Thursday, November 18, 2010
ALISAL CENTER FOR THE FINE ARTSYear Founded: 1986 | Paid Staff: 6 to 10 part-time | Budget: $109,000 | 758-5715
The Big Idea: As complex as Salinas’ gang problem is, one solution isn’t exactly brain surgery: keeping young artists busy doing constructive activities so they don’t have time for violence. Last year, the center averaged some 240 students in its free workshops at any given time; this year it wants to expand. More money would allow the center to offer a multimedia workshop and vocal music and mariachi programs. It latest oral history/theater project, “Re-Alisal: The Histories Beneath the Headlines,” needs community input – interviews from local clinics, alcohol and drug abuse centers, women and children’s safe houses and public schools – to create a full-fledged production.
Visually Arresting: “We encourage young people to continue their education, and we give them confidence to do so. We’ve nearly completed an arts center in East Salinas.”
ARIEL THEATRICAL, INC.Year Founded: 1986 | Staff: 7 | Budget: $400,000 | 775-0976 | www.arieltheatrical.org
The Big Idea: ARIEL enriches and changes childrens’ lives to create a sense of stewardship and responsibilty through the lessons learned as they work and apply themselves in the theatrical experience. Since 1986, over 200,000 elementary – and middle-school students have attended an ARIEL theatrical presentation – for many its their first exposure to live theater. For the young actors in the 50 – to 70-member casts, ARIEL’s 12 annual shows provide a chance to perform in front of their peers. Production and performance costs run high and are likely to keep increasing. Additional funding will allow more young performers to hone their skills and expose many, many others to the wonders of the stage.
Child Stars: “Participation in ARIEL programs enriches and changes lives. Experiencing shared responsibility and success (often for the first time) keeps participants and their families returning again and again to be a part of the ARIEL community.”
ARTS COUNCIL FOR MONTEREY COUNTYYear Founded: 1982 | Staff: 4 | Budget: $550,000 | 622-9060 | www.artsformontereycounty.org
The Big Idea: Every year the Arts Council asks which sector of the community has the greatest need and the least access to the arts. One of the recent answers: seniors with life-threatening illnesses. To fill this void, the nonprofit developed a pilot program providing art classes – a smashing success, according to its elderly participants and their family members. Now the Arts Council wants to more fully develop a sustainable program, called “The Arts and Healing.”
Art Therapy: “We have demonstrated over and over that the arts are the answer and benefit everyone who participates. In a recent letter, one man wrote: ‘My mom is the 100-year-old woman in your class. I just wanted to let you know that before she started the class, she had been feeling down and weak. Now, she has something wonderful to be excited about. You gave her a new lease on life.’”
ARTS HABITAT, INC.Year Founded: 1996 | Staff: 1 part-time | Budget: $85,500 | 624-6111 | www.artshabitat.org
The Big Idea: Arts Habitat creates places where artists can create art. The organization has the opportunity to do this in a 1,800-square-foot retail space at Seaside’s City Center development – but it needs money to make the vision come to fruition. Arts Habitat wants to convert the space into a studio where artists can work, display their creations and collaborate with each other. Arts organizations within the county will also be able to use the space; Arts Habitat will give priority to organizations in Seaside and to those working with underserved populations, charging below-market-rate use fees.
Refreshments served: “We presently offer a no-fee program called Arts in Progress on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Monterey YMCA. Presenting artists explain and demonstrate how their particular art is created. The first and last half hours are dedicated to socializing and community building.”
CAMERATA SINGERSYear Founded: 1981 | Paid Staff: 2 | Budget: $89,980 | 642-2701 | www.camerata-singers.org
The Big Idea: Conductor John Koza was recently asked, “If money were no object, what musical piece would you want Camerata to perform?” Koza didn’t hesitate. He said his musical offering would be “Dona nobis pacem” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Based on texts by Walt Whitman, this work was written about the Civil War. It’s rarely presented because it requires a 38-piece orchestra. Camerata Singers want to use the grant money to perform – in three concerts – “Dona nobis pacem” in Salinas and on the Peninsula, involving the high school students from its Camerata Futures program.
Sing a New Song: “Camerata Singers’ choral performances bring innovative and creative programming to our audiences. And, because many schools have cut back music programs, we have stepped up to provide high school students with the opportunity to develop their abilities and perform with us in our Camerata Futures Program.”
CHAMBER MUSIC MONTEREY BAYYear Founded: 1968 | Paid Staff: 1 | Budget: $221,000 | 625-2212 | www.chambermusicmontereybay.org
The Big Idea: There should be more one-stop opportunities for strings, scones and espresso in the world. In 2009, Chamber Music Monterey Bay presented a concert at the (now-defunct) Ol’ Factory Café. Its purpose: to offer chamber music in a non-traditional setting to a non-traditional audience. It worked, and the recital was standing room only. But because of a sharp drop-off in public funding, the nonprofit hasn’t been able to offer another such concert. It’s time for an encore.
Quiet Riot: “The individual and societal benefits of experiencing world-class chamber music are hard to come by, especially if the society doesn’t sufficiently value the music and support its development and presentation. For more than 40 years, CMMB has championed the delivery of these emotional benefits throughout Monterey County by offering free concerts, recitals and workshops to public schools and senior residence facilities. We quietly give a unique and powerful gift to our friends and neighbors.”
HIGH STREET STUDIOSYear Founded: 2008 | Paid Staff: 0 | Budget: $32,500 | 920-8333 | www.highstreetstudios.org
The Big Idea: The mission of this community-run, garage-band-style, arts and technology collective is to “transform the negative effects of world wide natural disasters into a rallying of togetherness and community, producing marketable art in the process. The art can take any form, and we encourage it to evolve organically and have an ecological ﬂavor: organic arts cultivating community.” So naturally, its biggest project for 2011 takes on a really big disaster: the 2009 Haiti earthquake. High Street Studios has set its sights overseas to establish a permaculture center to aid the 2009 earthquake victims. It’s asking Monterey County residents to help out. It will raise money via live CD-recording events featuring original material from local artists and musicians, thus promoting local talent and encouraging international aid.
Lows and Highs: “High Street Studios is built upon this philosophy by using challenge, which is always present in life, to create opportunity.”
MONTEREY COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.Year Founded: 1933 | Paid Staff: 3 | Budget: $159,700 | 757-8085 | www.mchsmuseum.com
The Big Idea: The Monterey County Historical Society needs support for its archival vault expansion project. The 1,200-square-foot, temperature – and humidity-controlled vault currently houses more than 1 million pieces of Monterey County history – and it’s bursting at the seams, at more than 100 percent capacity. It needs to double in size to accommodate current pieces, which include the original Spanish and Mexican archives, public and private records, newspapers, artifacts, maps, photographs and negatives, while allowing the Society to continue to accept historic items.
Old But Not Musty: “Our organization provides vital services in the education of our youth by way of presentations, ﬁeld trips and tours of our historical buildings; collecting and preserving historically valuable photographs, documents and artifacts; serving as an informational advisor for other institutions; and promoting tourism.”
MONTEREY COUNTY YOUTH MUSEUM (MY MUSEUM)Year Founded: 1995 | Paid Staff: 16 | Budget: $500,000 649-6444 | www.mymuseum.org
The Big Idea: MY Museum is the only children’s museum between San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara counties. We’re lucky enough to have it in our own collective backyard, so let’s make sure as many local kids as possible can benefit from it. MY Museum’s $2 Tuesdays allow thousands of children to explore the collections. The museum also wants to add a new monthly program allowing special-needs families to come to the museum at a time when it’s normally closed to enjoy the collections and have a playspace for the kids.
8,500 Square Feet of Fun: “In addition to being safe, fun and educational, one of the comments heard most often by guests is what a great opportunity the museum provides for visiting families to learn all about Monterey County under one roof. Local families echo this sentiment and are thrilled with the rich experiences their families can enjoy together.”
MONTEREY HISTORY & ART ASSOCIATIONYear Founded: 1931 | Paid Staff: 8 | Budget: $600,000 | 372-2608 | www.montereyhistory.org
The Big Idea: Monterey History and Art Association is “dedicated to being the leader in models of history and social studies education, and a regional leader in educational programming.” To this end, it wants to initiate a free program for fourth-grade classrooms throughout the county. The MHAA Outreach Program will expose local youth to the region’s culturally diverse history and community. It will offer local fourth graders, whose curriculum requires the study of California history, a window to the Monterey History and Maritime Museum’s deep explorations and discoveries.
If These Walls Could Talk: “More old adobes have been preserved and restored in Monterey than anywhere else in California. The Association actively shares the histories and the diverse legacies of people, stories and places that continue to shape Monterey. We instituted Monterey’s historic landmark program and created the Path of History. MHAA also possesses extensive collections of furnishings, paintings, photographs, costumes, books, manuscripts and other artifacts.”
PACIFIC GROVE ART CENTERYear Founded: 1969 | Paid Staff: Between 1 and 4 | Budget: $128,000 | 375-2208 | www.pgartcenter.org
The Big Idea: Long before the Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row became tourist attractions, they played a different sort of vital role. Back then, fishing, not tourism, kept the economy afloat. The P.G. Art Center wants to fund a February 2011 exhibit that shows the lives of the local fishermen in Monterey Bay in the 1900s. The center is currently working with long-time fishing families to exhibit photos, gear and model boats of the actual vessels that went out on the bay. It needs community money to bring the exhibit together.
East Meets West: “We reach out to the diverse ethnic groups not just locally, but internationally. Most recently, we hosted a concert by a Turkish band Hadi Hadi. This concert brought out the Turkish community to the Art Center. They brought Turkish food and danced Turkish dances with the audience. It was a fabulous experience.”
PACIFIC REPERTORY THEATREYear Founded: 1983 | Paid Staff: 10 full-time; 30 part time | Budget: $1.2 million | 622-0700 | www.pacrep.org
The Big Idea: Pacific Repertory Theatre gets it: The success of young people depends on building a society that is literate, imaginative, competent and creative. It wants to help create such a society, focusing on youth experiences in the arts, by engaging new audiences and encouraging underserved populations to attend performances. PacRep plans to continue to offer discounted tickets to students, senior citizens, teachers and active military personnel, and keep all tickets at an affordable price. It also wants to keep distributing complimentary tickets to youth-serving nonprofits throughout Monterey County through its Tix4Kids program. In 2009, more than 2,000 kids under age 12 attended a live show, either for free or at a discounted price.
Use Your Illusion: “PacRep brings professional live theatre to its audiences and stimulates, excites, educates and challenges them. It creates magic for everyone to enjoy.”
SOL TREASURES ARTS AND CULTURAL ENRICHMENT CENTERYear Founded: 2007 | Paid Staff: 3 | Budget: $242,900 | 386-9809 | www.soltreasures.com
The Big Idea: Sol Treasures, located in King City, inspires South County community members to dance, make music, create visual art and drama – or, at least to enjoy all of the above. Research shows that making art accessible to kids and adults helps decrease violence in communities, and children who participate in art perform better scholastically and socially. In other words, Sol Treasures is a two-fer – and the nonprofit wants to keep the artistic energy growing in the Salinas Valley. It needs help financing its after-school music and theater programs. This includes a strings program for elementary and middle-school students, a middle-school band program and musical theater for kids under 18. Local artists and thespians are ready to teach; all that’s missing is the funding.
Sol Food: “We have provided arts experiences, in the last year, for over 2,000 students in the Salinas Valley who would not have had this experience otherwise.”
SUNSET CULTURAL CENTER, INC.Year Founded: 2003 | Paid Staff: 13 | Budget: $1,845,752 | 620-2040 | www.sunsetcenter.org
The Big Idea: Art in the classroom has traditionally been one of the first programs to get the ax during tough economic times. And considering California’s multi-billion-dollar budget deficit has become an annual occurrence, it’s not likely that youngsters are going to see more paintbrushes or playwrights in their classrooms anytime soon. Sunset Cultural Center wants to expand its Classrooms Connections program, bringing performing artists into schools – at no cost to students or the schools – to conduct workshops in individual classrooms followed by a performance at the Sunset Center. Artists who have participated in the program include actor and clown Bob Berky, the Handsome Little Devils vaudeville troupe and SpectorDance.
Their World’s a Stage: “Sunset Cultural Center, Inc., is the only organization in the county to consistently bring world-class artists from all genres and cultures to the people of Monterey County. Our Classroom Connections program provides meaningful access to the performing arts for youth in underserved communities.”
YOUTH ARTS COLLECTIVEYear Founded: 2000 | Paid Staff: 3 part-time | Budget: $200,000 | 375-9922 | www.yacstudios.org
The Big Idea: Youth Arts Collective (YAC) is an art studio and mentored sanctuary to young artists brilliant and struggling, confident and fringe, multi-ethnic, multi-tempered, and over 50% financially challenged. They come from 8 different high schools, home school,and 2 colleges. They learn art, job, and life skills, and gain a healthy dose of self-esteem and gratitude along the way. YACsters learn to believe in themselves, take creative risk, and give back.95% go on to university and art college, many on scholarships. YAC is a leg up toour future creatives, whether they end up in the arts, education, science, or business. YAC provides supplies, studio space, art training, exhibition and commission opportunities, individual mentoring, and a community unlike any other. YAC is open4 hours a day, 5 days a week,year round. Due to demand and a growing roster, it will expand to 6 days starting January.
Do art. Be kind: “For many, teenage years can be risky and difficult. They find safe harbor at YAC where they are accepted as whole, creative individuals, not defined by their differences or difficulties.”
YOUTH MUSIC MONTEREYYear Founded: 1988 | Paid Staff: 2 full time, 3 part time | Budget: $274,450 | 375-1992 | www.youthmusicmonterey.org
The Big Idea: Youth Music Monterey’s South County Strings program provides free string instruction and instruments (for a minimal rental fee) in partnership with local school districts. Often, this program offers the only music lessons available to kids in South County. This year, YMM plans to double its instruction hours so students have more time to learn their instruments, which is where the community funds come into play. The nonprofit also plans to expand classes into two new South County communities; provide students with access to supplemental, music-related cultural experiences; and have them participate in community concerts to give them the opportunity to perform live. YMM offers financial aid so that any student interested in taking classes can do so.
Universal Language: “Music is an expression and measure of culture. Participation in the arts is necessary for a human experience that is nuanced and complete.”