The mission of the Chico Arts and Culture Foundation is to generate resources in support of the city of Chico arts programs.
The Chico Arts and Culture Foundation envisions Chico as a community that embraces the arts as a critical component of a culturally rich, vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable community. Chico is a place where the arts are valued in everyday life, a significant force in a robust economy, and a place for all Chicoans to express their creative impulses and experience beauty. The diversity of Chico includes people of all walks of life and it is essential that this is reflected in the vitality of its visual art, music, theater, literature, spoken word, and digital media.
and culture Foundation?
Established as the fundraising arm of the city of Chico Arts Commission, the Foundation is a group of volunteers with a wide range of experience representing a cross section of the community. The primary goal is to raise money for arts and culture organizations, individual artists, public art projects, and other cultural programs. The Foundation also generates resources as advocates, partners, and ambassadors in the community, committed to ensuring that the arts continue to thrive in Chico.
Areas of Focus:
Tours of public art
Honoring achievement in the arts
Mentoring young creatives
Preserving, repairing and maintaining public art works
Community-based art projects
Partnering with arts and culture organizations
THE FOUNDATION STEPS UP
When the city of Chico eliminated funding for the arts in 2013, the momentum gained in 23 years by an investment of over $4,000,000 in arts organizations, public art, marketing, and other city programs was interrupted. The Chico Arts and Culture Foundation stepped up, filling some of the gaps left by the devastating loss to non-profits, artists, and the local economy:
A program of volunteer-led downtown art tours was implemented. This was a fun way to show off the city-owned art works for locals and tourists. It was also an opportunity to talk about all the arts and culture in Chico including the many ways in which it can be supported, monetarily and otherwise. Later, when the pandemic hit, a social-media series of video art features expanded the tour to include iconic works beyond downtown.
Foundation volunteers spent many months finishing an inventory, started by city staff before the budget cuts, to conduct an assessment of the condition of the over fifty works in the City’s public art collection. Once the inventory and repair-priorities were submitted, the City Council agreed to an annual fund for maintenance and repair. The Foundation then facilitated, with the public works department, the renovation of the beloved "Our Hands" sculpture and the repair of "Diamond Alley Arches" and the Downtown Art Benches.
When the Arts Commission was successful in achieving the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) 1% set aside for local arts organizations, the Foundation’s support was critical. They continue to be active in developing the funding-criteria and as members of the grant review committee.