About Us

Supporting Art Education in Sacramento


Investing in Our Region’s Children and Artists

Creativity is the soul of Sacramento. Live music, creative work and live spaces, lifelong learning in the arts, and universities engaged with the community; all are part of the Sacramento life. Now, Sacramento is calling for more – investment in the entire ecosystem of creative expression. A more dynamic city, a more creative community, and a competitive creative workforce. Sacramento is reclaiming its story and celebrating its unique character.

The Creative Edge, the City’s first cultural planning effort in over two decades, captures Sacramento’s vitality and imagination and embraces the wonderfully unique characteristics that differentiate us from other cities.

As implementation begins, equity and access are a governing priority. Every Sacramentan deserves access to education and the opportunity to develop skills through the arts and creative practices. Resources for the field need to be increased and distributed with a priority towards equity. The Creative Edge plan was the culmination of many focus groups, surveys, town hall meetings and discussion groups involving thousands of local residents, business, community and arts leaders, artists and educators partnering with the Mayor’s office, the Sacramento Community Region Foundation, and representatives from education, arts, business and community organizations. From this comprehensive study came six goals. Two of the goals are outlined below.


The Need For The Arts

Arts education is not only a community priority, it is an educational requirement. In 2001, the California State Board of Education adopted curriculum standards for arts education. However, the visual and performing arts standards remain an unfunded mandate, and their implementation is both unequal and inequitable throughout all grade levels.

88% of Sacramentans agree on the importance of arts education

Across all engagement, arts education and arts programming for youth emerged as priorities for the community. More than 60% of Sacramentans with children under the age of 18 desire more arts activities, both in and out of school, for their youth. Formal arts education is not institutionalized across the school districts, and each district views it differently, resulting in a range of approaches and varying amounts of arts instruction and arts exposure. To many stakeholders and parents, this is an access and equity issue, and an opportunity for the investiture of arts coordinators for each district, along with significant collaboration with institutes of higher learning and teacher training.

Sacramento wants to see investment in the arts, artists and creatives.

Artists and creatives love Sacramento. Yet many claim they cannot sell and/or make a living through their art work in Sacramento. Only 46% of artists and 48% of creative sector workers are satisfied with the Sacramento environment. Twenty-eight percent of those who identify as professional artists make a living through their craft. The Creative Vitality Index (CVI) data for Sacramento indicates that only 7% of total creative industry sales in the County are attributed to independent artists. The fact that 77% of Sacramentans want to see a business friendly environment for artists and creatives, coupled with public support for an arts tax, provides a glimpse of the opportunity to improve systemic support for Sacramento’s arts and creative sectors. Artists articulate the need for specific support systems to pursue their careers. These include professional development opportunities, collaborative marketing opportunities, work spaces, exhibition and performance spaces, and affordable housing.

Provide Arts Education To All Sacramento’s Children and Youth

Arts education for every child in every school is the community’s highest priority. Many programs addressing this need have been launched over the years but systemic change in arts learning across a whole community certainly requires resources, and nearly all successful models involve a collaborative and sustained approach to funding among individual, corporate, foundation and government funders. They also require a backbone organization to coordinate, lead, and provide accountability. Friends of Sacramento Arts is the organization to provide this level of leadership and support. 

The arts education strategies in the Culture Plan start with working with the thirteen Sacramento county school districts in developing their strategic plan along with providing funding for a visual and performing arts coordinator in each district. A consortium of education, arts and community leaders is formed to oversee this first phase and ensure resources are generated for successful implementation. As the coordinators are placed and arts education plans are finalized, additional resources will be generated to:

Support the staffing of arts education coordinators in each district.

Provide support for expanding the Any Given Child program

Create a transportation fund for field trips

Create an equipment fund for districts to use for musical instruments, art supplies and technology

Provide support for arts organizations to develop new on-site and off-site arts education experiences.