Thursday, October 20, 2011

35-years strong, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum is awarded a $250,000 James Irvine Foundation grant to expand its audience and support its future financial sustainability.

35-years strong, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum is awarded a James Irvine Foundation grant to expand its audience and support its future financial sustainability.

SAN FRANCISCO — The James Irvine Foundation announced $3.7 million in grants to 13 arts institutions on the Central Coast, including the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum as the recipient of a $250,000 Arts Regional Initiative grant.  CAF will use the grant to increase cultural participation from underrepresented communities and to advance financial sustainability within a challenging economic environment. As a grant recipient CAF anticipates big changes in the coming three years with the implementation of operational changes to recalibrate for the current economy, strengthening and diversification of board leadership, and developing culturally relevant artistic programs to attract diverse audiences and deepen our relationship with existing audiences.  The grants­–given to organizations representing a mix of artistic disciplines, including music, dance, opera, theater, visual arts, and multidisciplinary art–will be awarded over three years and CAF, as a grantee, will share resources, best practices, and lessons learned. 
“These Central Coast arts organizations are vital anchor institutions within their communities and provide an array of important opportunities for people to engage with the arts,” noted Josephine Ramirez, Arts Program Director for the Irvine Foundation. “These grants represent our continued commitment to them as they explore new ways of achieving financial sustainability and attracting culturally diverse audiences.”
“We are committed to bringing the best in contemporary art to the community and as the only major provider of contemporary art on the Central Coast it is vital that we can reach out and welcome a broader swath of the community to take part in the dialogue, as well as increase the diversity both on our board and in our offerings to the public,” said Miki Garcia, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum’s Executive Director.
With the eclectic nature of its programming and exhibitions, CAF engages audiences of all ages, and seeks to broaden their audience, particularly by reaching out to underserved populations on the Central Coast.  CAF is a non-profit, non-collecting alternative art space dedicated to the exhibition, education, and cultivation of the arts of our time, and is open to the public free of charge.  As the premier contemporary arts presenter between Los Angeles and San Francisco, CAF presents eight to twelve visual arts exhibitions annually and offers cutting-edge public programs to complement and enhance its visual arts programming.
The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful, and inclusive society. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy, and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With $1.6 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $65 million in 2010 for the people of California.
For more information about the Irvine Foundation, please visit their website at

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