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New State Budget Boosts Arts Council Funding

The California Arts Council (CAC) is slated to receive a $7.1 million increase in ongoing funding in the new state budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor yesterday.  Last year, the CAC received a $5 million increase and the year prior at $2 million increase--but those were one-time only increases over the $1.1 million budget level that CAC had received for more than a decade.  Overall, including an NEA block grant, proceeds from the Arts License Plate and from the tax return donation checkoff, the CAC will have more than $11 million in 2015-16.  This amounts to 31 cents per capita, and California still ranks near the bottom in state funding.  "This reflects continued progress in restoring state arts funding levels to their historic high of more than $30 million," commented ArtsOC Executive Director Rick Stein who also serves as President of the statewide California Arts Advocates.  "As the economy has improved, the state's revenues have greatly exceeded expectations, and the Legislature and Governor are demonstrating their commitment to making continued progress in bringing back arts funding to an impactful level.  This success is due to the active advocacy efforts of many of us throughout the state, including many of Orange County's arts leaders and supporters."

Read more here.

4 OC Arts Groups Funded in Latest Round of CAC Grants
The California Arts Council approved recommended grants at its June 24 meeting in San Diego, including grants to 4 Orange County organizations:
Local Impact Program Grants:  Ektaa Center, Irvine - $8,700

To support Dance Conversations 3 - Dancing communities, dancing cities presented in partnership with UCI's Claire Trevor School of the Arts will examine the ways that Indian performance practices can enable us to rethink the city we live in and its relationship to the various communities that inhabit it. This includes the UCI campus community, the larger South Asian community, and the diverse communities that make up Irvine. Dance Conversations 3 is envisioned as a multi part project. The grant monies will support the honorarium for the artistic directors, artistes, dancers and musicians.

Artist in Schools Grants:  Arts & Learning Conservatory, Santa Ana - $8,254

To support work with 75 students at two school sites to develop the artistic abilities and creativity of students at all levels of production, including acting, directing, costuming and back stage to produce a musical theater revue at each school - Fables & Legends and Alice in Wonderland.

Creative California Communities Program Grants:  The Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton - $45,060

To help revitalize the defunct Kramer Club House in Kramer Park into the thriving satellite Placentia Teen Arts Center, transform the park and the Latino downtown in a city that is on the verge of bankrupcy. This is strategically located 2 blocks from Valencia High School & Kramer Middle school, Downtown and a new Metrolink station; and 6 blocks from California State University, Fullerton. It is the poorest neighborhood in Placentia losing its prominence since the 1970s and never really regaining its identity. A new Metrolink station and efforts like this one may change that.

Veterans in the Arts Initiative Grants:  Arts Orange County, Santa Ana - $9,600

Arts Orange County will offer a free theatre workshop conducted by Chance Theater at the Veterans First service center in Santa Ana in the autumn of 2015, culiminating in a free public performance at the Chance Theater's Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center in Anaheim.
Additionally, the CAC announced last week that The Muckenthaler Center is one of seven recipients of funding in the new pilot initiative JUMP StArts, designed to benefit at-risk youth.  The Muckenthaler is receiving $30,400 for a comprehensive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program at Crittenton's Valley View alternative school in Fullterton to engage foster girls in arts experiences including ceramics, 3D modeling, photography, painting/drawing, and e-Design.



 Arts Orange County is supported in part through funds from
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Cal Humanities Opens Applications for Community Stories Grants
Cal Humanities, a California non-profit which promotes the humanities to help create "a state of open mind", has awarded over $3 million since 2003 to over 400 projects under their Community Stories Grants program, formerly known as the California Story Fund.

They are seeking "public humanities projects that explore the California experience by recording and sharing stories through performances, panels, websites, video, radio, and exhibits." Applications are due by 5:00pm on Monday, August 3rd. Read more here.

Tips on Being an Artist Prepared for Emergencies
Artists can play crucial roles in the aftermath of emergencies, when the need for communication and sense of community is at its greatest. Last month, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund | Artists' Emergency Resources (CERF+) moderated a panel on the critical role the arts played in the recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina - from providing entertainment in emergency shelters and camps to staging benefits to raise recovery funds.
You can subscribe to their Tip of the Month at the Studio Protector Blog.
ArtsOC's participation in the Southern California Arts Responder Network is supported through a grant from:
Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. 
It is a powerhouse in advancing Orange County's arts ecology, a trailblazer in advocating workforce development through arts education, a leader in building future audiences and a trendsetter in the world of nonprofit arts councils.

Arts Orange County, 3730 South Susan Street, Suite 100, Santa Ana, CA 92704