Contact Information

530-758-0204 FAX
530-757-5666 TDD



Office Address
23 Russell Blvd., Suite 1
Davis, CA 95616

Office Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Arts & Culture

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 activity and initiatives, including:

  • Managing programs for the cultural enrichment of the city.
  • Supporting artists & organizations in the cultural arts community.
  • Encouraging private initiative in arts & culture.
  • Increasing public understanding, appreciation & enjoyment of cultural activities in all arts disciplines.
  • Managing guidelines for the acquisition & care of all City-owned Public Art.
  • Administering the Poet Laureate program.
  • Promoting Arts Education efforts with Davis Joint Unified School District as well as local stakeholders.
  • Building community partnerships and providing leadership in the local arts community.
  • Promoting collaboration and partnerships with UC Davis students and faculty.
  • Partnering with Community Development efforts to integrate Art in long-term civic growth.

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Davis arts and cultural affairs

Follow our page, City of Davis Arts & Cultural Affairs, to stay up to date on the latest events and programs supported by City of Davis Arts and Cultural Affairs and other relevant arts information.  


Arts Alliance Davis

AugustArtsAlliance Vets

The City of Davis Arts and Cultural Affairs Program is proud to work closely with Arts Alliance Davis, a group of dedicated individuals representing artists, arts and civic organizations and presenters, local businesses, and community members in Davis. The Alliance encourages collaboration, promotes the Arts to residents and visitors, and advocates for public and private support of the arts in all facets of our community. The group meets regularly to share resources, offer support and mentoring between organizations, develop partnerships to strengthen our arts community, and brainstorm about how to connect with audiences in new and meaningful ways.                           

Join Arts Alliance Davis                                                                                arts alliance davis




2018 Poet Laureate

On October 20, 2009 the City Council, wishing to encourage reflection upon the richness and diversity of the people, locations and traditions of the City of Davis established a two-year, honorary position of Poet Laureate of Davis, California. The Poet Laureate encourages the reading, writing, sharing and celebration of poetry.

The City of Davis is pleased to announce that James Lee Jobe has been selected as our city's next Poet Laureate. Jobe is our city's 4th Poet Laureate. He will be inducted at a City Council ceremony on September 25th, 2018, and his term will run through September 2020.

James Lee Jobe has been published in Chiron Review, Manzanita, Tule Review, Pearl, Poetry Now, and many other periodicals. His online publications include Convergence, Knot Magazine, Poetry 24, Medusa’s Kitchen, bloodsugarpoetry, and The Original Van Gogh Anthology. His poems are in several anthologies, including SACRAMENTO VOICES, and HOW TO BE THIS MAN. Jobe has authored several chapbooks, including WHAT GOD SAID WHEN SHE FINALLY ANSWERED ME, and his blog is at Jobe hosts two on-going poetry reading series and teaches a poetry workshop in Davis, California, where he has lived for many years.

Poet Laureate predecessors include Dr. Andy Jones, Allegra Silberstein and Eve West-Bessier.


Poetry In Motion

In December of 2018, City of Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe and the Arts & Cultural Affairs program collaborated to create the first installation of Poetry in Motion.  This project promotes accessibility to poetry by placing it in high visibility public spaces.  Poetry collections are curated by Jobe and feature local poets. To view the current installation, stop by the old Watermelon Music building, next to Philz Coffee on E Street.

 Poetry in Motion Jan 2019 pic

Featured Poets:Julia Levine, Katy Brown, Beth Suter, Allegra Silberstein, Andy Jones, and James Lee Jobe


Yolo County Poem of the Year

Please enjoy the following poem by James Lee Jobe, current Davis Poet Laureate.  It has been selected as the Yolo Country Poem of the Year by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.  It is a beautiful tribute to the unique natural environment we live in...

Yolo County, Sacramento Valley.
Light in the winter morning,
A gray glow through the tule fog,
A fog that sits low across the bottom lands,
Hugging the creeks and blanketing the reeds and oleander,
A gray sunrise that is just barely kissing the dawn,
And the silver sky is low, all is still,
An easy light, gentle and gray,
A love, a thought, a hope.

And the creeks themselves,
Cache Creek and Putah Creek,
Dark and cold and fast,
Rinsing the earth,
Washing away the dust of summer with winter’s bath,
Like dancers to a wild Spanish mambo,
Sisters of the rock and bone of living,
The blood veins to the body of the valley,
As strong as gods, full of life,
And full of death.

The valley is a marsh,
A garden for herons and waterbirds,
A green grocer for any who would tend it, love it,
Treat it like a mother or a daughter,
The soil made rich and sweet from the centuries spent under water,
When this valley was a great sea,
From water to soil to table to stomach,
Worked with love.

It is winter,
It is morning,
Another fine day in our valley.

Call for Artists: Russell Boulevard Green Street Demonstration Seating

basic plan image for website.russell green

The City of Davis Civic Arts Commission is seeking an artist or collaborative team to design and create artwork that can be integrated into plans for the Russell Boulevard Green Street Demonstration Project that will surround Davis City Hall at 23 Russell Boulevard.  This project will showcase the effectiveness and beauty of sustainable landscape design for the community, serving as a green street model.  

The artist(s) will by awarded $6,000 to complete works to be installed either on faces or tops of six seat cubes, each measuring 2' by 2'.  Artwork should reflect sustainability, greening-related themes, local flora and fauna, history of place, and/or the architectural themes of City Hall.  Specific examples of work the Commission may consider include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Mosaic glass, tiles, or stone panels
  • Ceramic tile squares
  • Artfully arranged items encased in weather-resistant resin
  • Other media TBD by artist

APPLICATION DEADLINE was May 10, 2019 by 5:00 p.m.

Please find the complete Request for Proposals HERE or view a printable flier HERE.    

Questions, inquiries and requests for additional information should be directed to:

Rachel Hartsough: 530-757-5640 /

Think Outside the Box 2019

Announcing the installation of the 2019 Think Outside the Box project, part of a continual effort to transform necessary structures into lively pieces of art!

TOTB All Art Together

Thirteen different artists worked directly with the City of Davis to create designs that were transferred to vinyl and wrapped around a City of Davis traffic control box. Box locations include corners in front of City Hall, International House Davis, and Davis Arts Center.  

In the past, City of Davis has carried out similar projects in which artists were commissioned to design and then paint a utility box on site. The Think Outside the Box project allowed artists to complete work from their own studios in a wide range of creative mediums including ceramics, mixed media collage, abstract digital art, and graphic design.  The City encouraged submission of artwork from artists who had not created public art in the past.  Each selected artist received a $500 honorarium upon completion of their final design. Selected applicants were chosen based on their bodies of past work and proposals that showed strong potential to enhance the surrounding areas of the boxes. 

Below is a list of the participating artists and the location of their pieces:

Angela Tannehill                     3rd & B

Brian Alexander                     Covell & Sycamore

Ianna Frisby                            F & 8th

Jennifer McGuire                    Cowell & Lillard

Jessica Eastburn                      Russell & Sycamore

Kent Smith                              Covell & Anderson

Kerri Warner                           Russell & Anderson

Lily Therens                            Russell & A

Melissa Uroff                         Cowell & Valdora

Phillip Hua                              Russell & College Park

Sandy Fong Whetstone           Cowell & Drew

Susan Silvester                        Covell & F

Will Durkee                            Covell & Poleline


 Press Release

To view a similar project in our region, please see the Capitol Box Art Project in Sacramento.

Complete RFQ and guidelines can be downloaded here.

Congratulations 2019 Art Grant Recipients!

The Arts & Cultural Affairs program is pleased to award $66,512 to artists and arts organizations in Davis for projects taking place in 2019-2020. The City of Davis is excited to announce the following Community Arts Grant recipients:

ACME Theatre Company / Free Comedy in the Park / $4,240                          

Asian American Studies / Asian American Histories in the Davis Community / $5,000

Bike City Theatre Company / Salon Reading Series / $5,000

Chamber Players in Davis / 2019 Season / $2,400

Davis Community Chorale / Audience & Public Profile Development / $4,584

Davis Dirt / Music Day 2020 / $4,000

Davis Musical Theater Company / Educational Workshops at DMTC / $4,000

Judy Catambay / Elmwood Drive Street Mural / $5,000

International House / Global Family Festivals / $5,000

Mga Kapatid / Semi-Centennial Anniversary / $5,000

Ken Kemmerling & Donna Jury / Live Music at Davis Community Meals / $5,000

Paint the Street, Danielle Fodor / A DIY Manual for artists and organizers / $5,000

Pence Gallery / Make Stuff / $5,000

Second Bite / The Wisdom of the Apple / $4,888

Stories on Stage Davis / 2019 Program / $2,400

Chorale Spring-2018-Concert

The City of Davis is pleased to support artists and arts organizations through a program that provides funds for a wide variety of community-based arts programs and projects that foster excellence, diversity, and vitality in the arts.  Art grants have been awarded to the Davis community since 1973.

Applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria may apply: Davis art groups, organizations and galleries, members of the university community who are extending on-campus activities into the City of Davis, non-profit organizations that want to sponsor an art-related program in Davis, and individual artists and arts educators who live in Davis or the surrounding unincorporated area, or whose primary artistic activity is in Davis. All projects must take place in the City of Davis.

The Arts Commission welcomes projects of all sizes. Applicants selected for funding receive from $500 to $5,000. All funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2020. The application deadline for this year is now closed.

Please subscribe to our Civic Arts calendar to receive notifications of upcoming opportunities. 

2019 Community Arts Grant Guidelines can be viewed and downloaded here.

For questions, further information please call the City Manager’s Office at 530-757-5640.

Please subscribe to our Civic Arts Commission calendar to receive notifications of upcoming opportunities.

A helpful WORD version of the application can be accessed here: 2019 Community Arts Grant Application Guidelines 


Art in Parks & Open Spaces

Kids channel Andy Goldsworthy and plant natives with Putah Creek Council 

The Putah Creek Council's Adopt-a-Flat program teaches students about plant and wildlife interactions through an ownership project, in-class lessons, and a field trip to Putah Creek or a local habitat area. Students seed and raise flats of native plants in the classroom while learning about how these plants grow, affect their environment, and provide resources for wildlife. After watching their plants grow from seed to sprout, students carefully install them on their field trip while learning about the other plants and animals at the creek, and how we can take care of the natural world.  Below, children from Elkhorn Village Elementary carry out their native plant installation, as well as draw inspiration from land artist Andy Goldsworthy to further connect with the Putah Creek landscape.  

planting natives

binoculars pic

 goldsworthy inspiration sheets

boys and stick nut creation      girl and stick square


boys and stick teepee

        Photos courtesy of Putah Creek Council

Map It!


Open gallery app in new window

New Art Acquisitions

The Civic Arts Commission is pleased to announce the acquisition of several new works of art into the City's collection:

Burka Boarder, Finley Fryer, 2010 (gift of the John Natsoulas Gallery)

Collaboration, 2012, built by California ceramic college students, (gift of the John Natsoulas Gallery)

Gandhi Peace Statue, 2014, Ram Sutar (gift of the Indian-American Community of Davis)

Regal Cinema Benches, Donna Billick, Wes Horn, Mark Rivera, 2014

Burka Boarder_Finley Fryer




Regal Cinema Benches


Movie Benches Public Art



Sign up to receive email notifications from the City of Davis.

Follow the link and select Civic Arts Commission to stay up to date on requests for proposals (RFPs) and upcoming calls.

Just a few City of Davis public art commissions by local artists... 

will durkee 3

Will Durkee: In the Key of Davis painted piano, Davis Food Co-Op

Danielle Fodor: Central Park painted utility box for the Farmer’s Market 40th Anniversary Celebration

Will Durkee: In the Key of Davis painted piano, Hunt Boyer Mansion plaza

Davis Arts Calendar

There are several great resources for finding the latest and greatest arts events, exhibits, performances, and activities in the Davis area and beyond. Take your pick:


Public Art

In 1973, the City created the Art in Public Places Program, and has since set aside 1% of all public funds allocated for Capital Improvement Projects to purchase art that enhances the quality of the Davis environment. Artists selected through this program represent a diversity of style and media. Sculpture, murals, paintings, tile work, and functional pieces are located around the city to enhance the quality of life for all Davis residents and visitors. 


Public Art Walking Tour and Gallery Guide

We are pleased to be updating our map and guide to Public Art in Davis, with the support of Marc Hoshovsky and the UC Davis Design Department. Check out maps and images of public art here, and stay tuned for an updated map and walking guide--coming soon!  

Our guide to public art and galleries provides information on public art around Davis and descriptions of galleries and local arts resources. Print copies of the guide can be found at city offices and many art galleries, or you can download a copy here: Public Art Walking Tour and Gallery Guide.

Arts in the News!

Learn more about all of the exciting developments in the City’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Program:

Arts in Private Development

There is an abundance of research supporting the essential role public art plays in enhancing the quality of life for all individuals living, working, and visiting a community. The tangible impact on social climate, walkability, real estate pricing, public safety, and community pride cannot be ignored. To support the work of local private developers, we have collected resources from other cities and associations that address the benefits of inclusion of public art in private developments. For more information, or support in your project, please contact our Arts & Cultural Affairs staff at or (530) 757-5640.

Public Art Network: Public Art and Private Development Resource Guide For Developers

Add Value Add Art: A Public Art Resource Guide for Developers

King County Public Art Program: Public Art & Private Development Report on Program Policies

Palo Alto Public Art in Private Development

Civic Arts Commission

The Civic Arts Commission advises the City Council on all matters relating to art and culture in the community, and selects art to include in the city's art in public places collection. The commission encourages programs and methods that support creative activities to the highest standards, as well as increase public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of a variety of art forms.

If you are interested in applying for future openings on the Civic Arts Commission, you can get more information here:

To receive meeting agendas, announcements, and project RFPs by email please subscribe to eNotifications by selecting the Civic Arts Calendar option.

City Supported Programs

The City's Arts & Cultural Affairs program is proud to support and/or partner with a wide range of locally produced creative community programs:

Partner Organizations

The Civic Arts Program works with other agencies and organizations to promote arts in the community.

Gandhi Statue
Community Park