Sharing our resources and expertise to help the capital region flourish
We envision a Sacramento region where art both reflects and shapes the collective identities of the people who live here.
As part of our Strategic Initiative to Transform the Creative Economy to support the capital area’s creative community, we invested significantly in the City of Sacramento’s first-ever, comprehensive cultural plan in partnership with the office of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
As with all of our community leadership efforts tied to our Strategic Initiatives, we did more than contribute financial resources. Our staff served on the Plan’s Steering Committee to help ensure the needs of the region’s creative communities were met.
When the Creative Edge Cultural Plan was adopted by the Sacramento City Council in July 2018, we were thrilled to see City leadership committing to advance the four significant themes that were elevated by area artists and arts supporters during the Plan’s development: celebrating Sacramento’s rich history of creativity, prioritizing cultural equity, cementing the importance of investments in arts and artists, and ensuring every student enjoys arts education in school.
To begin implementing the Plan, we joined a strategic partnership with area leaders in education and the arts to bring arts education back to local schools: the Sacramento Arts Education Consortium.
“The Consortium underscores the idea that we—the community and the schools—need to be collectively involved in ensuring local students encounter arts in their education,” said Dr. L. Steven Winlock, Executive Director of the Sacramento County Office of Education’s School of Education, and a member of the Consortium’s Leadership Council.
For years, said Mayor Steinberg at the Consortium’s public launch, California public schools have “starved the arts,” and the consequences are devastating, particularly for those students who have limited opportunities to enjoy arts instruction outside of the classroom.
After all, research has shown that bringing arts instruction into schools and integrating arts experiences throughout the curricula improves overall educational outcomes. Further, arts education is essential to fostering the next generation of artists and arts audiences, safeguarding the capital area’s creative ecosystem—and the benefits it brings to the health of our entire community—into the future.
“Fundamentally, this is an equity of access issue, because it’s not enough for just one or two districts to provide arts for their students. California requires a massive creative workforce, and we struggle to fill those positions from people within the state; meanwhile, students in underperforming schools in California have the least access to the arts, historically,” said Jacqueline White, Executive Director of Student Engagement at Twin Rivers, and member of the Consortium’s Leadership Council. “If the arts are so important to our economy, and the way we memorialize our culture, what does it say when we exclude whole populations from accessing them in schools?”
The Consortium aims to ensure young people in 13 area school districts have ample opportunities to engage with arts in their classrooms. As we see it, with a collective investment in arts education today, area children will enjoy improved access to equitable cultural resources and better educational outcomes, and they will be more likely to become the advocates for the arts—and the artists—of tomorrow. That’s creative change.
Learn more about our investment in the Creative Edge Cultural Plan, the Sacramento Arts Education Consortium, and our related efforts to support the Sacramento region’s arts ecosystem as part of our Transforming the Creative Economy initiative.
Only through strategic, collaborative efforts can we enhance the role the arts play throughout the region. Join us with a donation to the Building Equitable Communities Fund.