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At its meeting on February 16, the Board of Directors of Arts Orange County voted to endorse the Arts and Music in Schools Funding Guarantee Accountability Act, a ballot initiative that is now gathering signatures. ArtsOC President & CEO Rick Stein comments "Voters passed Proposition 98 all the way back in 1988 to ensure that a minimum amount of funding is allocated to education. Yet we have seen during that time that many schools and districts failed to increase their arts and music instruction and even implemented cutbacks. This ballot initiative is NOT a tax--it simply requires that 1% of the existing Proposition 98 funding each year be designated for arts & music instruction, and attaches accountability to the expenditures. ArtsOC has always been committed to arts education and has vigorously advocated in local schools and school districts for a fair share of education resources to be allocated to it. The fact that it has continued to lag behind has led prominent education leaders and artists to propose this mandate. We encourage you to read more about the initiative and to register your support for it at this website. Please vote for arts and minds."

Call for Volunteers - OC Arts Education Advocacy

ArtsOC is seeking volunteers to join a small group of parent leaders advocating for arts education in their school districts under a state-wide program called "Arts Now". The program is managed locally by ArtsOC under the umbrella arts education advocacy organization Create CA. The purpose of the program is to advocate for arts education in districts that have no or limited arts curriculum in place and to strengthen arts programming where needed in school districts that already provide core state-mandated arts curriculum. ArtsOC is currently seeking prospective Arts Now leaders in these school districts: Brea Olinda , Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Lowell Joint Unified, Ocean View, Tustin, Westminster

For more information please contact Karen Ahola.

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OC Poetry Out Loud 2022 Winner Announced

Elora Sparnicht (center), a junior at Orange County School of the Arts, won the 2022 OC Poetry Out Loud competition. Read more here. (Left: ArtsOC Program Manager Elizabeth Miller. Right: ArtsOC Poetry Out Loud Coach Marcus Omari.)

ArtsOC Will Manage 57 Freeway "Placentia Gateway"

Public Art Project Selection Process

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The City of Placentia has contracted with Arts Orange County to manage the selection process of public art for its 57 Freeway "Gateway" project, Cal Trans funded improvements to the southbound Orangethorpe onramp and to the West Crowther Avenue underpass abutments. The project is part of the state's "Clean California Initiative" intended to beautify transportation routes, including the placement of public art. A call for artists is expected to be issued this spring. Read more here about public art projects managed by ArtsOC.


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Opportunities & Resources...

State Arts Grants Applications Now Open

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Applications are now open for the first cycle of 2022 California Arts Council grants programs. These programs include:

  • Cultural Pathways – Up to $30,000 for two years of support for arts programs in communities of color, recent immigrant and refugee communities, or tribal groups.

  • Impact Projects – Up to $20,000 for collaborative projects that center artists and artistic practice in responding to issues currently faced by California’s communities, prioritizing projects of small organizations.

  • JUMP StArts – Up to $50,000 for high-quality arts education and artists-in-residence programs for priority youth and young people impacted by the justice system.

  • Reentry Through the Arts – Up to $50,000 for arts projects for return residents who have experienced incarceration.

A FREE webinar overview may be viewed here.

More details here, including information about the second cycle of grants, opening in April.


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We acknowledge with respect our presence on the ancestral lands of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians - Acjachemen Nation and the Tongva People.

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