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City Awarded "Artists Activating Communities" Grant

State funds will support sustained artistic residencies in Davis neighborhoods

Post Date:June 14, 2017 4:54 p.m.

The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $16,200 in matching funds to the City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs program as part of its Artists Activating Communities program.

Artists are integral to healthy communities, and the arts are a societal cornerstone that bring people together, build community, and foster social progress, state the California Arts Council (CAC). The CAC’s Artists Activating Communities program supports artistic residencies by centralizing artists and their artistic processes as vehicles for community vitality. Funded projects are artist-driven, and engage community members as active participants.

“Our City’s leadership has really recognized the impact of the Arts in Davis, and its potential to bring people together, and celebrate everything that makes us part of a unique community. We look forward to seeing this project realized, and the timing is serendipitous, as we are currently investing in our civic arts in so many other ways,” said Mayor Robb Davis.

The City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs program will work with artist Danielle Fodor to explore placemaking opportunities for city residents by creating community murals on street intersections and pathways within the Senda Nueva and Chapman neighborhoods in Davis. Artwork will be painted directly onto street surfaces, creating public plazas and residential art walks that connect residents, welcome newcomers and immigrants, activate neighborhoods as villages, and promote car-free transportation.

“I'm grateful to the City of Davis as a partner, and to the neighbors who invited me to work with them in imagining this project.  We're going to have so much fun together -- making art, forging friendships, and making our neighborhoods safer, more welcoming places to live! I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to work with neighborhoods to create gorgeous public art that brings people together, builds community, and inspires civic engagement,” said artist Danielle Fodor.

The project was inspired, in part, by work conducted through a Strategic Program Planning process of the Arts Alliance Davis, a group of dedicated individuals representing artists, arts and civic organizations and presenters, local businesses, and community members in Davis. Supported by a Creative California Communities planning grant, also provided by the CA Arts Council, the group participated in 2 visioning sessions earlier this year. Neighborhood

Placemaking, and Storysharing were identified as methods to use public art to celebrate the diverse cultural histories and identities of the Davis community.
“It’s very exciting to be able to so quickly put these identified goals into play within the community. The Davis Manor Neighborhood mural project, completed last October, was a huge success, and has acted as a catalyst for so many creative activities in that neighborhood. I am eager to see what innovative design ideas come out of working with two new neighborhoods, and incredibly grateful to have artist Danielle Fodor leading the process,” said Rachel Hartsough, Arts & Culture Manager, City of Davis.

“I've made murals on many walls throughout Davis -- what's special about intersection murals is how they are experienced, daily, by the people who designed and painted them”, stated Fodor.  “They create a heart for the neighborhood -- a visual symbol of our connectedness, our ability to forge new friendships, and our power to change our world for the better.”

The California Arts Council’s Artists Activating Communities grant program is now in its second year. The City of Davis is one of just 62 grantees chosen for this highly competitive program, which received applications from 99 organizations statewide. The news of the Davis grant was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, which can be viewed online at

“The value of artists to their respective communities cannot be understated,” said Donn K. Harris, Chair of the California Arts Council. “They are an essential part of the framework that defines the area in which they live, preserving its past, examining its present, and cultivating its future. The California Arts Council looks forward to witnessing the impact of this collaboration between the City of Davis and Danielle Fodor and the strategic planning work of members of the Arts Alliance Davis through this Artists Activating Communities project.”

To view a complete listing of all Artists Activating Communities grantees, visit

The City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs Program supports community-based arts projects, cultural opportunities, and education initiatives that foster excellence, diversity, and vitality in the arts. The program is the clearinghouse for all creative activity in the City of Davis government, and serves the entire Davis community. We develop community partnerships, explore best practices, manage the public art collection, and support Civic Arts Commission initiatives.

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

For more information, please contact Rachel Hartsough at or 530-747-5640.