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Sacramento AIR, our new Artists-in-Residence pilot program, is a collaboration between the Office of Arts and Culture and the Department of Youth, Parks & Community Enrichment. Nine artists have been chosen to work together with City staff and communities to co-design a residency that will culminate in at least eight distinct projects, one in each city council district. Sacramento AIR is designed for artists and communities to collaborate at the intersection of community building and art, exploring and reframing the ways in which we use our public space and the interactions that take place there. Artists will be in residence for five to six months, activating community centers, community gardens, and the 28th and B Skate Park. Residencies will include drumming, spoken word, visual arts, hip hop, technology, environmental art, music and theater, and be tailored to children, youth adults, and/or seniors, depending on the interests and needs of the community center. Each residency will conclude with an onsite celebratory event, which can take the form of a performance, exhibition, project unveiling or community festival.

Below is the list of artists, artforms and matching sites, recommended through panel process and approved by YPCE and City site staff:

District One: Natomas JIBE (nonprofit to foster transportation behaviors that enhance placemaking in the Natomas Community)
Janine Mapurunga, Visual Artist/Photography

Janine, a native of Brazil, creates art that addresses universal themes such as food, family and cultural traditions. She has worked with teens, adults, and seniors of different cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds in the US and internationally. Recently she developed the Bruceville Box Wraps, a public art project for District 8, with the theme “Health and Wellness”, engaging the community to create and maintain wellbeing for themselves and their community. For this project, Janine will partner with North Natomas JIBE to explore community values and ideas around alternative transportation, connectivity and use of public space in this community.

District Two: Hagginwood Community Center
Theo Scott Feminella (aka MADK@P), Percussion and Music Production

Theo is a drummer, rapper, and music producer born and raised in Sacramento. He has mentored and taught youth in Twin Rivers Unified School District and Roberts Family Development Center where he mentors middle school youth through his Beatmakerz Program. “When most teachers don't look like me, that provides me a great chance to break stereotypes and role model for black and brown students who don't have a mentor they can see themselves in. I always walk into a classroom recognizing I am a mirror for my students. On top of that, I must advocate for them in ways they don't know how to do for themselves.” Hagginwood Community Center is excited to bring Theo’s skills in musicmaking to the Center’s youth.

District Three: Sutter’s Landing Skate Park

Joel Smith, Visual Artist, Ceramics and Murals

Joel is an award-winning artist and illustrator whose work has been shown around the country. He currently teaches ceramics at Luther Burbank High School and has worked on various large-scale projects and murals using wood burning, ceramics, and paper. In this residency Joel will work with the community of skaters at the Park to develop ideas for and create new murals to enliven the interior of the Skate Park. He will also work with youth to design tee shirts and branded material specifically for the Park.

District Four: Southside Park/Southside Clubhouse
Sascha Molina, Taiko Drummer

Sascha is one of the most dynamic music teachers and Taiko drummers in Sacramento. She has designed Taiko curriculum for ages 3-83 that combine rhythm and whole-body movement with Japanese history, culture, and language skills. This blend of physical and musical discipline gives participants an in-depth and hands-on experience in the arts as individuals, partners, and as members of a group. She will partner with Southside Clubhouse in Southside Park, an historic neighborhood that includes many ethnic communities, including Mexican and Japanese. Sascha will take Taiko drumming from the Clubhouse to the Park providing participants an ideal opportunity to experience these powerful drums both in studio and at the amphitheater.

District Five: Oak Park Community Center
J. Ross Parrelli, Hip Hop Artist

J Ross Parrelli is a woman who uses hip hop and beat making to address youth issues such as drug and alcohol awareness, suicide prevention, youth empowerment, and community connection. Through her project “Beats Lyrics Leaders,” dedicated to the “art of Business, Culture, Dreams and Entrepreneurship” she has taught beat making, song writing, and audio production to more than 2,500 CA youth. J Ross will partner with the Oak Park Community Center, offering much needed programming for teens and adults that offers opportunity not only for self-expression but also leadership and community building skills.

District Six: George Sim Community Center
David Loret de Mola – Spoken Word Artist

David is a spoken word artist and the Grand Slam Poetry Champion of Sacramento, who proudly represented Sacramento internationally in the Individual World Poetry Slam. He has previously worked on projects with The City of Sacramento, the Crocker Art Museum, Loaves & Fishes, Planned Parenthood, and The California Democratic Convention. David writes for people of all cultures and genders, with a strong focus on mental health and depression, using writing and storytelling to create a path to healing. He is thrilled to partner with the Sim Community Center as part their work with Project Semicolon to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention resources.

District Seven: Sojourner Truth Community Garden
Jane Allen Ingram – Environmental Artist

Jane makes art that is in harmony with nature and encourages public awareness of environmental and social issues by involving people as participants and partners in the process. She uses all natural and biodegradable materials such as handmade paper she makes from local plant waste materials and local seeds to produce continually evolving artworks. Over time the handmade paper dissolves as compost to nourish the earth, and the seeds sprout and grow to produce food and habitat for wildlife. The sculptural structures last for years until they too disappear as compost. She sets up a working papermaking studio and works with people in the community to design an art installation that suits the place and time and with suggestions and sketches from the community participants. She will work with the gardeners at Sojourner Truth Community Garden to choose the flower seeds to use in the art project according to the colors and type of wildflowers that will be easy to grow in this place and get advice from the local gardeners about growing conditions and requirements.

To learn more about the project, check out Jane's website.
To watch a introduction of the project, click here.

If you are interested in participating in upcoming workshops, please visit Jane's website and email her to receive a Zoom invitation.

District Eight: Sam & Bonnie Pannell Center
Aliyah Sidqe and Nicholas Haystings – Visual Artist and Technology

Nicholas and Aliyah will work together in a collaboration to merge visual arts and technology to create a sustainable system to provide healthy eating options to a region identified as a food desert. Nicholas, founder of Square Root Academy, will pilot Project Green Thumb, to address the inequities around food access by leveraging technology, education, and horticulture in order to create a sustainable system to provide healthy eating options in a community that has a deficit in this regard. Within the city of Sacramento, there are a few areas that have been identified by the USDA as a food desert which is defined as a heavily impoverished region with little to no food access within a one-mile radius. Categorized by the USDA as a food desert, the Meadowview community is the focus of the project which will take place at the Sam and Bonnie Pannell Community Center, with the physical structure of the hydroponics system being housed on the outside of the facility on the northern portion of the building.

Aliyah will lend her unique artistic voice to the project, infusing it with bold and powerful visual arts elements. Using art as a tool to connect with her community (she was raised and currently lives in District 8) her mission has been to teach people of all backgrounds to understand and uplift themselves and each other. Her work is concerned with making images of black people; “telling a story through my eyes of the people in my everyday life, including myself.”

Together and separately, each artist will connect with the youth at the Center to nourish – both literally and figuratively – them through art, education, and technology.

Additional sites
As District interest in this project is strong, City Council Members suggested additional residencies with community non-profit partners. If funding is available and interest is strong, we will also consider residencies at:

• SHRA, Marina Vista Alder Grove, District 4
• Mutual Housing at Lemon Hill, District 6
• Maple Neighborhood Center, District 5

These sites, and the artists who would work there, are pending approval.