Guest View: The arts and culture year ahead

Recently, I was reading a Year in Review article from one of the online arts newsletters I receive and was astounded by some of the entries ranging from new found antiquities to robotically created art work. Here’s a sampling of the articles: second sphinx discovered in Egypt; amateur art restorer in Spain botches the restoration of a centuries old religious artwork; Elon Musk and art collector Yusaku Maezawa announced they will take artist on first private moon mission; an artwork by artist Banksy shredded itself after selling for $1.3 million at Sotheby’s in London; first portrait generated by artificial intelligence sold at auction for more than 40 times its high estimate.

Yuba Sutter Arts also generated some remarkable headlines this year.

• Applause KIDS! – Children’s Theatre Program Performances

• Yuba Sutter Youth Choir Wraps Up Second Successful Year with Holiday Concert

• It’s Time to Complete the Yuba-Sutter Master Cultural Plan Survey

• “Faces of Internment” Gallery Exhibition at Yuba Sutter Arts

• “Twisted”…Your Favorite Songs with A New Spin

• Ceramics Classes for Veterans – “With Just A Hundred Pounds of Clay”

• Yuba Sutter Arts’ World Music Series Begins

• YSA Awarded California Arts Council “JUMP StArts” Grant – State funds support collaborative arts education projects for at risk youth

• Mural Marathon and Arts Festival Is Coming to Live Oak

• Pam Nowak Named “2018 Arts Educator of the Year”

We won’t be resting on our laurels in 2019 as we start to think about the lead up to our 40-year anniversary celebration in 2021. Look for us to help transform the Yuba City Water Tower into an even more iconic structure as a work of art. Watch for more murals around town on utility boxes and walls as we continue the Cover It! and Murals of Live Oak programs. We’ll conduct a large-scale, sidewalk chalk art festival with arts vendors and live music as artists create ephemeral works of art on the walkways of one of our local parks (tba). Our Street Pianos project will launch with donated pianos that have been enhanced by local art students being placed in public places around town to encourage spontaneous acts of music.

Our Ceramics for Veterans program will expand to include classes at Beale Air Force Base and classes to learn pottery wheel techniques and wood fired kiln firing. Increased grant funding will enable us to offer greatly reduced registration fees for our Yuba Sutter Youth Choir and Applause: KIDS! Youth Theater Program. Full scholarships will be available for those who qualify.

Our teaching artists will continue to bring poetry, music and visual art instruction to at risk youth in alternative high schools and juvenile hall. And, if we are successful in our application to the National Endowment of the Arts for $150,000 in “Our Town” grant funding, we will begin our “from eyesores to icons” program as we reimagine buildings and structures in Yuba and Sutter counties.

Last but not least is our ongoing project to create a Master Cultural Plan for Sutter and Yuba counties. Cultural planning is a place-based process that generates a vision and action plan for strengthening and growing arts and cultural assets. We began last summer, held workshops and conducted online and in-person surveys to learn more about the community’s interests and are now collating the data. Later this month, we will announce dates for town hall style meetings to review the data and begin to develop the plan.

Please join in on the conversation. We’d like to hear from you as well as see you at upcoming local arts and culture events. There is much to look forward to right here at home in Yuba-Sutter.

Yuba Sutter Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been serving this region since 1981. We are the arts agency officially designated by Yuba and Sutter counties as the local partner of the California Arts Council.

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