Inland Empire Community Foundation, Arts Connection or San Bernardino Arts Council, Riverside Arts Council and CA Desert Arts Council announced a $4.7 million grant from the California Arts Council.
As part of the partnership, the organizations will manage these funds in the Inland Empire for the California Creative Corps, the state’s new arts program.
California Creative Corps provides grants to organizations in all 58 counties to fund artists to create public awareness messages and projects to promote civic engagement and community participation.
IECF is designated as one of 14 organizations selected to assist in the administration of grant funds.
With three arts councils, IECF will help manage funds in the Inland Empire.
The money will support artists and organizations based in Riverside and San Bernardino counties through innovative public art, media and engagement projects and campaigns aimed at addressing health disparities in select communities. The program is designed to serve all 58 counties and prioritize communities with the highest levels of need as identified by the California Healthy Places Index.
IECF and three local arts organizations will create grant applications using community input. Partner organizations expect subgrant applications to be available in March 2023.
Hearings explaining the funding parameters and requests for input into the grant proposal process will be scheduled in English and Spanish.
The coalition hopes to involve a variety of community and government organizations, not just those focused on the arts. Nonprofits that use the arts as a means to achieve their mission are encouraged to apply, as are organizations looking to add creative strategists.
“I want everyone to be able to find work using their creative talents and help transform their communities,” said Jennifer Kane, executive director of Arts Connection. “Creative work is what drives development, new ideas and technology. Creatives are change makers, not just dollar makers.”
This program is in line with further developments in the field of arts and culture in the region.
Arts Connection, Riverside Arts Council and California Desert Arts Council partner with Americans for the Arts to launch Arts & Economic Prosperity 6, a national study of the economic impact of the nonprofit arts and culture industries in the Inland Empire. The three arts councils also established Inland Leadership for Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, a leadership consortium dedicated to the development of arts, culture, and creative industries in the Inland region.
According to Kane, local arts councils normally have very little funding to redistribute and this will be the first time they will be able to regrant in a large capacity. While the California Creative Corps grant is a pilot program and is currently a one-time state award, the partner organizations hope this is just the beginning.
Kane believes that if the program can demonstrate the economic and community benefits of hiring artists, the partners can leverage the success for future funding.
Organizations and individuals interested in attending the listening sessions can check dates and times on the partners’ websites, details will be released in the next few months.
“Come listen, ask questions and make sure you apply,” Kane said. “Even if you think it’s not for you, you should come. This program is for everyone.”
The Inland Empire Community Foundation works to strengthen Inland Southern California through philanthropy.