On Wednesday, June 14, Mayor Darrell Steinberg held an event to announce actions the City of Sacramento (City) is taking to “ignite” Sacramento’s Arts & Culture Scene.
R Street between 11th and 12th Streets was closed for the event.
Mayor Steinberg, before the program began, joined the Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps – keeping the beat going on an overturned bucket.
From 11:00 a.m. until noon street performers (aka buskers) did their thing to entertain those attending. I spoke briefly to Jenna, the Operations Manager of SacCirque – a collective of circus and flow artists in the greater Sacramento area. I recall seeing members of SacCrique perform at Sacramento TEDx events in the past.
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The program began at noon. Among those speaking were Mayor Steinberg, Councilmembers Steve Hansen and Eric Guerra, and County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. Councilmember Jeff Harris was also in attendance. Steinberg, Hansen, Guerra and Kennedy each stressed their intent to “ignite” arts in every corner of the city (and “region” per Supervisor Kennedy).
Sacramento’s Poet Laureate for 2017-2019, Indigo Moor, was introduced by Councilmember Hansen. Indigo Moor is a poet, playwright and author who resides in Sacramento. Soon after the start of the program Moor recited of one of his works titled “Worksong”.
Mayor Steinberg made a series of announcements during the program. His vision for Sacramento includes the establishment of a new (additional) identity – one that showcases Sacramento’s love for arts and culture. The ultimate goal is to increase economic activity by making Sacramento a “destination” city.
The announcements made were (in brief):
- To stimulate street performances (busking), guidelines will be established. Steinberg called for a “bottom up” approach and encouraged buskers to join in the development of the guidelines.
- The City has included in the City Budget funding for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) – $500,000 over two years. Additionally, the City is directing SMAC to fund arts education in schools.
- The City, effective immediately, is accepting applications for grants funded through the Creative Economy Pilot Project. The purpose of the Creative Economy Pilot Project is to increase economic activity and improve public spaces through art, food, and tech projects. Available are both micro-grants (up to $5,000) and grants (up to $25,000) to support projects such as pop-up events, art installations and street performances in Sacramento neighborhoods. Applications are due July 30, 2017.
- Lastly, the City of Sacramento is committed to the development of a cultural plan blueprint to guide future activities.
The crowd in attendance, many associated with art and cultural organizations, were very appreciative of the initiatives announced. As residents, we can all look forward to enjoying the City’s new emphasis on arts and culture in Sacramento and in our schools.
If you were in attendance at the event on Wednesday – what would you add?
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