This week the California Arts Council (CAC) announced a grant award of $19,000 to the Watsonville Film Festival (WFF) to help fund its free Cine + Cultural Fiestas and Rapid Response events program.
With this Local Impact grant, the WFF will continue to create a civic and cultural space by building on its robust Day of the Dead celebration in the Fall and adding a new cultural and artistic event around Hispanic Heritage Month. It will also support smaller Rapid Response film events that engage the community in urgent political and cultural matters.
“This timely and generous support from CAC is a lifeline to our arts organization as we recover and re-imagine the possibilities of celebrating film, arts and community in times of Coronavirus,” says WFF Executive Director Consuelo Alba. “We will work closely with local artists and community partners to present strong programming, in person or virtually.”
The Watsonville Film Festival was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council of more than 1,500 grants awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state for their work in support of the agency’s mission to strengthen arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. The investment of nearly $30 million marks a more than $5 million increase over the previous fiscal year, and the largest in California Arts Council history.
Local Impact grants support community-driven arts projects for small and mid-sized arts organizations to foster equity, access, and opportunity in historically marginalized communities by centering the arts as a vehicle for building strong, healthy, vibrant, and resilient communities.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Arts Council recognizes that some grantees may need to postpone, modify, or cancel their planned activities supported by CAC funds, due to state and local public health guidelines. The state arts agency is prioritizing flexibility in addressing these changes and supporting appropriate solutions for grantees.
“Creativity sits at the very heart of our identity as Californians and as a people. In this unprecedented moment, the need to understand, endure, and transcend our lived experiences through arts and culture is all the more relevant for each of us,” said Nashormeh Lindo, Chair of the California Arts Council. “The California Arts Council is proud to be able to offer more support through our grant programs than ever before, at a time when our communities’ need is perhaps greater than ever before. These grants will support immediate and lasting community impact by investing in arts businesses and cultural workers across the state.”