Kala Art Institute Awarded California Arts Council Creative California Communities Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ellen Lake, ellen@kala.org, 510-841-7000, http://www.kala.org/print_public/

Date:  June 15, 2017

Kala Art Institute Awarded California Arts Council Creative California Communities Grant

State funds will leverage local arts project to address community needs

Berkeley, CA – The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $150,000 to Kala Art Institute’s Print Public project as part of its Creative California Communities program.

The program supports collaborative projects that harness arts and culture as a creative placemaking strategy. Projects will benefit residents and visitors by utilizing area artists, cultural organizations and arts-related businesses to address community needs or priorities.

With support from CAC, Kala will continue working with the City of Berkeley on a cross-sector partnership Print Public, a public art, community vibrancy initiative in West Berkeley. Through temporary public artwork, socially engaged residencies, community feedback, and a series of interactive, free public programming, creative partners will bring vacant properties and overlooked public spaces to life, providing cultural pedestrian connections along the busy San Pablo Avenue transit corridor.

Archana Horsting, Kala’s Executive Director is excited to deepen Print Public’s reach, focusing on creating an “arts-integrated approach” to urban planning and community building in Berkeley. Archana describes Print Public as providing new opportunities for artists to create “innovative cross-disciplinary art projects that push the boundaries of print media in public space while engaging the community in relevant ways.”

All Creative California Communities projects are designed by a nonprofit arts organization, developed in partnership with at least one partnering organization, and place California artists and their work at the center of the project’s design and implementation. The program has a two-year grant cycle, funding projects taking place between June 2017 and June 2019.

“The transformative nature of the Creative California Communities program is so powerful. It’s thrilling to see grantees use the arts and creative expression to reinvigorate spaces, and by extension, area residents and visitors,” said California Arts Council Chair Donn K. Harris. “The potential a creative placemaking project like Print Public has to inspire and rejuvenate a community is truly immeasurable.”

Kala Art Institute is one of just 26 grantees chosen for the California Arts Council’s largest and most competitive grant program, which received applications from 98 organizations statewide. The news of Kala’s grant was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, which can be viewed online at http://arts.ca.gov/news/pressreleases.php.

To view a complete listing of all Creative California Communities grantees, visit http://arts.ca.gov/programs/files/CAC_CCC_Grantees_2016-17_FINAL.pdf.

Print Public Artist, Drew Cameron with Planting Justice

Other programs supported by CAC: In addition, Kala is thrilled to be supported by the California Arts Council for new and returning youth art programs including Artists-in-Schools programs in Emeryville public schools, a new field trip program for local middle schools students to visit the Kala gallery and studio and engage in art-making activities in the community classroom, and first-time funding for Camp Kala to support accessible summer-time creativity for young artists. We will also pilot a new residency and exhibition program for Veteran artists this year as part of CAC’s Veterans in the Arts Initiative and will be working with artist Taro Hattori as part of Artists Activating Communities. Taro will explore the stories of refugees in the Bay Area through music, video, storytelling, site-specific installation, and performance, culminating in an exhibition and performance series at the Kala gallery. And finally, Kala received a Professional Development grant to strengthen our fundraising systems to ensure Kala can continue to thrive and provide creative opportunities for artists and the community now and into the future.

About Kala: Kala is a vital community hub for artistic experimentation. Located in West Berkeley, Kala annually serves 125+ artist-in-residence and offers over 100 workshops open to the public in techniques ranging from screen-print to web design. Kala’s youth art programs reach 2,500 students in Alameda County public schools and through a seven-week on-site summer art camp, Camp Kala. In addition to core residency and education programs, Kala provides professional development opportunities for artists including commissions for new work, exhibitions, teaching, consulting, and art sales. With access to a wide array of traditional and digital equipment in the print studio and electronic media center, Kala fosters a fresh approach to artistic experimentation, as Kala artists investigate the interface of digital work, work made by hand, and everything in between. To learn more about Kala, please visit our website, http://www.kala.org

About CAC: The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.