Image credit: Dave Van Patten, The Sheep and the Goats (top left); Angela Willcocks, Boy (top right); Anna Bae, Charcoaled, (bottom left); Norma Haas Rose, Watts Towers (bottom right).

The Arts Council for Long Beach is proud to announce the 26 artists and arts organizations funded through its annual grant programs for 2016–2017. Generously supported through the City of Long Beach’s allocation for the arts, these artists and organizations represent the diversity and vibrancy of our city. An independent review panel consisting of community members and arts professionals selected all grantees. The grant categories included: Community Project Grants, Professional Artist Fellowships and Operating Grants.

The Community Project Grant program funds innovative programming and cultural projects that serve our communities. The following 13 organizations were awarded: Art Exchange, Cambodia Town Film Festival, Cambodia Town, Inc., Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Homeland Cultural Center, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, Long Beach Camerata Singers, Pony Box Dance Theatre, The Rock Club – Music is the Remedy, South Coast Chorale, South Coast Dance Arts Alliance, University Art Museum and Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras. These organizations not only present rich programming but also provide free events for the public.

The Professional Artist Fellowships recognize Long Beach artists who live, work or actively create in Long Beach and demonstrate an exhibition or production record of at least three years. Awards are granted based on artistic merit and professional achievement. The 2016–2017 fellows are:  Anna Bae, Norma Haas Rosen, Dave Van Patten and Angela Willcocks. The fellows will also be honored with an exhibition later this year in collaboration with the Packard by Millworks.

Operating Grants provide unrestricted support to arts and cultural organizations that collect, preserve, present or commission exemplary works of art (e.g. visual art exhibitions, theatre, dance or musical performances). This year, the Arts Council funded the following organizations: Able ARTS Work, Art Theatre, International City Theatre, Khmer Arts Academy, Long Beach Opera, Long Beach Playhouse, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Latin American Art and Musical Theatre West. It is important for us to continue to offer this kind of support since there are a limited number of foundations that provide operational funds. Many of our grantees offset costs for educational and community programs.

Executive Director Griselda Suárez said, “As an arts funder we are committed to building a thriving creative city and are glad the city continues to demonstrate support our mission to enliven communities through arts and culture.”

President Tasha Hunter is excited for this new year and stated, “I have witnessed how artists, community partners and civic leaders have come together to use art as a tool for empowerment, pride and transformation. Our grant program continues to celebrate our cultural and artistic wealth in the city.”