Have a nickel to spare for the arts? The Shasta Regional Community Foundation is hoping you might, as the James Irvine Foundation – one of California’s biggest philanthropic organizations – has agreed to match donations to Shasta Regional Community Foundation for the arts, up to $150,000.
The Shasta Regional Community Foundation began its “Articipate” campaign to match the grant early this year, according to Juliette Read, the foundation’s program and communications officer.
“We have raised over half of it through individual donations,” she said. “We have gone to people who we know care about the arts in our community.”
It seems like there’s never a good time to raise money, but the ongoing recession makes this a particularly difficult period.
“It is a tough time. We notice that some people who would normally give a little more are not able to,” Read conceded. The regional foundation is continuing to solicit individual donations, but it is also spreading the word more broadly. It intends to work with arts organizations on fundraising events in coming months.
The foundation’s plan is to place the money it raises locally into an endowment for the arts, and to grant the $150,000 from the Irvine Foundation to artists, arts organizations and schools in Shasta and Siskiyou counties. Organizers would like to grow the endowment so that earned revenue provides an ongoing source of funding. Such funding is particularly important these days, when public money for the arts – especially in schools – is shrinking.
Usually, you’re reading about this sort of cause in a story by one of my much more artistic colleagues, Adam Mankoski or Jim Dyar. But I strongly support the idea of creating an endowment to ensure that art and artists thrive in our area. Only two months ago I saw a close friend of mine who was a dedicated public school arts educator for 13 years in a nearby county lose his job because of budget cutbacks. He’ll be fine, but it’s a shame for the kids who will miss out on ceramics, music and other classes that should not be considered frills.
“The more the endowment grows, the more we will have for the arts every year in perpetuity,” Read said.
The community foundation has about another year to meet the $150,000 match from the Irvine Foundation, although that deadline is not hard, Read said.
In its 10 years, Shasta Regional Community Foundation has awarded $8.2 million in grants, including about $1 million to artists, arts organizations, arts educators and cultural endeavors.
You may read more about the regional foundation’s Articipate campaign and even donate online at www.shastarcf.org. Read encourages people considering larger cash, stock or real estate donations to talk with foundation representative about donation options.
• Paintings of contemporary Wintu artist Frank LaPena will be on display beginning Monday, August 16, at the Shasta College Art Gallery (building 300). A native of San Francisco, LaPena spent part of his youth in a Shasta County foster home and regained contact with the Native American community while in the area. LaPena went on to a career as a painter, poet and professor at California State University, Sacramento. His works will be on display through September 24, and he will give a lecture at 11 a.m. on September 1 in Shasta College room 400. The gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday through Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and couldn’t draw a stick figure if his life depended on it. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at email@example.com.