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DISPATCHES FROM OAC'S CULTURAL AND CREATIVE ECONOMY MANAGER

December 13, 2021 - It’s hard to believe another calendar year has come and gone. As I look at 2021 in the rearview mirror, it’s clear to me that this year was a year of significant transition. As a team, we adopted a new division framework for advancing the goals of the Creative Edge plan, centering information, workforce development, investment, legislation/policy and convening/community coordination as our core competencies moving forward. That framework supported in February by the Arts, Culture & Creative Economy Commission became the basis of our budget ask of $2.6 million that the City Manager and City Council ultimately supported for FY 2022. We reconvened the Sacramento Arts Education Consortium Leadership council and established a new set of strategies for moving our collective work forward. A new partnership with Friends of Sacramento Arts will pave the way for better information on the state of arts education in our schools. And a forthcoming partnership with the Sacramento County Office of Education will result in the Any Given Child program transitioning out of the City of Sacramento in 2022. All of this will pave the way for our team to refocus our energies to serve you better. Melissa Cirone has taken over grants management in our office, and I’m pleased to report that Susanna Tu will take up a new programming and communications role. We’re also recruiting for a new program manager (deadline 12/30) who will help us execute on our ambitious agenda of work for 2022. 

So, what’s on deck for 2022? We are prioritizing our grant programs as many of you had no opportunity to apply for funding from the City of Sacramento in 2021. There will be opportunities for individual artist support, arts and cultural nonprofits, neighborhood-focused creative placemaking and creative businesses. First up in 2022 is the return of the Cultural Arts Awards program. With combined support of $925,000 from the City of Sacramento (general fund and Measure U) and Sacramento County Board of Supervisors (TOT) we will be able to provide operating support for arts and cultural nonprofits in Sacramento County. Also returning in 2022 is the Measure U-funded Cultural Equity Investment program – a special program of financial support and mentorship for arts and cultural organizations led by and predominately serving historically marginalized communities in the City of Sacramento. With a generous $500,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts we will introduce a program of financial support and mentorship for individual artists in Sacramento County. A new $400,000 Measure U-funded arts and culture match fund will support creative activity at the neighborhood level in the City of Sacramento. A couple more cycles remain for the Sacramento Film + Media grant, with deadlines in February and May of 2022. All this before $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars allocated for the creative economy make their way into community hands.

While there’s much more that lies ahead on the policy and programming front for 2022, I’ll leave it here for now; wishing you the best and brightest in the new year as we all work together to foster a bright, just future for Sacramento’s creative economy and our wider community.