Transforming the Creative Economy

Fostering a Thriving Cultural Community

A key characteristic of a healthy community is the presence of a strong, inclusive 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. 

Years into the COVID-19 pandemic, our region’s arts sector remains among the hardest-hit and continues to reel from record layoffs, loss in revenue, and decreased audience attendance. Despite this, arts and cultural organizations are actively supporting local communities — offering healthy outlets to process the trauma, isolation, and loss that so many have experienced. While the sector has demonstrated great resilience and innovation during these challenging years, its future is uncertain; with community support, it will play a critical role in our region’s social and economic recovery.

We believe it is crucial for arts organizations to innovate, diversify, and develop new audiences to demonstrate their responsiveness to the needs of our evolving community. By emphasizing these factors, our local cultural economy will become a more vital reflection of this community’s uniqueness and be better prepared to meet the needs of our region's future.

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

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, Creative Edge, and our service on its Steering Committee, we have helped steer the future of a more equitable arts 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’ 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.

Toward those ends, we have awarded more than $300,000 to support nonprofits that are innovating, building capacity, and fostering new audiences in response to the evolving needs of our community — including those that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 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.

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

Be Part of the Solution

Only through strategic, collaborative efforts can we enhance the role the arts play throughout the region. Join us with a donation to the Transforming the Creative Economy Fund.

Donate now