County Arts Agencies in the Northern California Region are excited to work side-by-side on a new workforce development opportunity for artists and practitioners in the arts, culture and sector organizations social services.
The Tehama County Arts Council will co-host a California Creative Corps Listening Session at 724 Main St. in Red Bluff beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 5 to present key insights and invite conversation about how artists can help communities address the issues most critical to them, on an upstate listening tour across 19 counties. The event is free.
The 2021-2022 state budget included a one-time $60 million General Fund allocation to the California Arts Council to implement the California Creative Corps Pilot Program, a media, outreach and engagement campaign designed to increase the awareness of issues such as public health, water and energy conservation, climate change mitigation and emergency preparedness, relief and recovery.
“At the heart of the Creative Corps are people – members of the community who play a vital role in civic engagement and social justice,” said Lisa DeFonte, chair of the County Council for the Arts Board of Trustees. Tehama. “We invite community members to come together with artists, arts and social service organizations, movement leaders, civic and business leaders, and policy makers for this critical conversation.”
Eliza Tudor, executive director of the Nevada County Arts Council, will join the council for their listening session.
“Together, we will introduce what the state considers a new method for assessing the relative health of communities,” Tudor said. “Using the California Healthy Places Index, we identify issues specific to Tehama County, invite feedback on solutions, and invite artists to position themselves to create awareness around them.”
The California Creative Corps Upstate Listening Tour runs county by county through mid-December.
“Upstate populations suffer from the worst health inequities in California and almost without exception – including the few areas with overall health scores in the upper quartiles – there are measures of health equity that are in the lowest quartile of community conditions,” said crew member Toni Gaylord. “What’s fascinating are the indicators that determine the health of a community and provide us with vital clues on how to move the needle.”
The California Arts Council has selected fourteen organizations to administer the California Creative Corps in nine regions with a period of grant activity launching October 1. in workforce development funds for artists, as well as arts and social service organizations that will employ artists between early 2023 and late 2024. Support local outreach with local knowledge, as well as artist technical assistance, and program development and evaluation, are multiple county arts agencies serving what amounts to the largest and most diverse geographic area in California, with more counties than any other Creative Corps region.
“In the upstate region, we are part of a network of agencies that serve as local state partners with the California Arts Council,” Tudor said. “While we each serve distinct communities, we are connected through a coalition that works to assess, consult and leverage peer learning and support, with equity at the heart of our concerns. In this sense, we do not work in isolation. In applying to be an administering organization for the Upstate region, it makes perfect sense to put our State-Local partnership to serve the largest and most diverse geographic area in California.
The California Arts Council views the California Creative Corps program primarily as an opportunity for job creation and human infrastructure development. The hope is that, region by region, the program will increase the ways in which artists engage in public work, so they can continue to build on intersectional public interest goals beyond the timeline of pilot program funding.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to co-host such an important listening session and we urge community-minded artists, organizations and local municipal and county officials to join us in this proactive brainstorming. “said board member Chrissie Clapp. “If you are solution-oriented and have first-hand knowledge of vulnerable communities, either because you represent one or currently serve one, please join us. We also welcome those who want to learn more from a fresh perspective.
The California Creative Corps program follows an unprecedented time when communities around the world have suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic. During these years, creative industry professionals across the United States proposed ways to employ and deploy artists in programs similar to the Works Project Administration (WPA) and the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act ( CETA). The launch of a statewide Creative Corps pilot program is the result of a recommendation from the Governor’s Economic and Jobs Recovery Task Force, and is the first of its kind in the nation.
RSVP to [email protected]