As a response to the challenging arts environment brought on by the Great Recession, the Foundation has focused on helping the sector transition to attract new audiences and meet the new economic reality. The way people experience the arts is also changing as our region continues to grow and become more diverse, requiring a fresh approach. How are traditional arts groups managing these changes? Are they being responsive to community interests? Are smaller, deeply rooted cultural arts groups thriving? Are traditional arts groups collaborating with smaller arts groups? What kind of help do they need? These are all questions we aim to answer as we work to Transform the Creative Economy.
We believe that by focusing on collaboration, board development, savvy fundraising, and the cultivation of new audiences, the creative sector will become even more vibrant, nimble and resilient. With the Foundation’s leadership in Transforming the Creative Economy, it is crucial for arts organizations to innovate, diversify and build board capacity and develop new audiences to demonstrate their responsiveness to the needs of our evolving community. By emphasizing these factors, we believe our local cultural economy will continue to thrive, becoming a more vital reflection of this community’s uniqueness and preparing the sector for the next wave of changes inevitably facing our region.
Traditional arts organizations nationwide are encountering declining audiences, as significant barriers keep potential audiences from attending performances. Compounding those challenges, local arts education in public schools is underfunded, shrinking the pipeline for future audiences because research has shown that adults who attended live performing arts as children are three to four times more likely to attend an arts activity as an adult.
Our investments in the Sacramento region's creative community aim to encourage collaboration between traditional and emerging arts groups, and build arts organizations’ marketing and stewardship capacities to ensure organizational stability. Additionally, they aim to grow future audiences – and artists – by supporting early arts exposure in schools through local arts organizations.
The Foundation raised $40,000 at a fundraising performance to launch the Dennis Mangers Fund for Young Performing Artists.
Toward those ends, we have granted nearly $120,000 from our Transforming the Creative Economy grant opportunity to support local arts programs that respond to the changing needs of the region’s creative community. The grants create new pipelines for the next arts audiences, donors, supporters, and leaders, strengthen the capacity of arts organizations, and foster new and innovative opportunities for arts exposure experiences.
Additionally, over 140 low-income youth in the Sacramento region have already received high-quality performing arts instruction as the result of five grants we awarded from our Dennis Mangers Fund for Young Performing Artists. These grants nurture the talents of young performing artists from underserved communities in our community by providing them access to high-quality performing arts training and education. The $40,000 in initial funding for the program was raised at a performance celebrating the Fund and its namesake.
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Like arts organizations across the nation, Pence Gallery Association has seen attendance shrinking at its receptions. With a new approach and a grant from our arts initiative, those numbers are turning around.
The Foundation’s Dennis Mangers Fund for Young Performing Artists supports young performing artists from underserved backgrounds in the Sacramento region, ensuring they enjoy increased access to performing arts education and training.
Grants will support innovative collaborations at seven nonprofits