Transforming the Creative Economy

Fostering a Thriving Cultural Community

A key characteristic of a healthy community is the presence of a strong arts sector. Recognizing the important role arts, culture and creative expression play in enhancing the quality of life throughout the region, the Foundation invests in the growth and sustainability of arts and culture organizations in the greater Sacramento region. The way people experience the arts is also changing as our region continues to become more diverse, requiring new, integrative methods to engage and develop new art audiences. How are local arts institutions responding to these changes? Are smaller arts organizations thriving? How do we work together to foster artistic exchange and partnerships between organizations? These are all questions we aim to answer as we work to Transform the Creative Economy.

Pence Art Gallery in Davis

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.

Learn more about the grant

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.

A Creative Way Forward: Strategic Investment in the Arts

Large, mainstream 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. 

Through a multi-year grant to help develop the City of Sacramento's Arts, Culture & Creative Economy Plan, we have helped steer the future of the an equitable ecosystem throughout the Sacramento region. Similarly, our $100,000 grant to seed the Sacramento Arts Education Consortium is helping ensure creative education is a sustained and integral part of the region's future – and that art and creative expression play a critical role in the lives of area young people.

Our investments in the Sacramento region's creative community aim to ensure equity, 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.

Sacramento region talent was on display during the event.

The Foundation raised $40,000 at a fundraising performance to launch the Dennis Mangers Fund for Young Performing Artists.

Discover the Fund's poignant beginnings

Toward those ends, we have granted nearly $250,000 from our Transforming the Creative Economy grant opportunities 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, hundreds of low-income youth in the Sacramento region have already received high-quality performing arts instruction as the result of 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.

Related Resources

July 28, 2016
Foundation Awards $120,000 to Local Arts Organizations

Grants will support innovative collaborations at seven nonprofits

Read More
October 24, 2017
Foundation Announces Arts Grants Recipients

Eleven awards further our investments in this region’s creative community

Read More
Local Artist Receives Inaugural Gloria Burt Fellowship
September 7, 2017
Local Artist Receives Inaugural Gloria Burt Fellowship

Fellowship honors local force in arts community

Read More
June 14, 2017
Foundation Invests in Sacramento's New Cultural Plan

Foundation will contribute its expertise to Mayor’s new advisory committee

Read More
Pence Art Gallery
Pence Art Gallery

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.

Read More

Be Part of the Solution

Only through strategic, collaborative efforts can we enhance the role the arts play throughout the Sacramento region. Join us with a donation to the Community Impact Fund.

Donate now