CALIFORNIA CREATIVE CORPS
About California Creative Corps
California Creative Corps (CCC) is a workforce development opportunity for artists and cultural practitioners, and arts and social service sector organizations. The 2021-22 California State Budget included a $60 million one-time General Fund allocation for the California Arts Council to implement the CCC pilot program. California Arts Council selected fourteen organizations to administer the California Creative Corps across nine regions. The Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture (OAC) was awarded $4.7M to regrant to regional arts and social service organizations, as well as individual artists and culture workers. As part of the Capitol Region, El Dorado County artist collectives and organizations were eligible to apply for grant monies.
California Arts Council sees the CCC program primarily as a job creation and human infrastructure development opportunity. The hope is that, region by region, the program will increase the ways in which artists are engaged in public work, so that they can continue build upon intersectional public interest goals beyond the program’s pilot funding timeline.
California Creative Corps in El Dorado County
A major investment has been made in El Dorado County’s creative economy: $803,000. That is the amount of money that local artists, non-profits, and tribal organizations have been granted for projects that employ artists to create awareness around public health; water and energy conservation and climate mitigation, emergency preparedness relief, and recovery; civic engagement; and social justice. The grants, which were awarded and disbursed by the Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture, are part of a larger campaign called the California Creative Corps, a sweeping initiative headed up by the California Arts Council that touches all 58 counties with a total of $60 million in grants.
In El Dorado County, Arts and Culture El Dorado took on a leadership role to ensure that the grants were accessible to the artists and organizations who most deserved them—and, in a broader sense, to ensure that our community could benefit from the vitally important projects that the grants will fund. Marya Osucha, Exhibitions Curator and Special Projects Manager at Arts and Culture El Dorado, spearheaded these efforts. “We served as outreach coordinators to make sure that the opportunity was communicated,” Marya explains. “We held workshops, I sent out a ton of targeted emails, and I met with individual artists who had great ideas and tried to connect them with cross-sector organizations who might be willing to apply. If a project met the criteria for fiscal sponsorship, then Arts and Culture El Dorado was able to serve in that capacity In addition to acting as fiscal sponsor for several grantees through its Arts Incubator program, Arts and Culture El Dorado also received a grant for its own project, “Sierra Re-Leaf”.
The immediate positive impact on our community is twofold: First, an influx of money into the County represents a windfall not just for local artists, but also for the local vendors, venues, and professional networks that will be involved in their projects, as well as overall economic development; Second, the projects themselves will enrich our culture and edify the public. “The programs that have received funding are designed to make a significant, felt, practical impact in the community,” Marya says. “It’s going to contribute significantly to our regional wellbeing, and it will kind of put El Dorado County culture into technicolor.”
Closer to Home: Celebrating and Confronting Queer Life in a Rural Town
“Closer to Home” is a project of See the Elephant, an Arts Incubator partner. With collaborating artists Jamie and Tiffany Van Camp, the founders of See the Elephant, as well as artists Gavin Sellers and Casey Ellis, “Closer to Home” will create a performance that accurately and honestly portrays experiences of being queer/LGBTQIA+ in rural, small-town Placerville.
A Children’s Ofrenda: Honoring Our Ancestors
“A Children’s Ofrenda” is a project of Sugar Skull Art Walk, an Arts Incubator partner. Organized by Program Manager Melinda Velasco, the project centers on the art and traditions of theDay of the Dead. The project’s purpose is to engage our community in creating collaborative art, to position Latinx/Indigenous art forms in places of high visibility on Placerville’s Main Street, to create space for community members to honor loved ones who have passed away, and to bridge cultural divides in our town.
Sierra Re-Leaf: Wildfire Preparedness + Recovery
“Sierra Re-Leaf” is a project of Arts and Culture El Dorado, in partnership with the El Dorado Fire Safe Council, local artists, and the scientific community. The project will provide practical resources and information to prevent wildfires, in parallel with an artistic examination of the grief and anxiety left in the wake of these devastating natural disasters. The project will include exhibitions and targeted one-day events in wildfire-affected communities.