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Laurene Weste: City shows support for arts through grants

Live from City Hall

Posted: May 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Each year, the city of Santa Clarita funds arts and community service grants for local nonprofit organizations to support innovative and crucial programs and projects that serve our community. The City Council believes these grants are important because strong cities such as Santa Clarita greatly benefit from organizations and programs that inspire creativity and imagination and bring people together for a common cause. Simply put: The arts and community service programs enhance our quality of life. 

The City Council recently approved funding for both the arts and community service grant programs, and I want to take this opportunity to share information about the organizations that received funding and the projects supported through this year’s grant funding.

This year, the city’s Arts Grants Program is supporting eight local organizations. The city received many quality proposals from nonprofit organizations working to add new programming in our community or to increase opportunities for residents to experience the arts in their backyard.

The Arts Commission ultimately reviewed and suggested a total of eight grant recipients.

Five of the eight awarded grants were given to organizations that perform at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. These nonprofit arts groups regularly perform in the city, but the grant funding allows them to bring a production or two to College of the Canyon’s nearly 1,000-seat theater, meaning that a larger number of residents can enjoy the performances.

The arts funded groups for this year include: Canyon Theatre Guild, which funded the production “Music Man;” ESCAPE Theatre, which produced “Alice in Wonderland;” Santa Clarita Ballet Company, which produced “The Nutcracker;” two productions by the Santa Clarita Master Chorale; and the Santa Clarita Valley International Program and Sister Cities, which produced “the Musical Journey through Latin America.”

The City Council also approved three grants in the Community Arts category as suggested by the city’s Arts Commission. These grants included: The ARTree Community Arts Center’s project “Using Visual Creativity to Explore Our City,” “Veterans Memorial and Appreciation Museum” by the Repertory East Playhouse held in conjunction with the production of “Journey’s End;” and the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association’s “Summer Art Festival.”

The city’s Community Services Grant program is similarly structured, in that the goal is to support organizations offering benefits to the community not otherwise available to residents. This year’s grant theme was “Community Benefit,” which attracted many worthy programs for consideration.

Ultimately, a total of 15 organizations received Community Services Grant funding, including: A Light of Hope Support Center Inc., which will offer a drop-in center to assist families in crisis; Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita, with funding providing for infrastructure improvements to the Newhall Clubhouse facility; Carousel Ranch, for equipment upgrades for the safety of participants and horses as they continue to provide therapeutic horseback riding for children with special needs; Child & Family Center, to support their mobile computing program for school-based services; Community Gardens of Santa Clarita, which will construct an outdoor meeting space; Friends of Hart Park and Museum, to continue promoting Santa Clarita’s heritage through film series; Heads Up Inc., which will install new pipe corral fencing at their therapeutic horse facility; Los Angeles Residential Community, to support touch screen computers for adults with disabilities; Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation, supporting student enrichment; Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA, to support educational enrichment programs; Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, to enhance the center’s Dementia Care Intervention Program; Single Mothers Outreach, to enhance financial literacy training offered free through the program; Triumph Foundation, to expand the organization’s “hand cycling” program; Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America, to support scouts within the William S. Hart Union High School District; and Young Life, to support audio visual enhancements for the organization, which is dedicated to supporting teens throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. 

Accessibility to local arts and community service programs helps make the city of Santa Clarita a great place to live. The city recognizes the important work being done for our citizens by these organizations, and countless others in our community, and is proud to support their efforts and recognize their many contributions.

If you are involved with a local nonprofit organization and would like to submit a proposal for consideration as part of next year’s grant submittal process, please note the process typically begins in September and all interested parties are invited to apply. For more information or program details, please contact the city of Santa Clarita’s Community Services Division at 661-250-3708.

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Councilwoman, and can be reached at: lweste@santa-clarita.com.

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