, Creative Sonoma has awarded more than $1.5 million through 265 grants. Professional Development programs focus on resource development, skills training, arts education, research and advocacy.

A recent report, commissioned by Creative Sonoma, indicates that the nonprofit arts community contributes $80 million to the Sonoma economy.

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