FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 10, 2016
CONTACT: Alisyn Gularte
El Dorado Arts Council Announces Major Grant from
National Endowment for the Arts
$35,000 Awarded to Support Cultural Master Plan
Placerville, CA – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $35,000 to El Dorado Arts Council (EDAC) to support a Cultural Master Planning process for El Dorado County. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. “The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from El Dorado Arts Council offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.” EDAC is one of only 36 local arts agencies across the country to receive funding, and ranked in the top one-third of those agencies based on the amount of the award.
“The EDAC Board is very pleased that the timing for this cultural plan will allow it to dovetail with the goals and objectives of the County’s Economic Development Strategic Plan,” said President Dan Cattone. “The County has been an important partner to El Dorado Arts Council, and we look forward to working together to develop cultural tourism and create more access to arts and culture for all.”
El Dorado County is home to many small cultural and historic sites, arts organizations and associations, performing arts groups and music festivals, dance and fine art studios, theaters, and other cultural venues, as well as numerous artists, artisans, craftspeople, arts educators, and others connected to creative endeavors. However, many groups and individual artists are separated by geography and lack connectivity, many are fighting to stay afloat, and arts programs in the schools are under constant budget constraints. And in a region that is highly dependent on tourism, cultural tourism is under-resourced and under-appreciated for its impact on the economy. In order to address these ongoing issues and to serve its constituency throughout the County, EDAC will oversee the development of a Cultural Master Plan, beginning in July 2016. Guided by an independent planning consultant, the plan will identify challenges and findings and make recommendations for pilot programs and new partnerships.
Terry LeMoncheck, EDAC Executive Director, commented on the breadth of the planning project. “Since joining the organization last July, I have been working to find ways for EDAC to be the Arts Council for the whole County,” she notes. “This Cultural Plan will really be a roadmap for creating greater access to the arts, especially for young people, and developing sustainability for arts and culture throughout the region. We are so grateful to the NEA for seeing the value of cultural planning.”
In addition to garnering support from government sources and local corporations, EDAC is launching the Campaign for 1800. “There are individuals throughout the County who understand the power of arts and culture to advance a sense of community,” LeMoncheck explained. “To allow them to participate in supporting this important initiative, we are seeking donations of $18, $180, and $1,800 to reflect our geography of 1,800 square miles and population of 180,000.”
“Cultural planning can help us find new answers to old problems,” she concluded. “When the planning process is complete at the end of this year, we will be able to tap the full economic development potential of local artists and cultural organizations, find ways to fully integrate the arts into education, determine feasibility of developing cultural facilities, and enhance access to cultural programs to a broader base of citizens.”
El Dorado Arts Council empowers artistic vision at all stages of development, promoting a vibrant community, both culturally and economically, and supporting all art forms. EDAC promotes and encourages local artists and organizations throughout El Dorado County by providing advocacy, education, programs and services. EDAC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is funded in part by sponsors and the community; tax-deductible contributions sustain artistic discovery and the opportunity to learn, connect and share.