Yesterday I was in Sacramento with NCArts Board Members Jon Blinder and JoAnn Marie, as well as Placer Arts Executive Director Angela Tahti. The group was there to help testify at budget hearings in support of two bills to increase funding for the California Arts Council. (CAC director Craig Watson had asked us to be there and we met with him and numerous other arts supporters to plan the testimony.) It was an interesting experience, and the bill moved out of the Senate Committee on a positive vote, while it was held in the Assembly Committee until the May revise of the budget. The legislation would increase general fund CAC funding from its current $1 million to $25 million, a substantial increase to be sure, but still only funding it at the level it was when Jerry Brown left office the first time. It would make a huge difference, both throughout the state and right here in Nevada County.
It's hard to be in Sacramento and not be aware of the looming tax deadline. While you don't need another tax reminder, I do want to remind of you of something else near and dear to your hearts - supporting the arts. On the California Income Tax form there is a check box for you to include a donation of any size to keep arts in the schools.
This month's featured NCArts member is CATS (Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra). It's a timely story, as their production of Miss Saigon begins April 10, and that's something you won't want to miss! Be sure to check out the other articles on local artists of note, competition winners, and CALLS TO ARTISTS.
Finally, a teaser: Be on the lookout soon for an announcement from us about a special community-wide fundraising program in May, a separate NCArts membership drive, and an announcement about a new program NCArts is planning.
We're working hard to represent the Arts and support the incredible artists and arts organizations in Nevada County. We certainly appreciate your support as we do so. Remember, an individual membership in NCArts is only $35 a year, less than 10˘ a day.
I hope you enjoy this beautiful spring in Nevada County - Mother Nature's artistic skills are very much on display!
Nevada County Arts
Jared Lee stars as The Engineer in CATS' production of Miss Saigon
(photo by David Wong
Focus on a Member: CATS
The Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) promotes diversity in the arts through multicultural theater, events and workshops.
Their annual productions have garnered many Elly nominations and awards from SARTA (Sacramento Area Alliance Theatre Alliance). In 2012, their production of "The Teahouse of the August Moon," received seven nominations and four awards, the most of any theater company in the Sacramento region.
CATS has also developed a companion program of cultural activities and events including educational excursions, acting classes, films, Asian cooking classes, mahjong workshops and Japanese Tea Ceremonies. In 2012, CATS launched the Xiao Mao (Little CATS) Culture Club, serving the children of Nevada County with Mandarin classes and Asian-themed workshops.
Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) celebrates its 20th Year with the Tony-award winning musical, Miss Saigon, from April 10 to May 10 at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. From the creators of Les Misérables, Miss Saigon is based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American lover. The setting of the plot is relocated to 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly's story of marriage between an American lieutenant and Japanese girl is replaced by a romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl.
Miss Saigon has a cast of over 20 local, regional, and Bay Area actors - with April Lam as Kim, Jared Lee as The Engineer, and David Holmes as Chris. Susan Mason directs, with musical direction by Susan Mason and Jeffrey Mason. Jeffrey Mason also serves as the conductor of the orchestra. Designers include Pam Hodges, Set Design; D.R. Christensen, Sound Design; Erin Beatie, Lighting Design; Jill Kelly, Costume Design; Haven Caravelli, Choreography; Sara Quay, Hair and Make-up Design; and Katherine Scourtes, Properties Design.
For ticket information, please visit www.catsweb.org. The Friday, April 18, 8:00 pm, performance is a Benefit for the Friends of the Nevada County Libraries. Tickets to the Benefit may be purchased by calling 530-265-1407 or by going to any western Nevada County branch.
Your Help is Needed
to Fund the Arts in California
Californians for the Arts is calling upon you to help with the effort to achieve a significant increase in the budget appropriations for the arts in California.YOUR voice will make the difference in moving California up from near DEAD LAST in terms of per capita investment to the arts, providing crucial support for artists and arts organizations around the state!
Today, the climate is ripe for restoring arts funding to a level not seen for over 10 years: Senator Ted Lieu and Assembly member Ian Calderon have each introduced bills in their respective houses:
SB 1432 (Lieu) - CA Arts Council
Senate Bill 1432, authored by Senator Ted Lieu, would allocate $25 million from the state's General Fund to the Arts Council. That is up from the current $1 million.
AB 1662 (Calderon) - CA Arts Council
Assembly Bill 1662, authored by Assemblyman Ian Calderon, would also seek a substantial allocation from the General Fund to the Arts Council at a figure yet to be determined.
Please help these bills succeed by sending your letters of support to Senator Lieu and Assemblyman Calderon. For more information, including sample letters and fax numbers click here.
Wyatt Price, a junior at Nevada Union High School, was second runner up in the 2014 California state finals of "Poetry Out Loud"
"Poetry Out Loud"
This year marks the ninth time the California Arts Council has produced the annual "Poetry Out Loud" competition - the largest of its kind in the nation, with over 40,000 students in 35 California counties participating. The program encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. The 2014 State Final judges included California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, filmmaker Christopher Coppola, and poet and arts leader Frances Phillips.
Shayna Maci Warner, a senior at Marin School of the Arts in Marin County, took first place in the 2014 California state finals of Poetry Out Loud and will represent the Golden State in Washington, D.C. at the national finals next month.
Haley Walker, a senior at Pacific Grove High School in Monterey County, was the first runner-up and Wyatt Price, a junior at Nevada Union High School in Nevada County, was the second runner-up.
A list of all of the county winners, their high schools, and the poems they chose can be found here
Nevada County Reads & Writes Writing Competition Winners
Nevada County Reads and Writes! is a county-wide program for the entire community, sponsored by Nevada County Libraries and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools. The 2014 community book choice was "The Fault in Our Stars" and readers were invited to submit an epilogue to the book.
Congratulations to the winners of this year's writing competition:
3rd place - Judie Rae
2nd place - Amy Rutten
1st place - Dian Schaffhauser
3rd place - Sierra Halberstadt, Truckee HS
2nd place - Davia Pratschner, Forest Charter HS
1st place - Jenna Segel, Nevada Union HS
Call to Artists: "Sunken Treasures"
at The Tahoe Maritime Museum
NCArts is proud to partner with Placer Arts and The Tahoe Maritime Museum
to host the juried art exhibit, "Sunken Treasures". The goal of the exhibit is to showcase work by local artists that explores the unseen world at the bottom of Lake Tahoe. The art exhibit will coincide with TMM's history exhibit, "Ghost Ships" opening on Memorial Weekend 2014 and running until April 19, 2015. There will be $300 in prize money awarded to artists in various categories.
Works submitted for "Sunken Treasures" need to imply or connote a sunken vessel or artifact, but this does not need to be the main focus of the piece. This exhibit is open to all artists from Lake Tahoe and its surrounding communities.
Entries are due by May 14, 2014. For complete entry guidelines visit tahoemaritimemuseum
Call to Artists: Cal State Chico
California State University, Chico, is seeking applicants for a commissioned exterior artwork for the new Arts and Humanities building, currently under construction. The project budget is $70,000 and the competition is open to professional artists working in the United States. Submissions of qualifications are due May 16, 2014. The RFQ is available here