The Arts Council for Long Beach is proud to announce 34 grantees funded through its Annual Grant programs for 2018–2019 and Percent for Arts Grant Program. Generously supported through the City of Long Beach’s allocation for the arts and Percent for Arts Program, 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 additional funding from the Percent for Arts program from the City of Long Beach has allowed the Arts Council to fund an additional $130,536 in grants to artists and arts organizations in Long Beach.

Professional Artist Fellow Eric Almanza was recently commissioned to create a portrait for the Metro Art Portrait Series.

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 2018–2019 fellows are:  Eric Almanza, Diana Burbano, Jorge Mujica, and Nancy Woo.

This year, a new fellowship category was created: Percent for Arts Fellowship. The 2018–2019 Percent for Arts Fellows are: Sandow Birk, Virginia Broersma and Brittany Ransom. The Professional Artist Fellows and Percent for Arts Fellows will be honored with a year-long exhibition opening in September at the new Billie Jean King Main Library.

Up & Coming Actors is a new Community Project Grantee the web series “Figuring Things Out” follows the lives of three 20-something women attempting to hold their lives together while facing the growing pains of being young, struggling adults.

The Community Project Grant program funds innovative programming and cultural projects that serve our communities. The following 16 organizations are awarded: Cambodia Town, Inc.; California State University, Long Beach; College of the Arts; Carpenter Center; Homeland Cultural Center; Infinite Stage; Kontrapunktus; Long Beach Blues Society; Long Beach Chorale and Chamber Orchestra; Long Beach Youth Chorus; LGBTQ Center of Long Beach; Rising TIDE; The Rock Club – Music is the Remedy; South Coast Chorale; South Coast Dance Arts Alliance; University Art Museum and Up & Coming Actors. These organizations not only present rich programming but also provide free events for the public.

Operating Grants help support many arts education programs for Long Beach Unified School District Students. Every year, the Long Beach Symphony provides free concerts for 12,000 elementary school students.

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 awarded the following organizations: Able ARTS Work; Art Theatre of Long Beach; International City Theatre; Khmer Arts Academy; Long Beach Camerata Singers; Long Beach Opera; Long Beach Playhouse; Long Beach Symphony Orchestra; Museum of Latin American Art; Musica Angelica; 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 use these funds to offset costs for educational and community programs.

Executive Director Griselda Suárez said, “As an arts funder, our support fosters creativity and culture. We are glad to see increased funding this year and look forward to working with the city to continue building a robust arts and culture grant program.”

President Tasha W. Hunter stated, “We are excited to see new organizations and artists funded. We want to not only support established groups but also uplift a multitude of voices in our community.”

For more information about the Arts Council’s grant programs visit

Header Image Credit: Percent for Arts Fellow Virginia Broersma lead a public art program through the Adventures in Public Art Program that resulted in a community created mural with over 40 volunteers.