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

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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.

Think Outside the Box 2019

traffic box art graphic

Congratulations to the selected artists for Think Outside the Box 2019!

This fall, the City of Davis invited area artists to submit* qualifications for an upcoming public art installation series, Think Outside the Box.  This project will be similar to the already painted utility and traffic control boxes in downtown Davis, but the use of printed vinyl will provide opportunities to showcase the artwork of more artists and designers in a wider range of media including paint, photography, graphic design, illustration, and mixed media. The City highly encouraged submission of artwork from artists who had not created public art in the past.  A $500 honorarium will be awarded to each selected artist.

Artists have now been selected by committee and will be working with City staff to carry out their final designs.  Expect to see the beautiful new boxes this spring.  Selected proposals demonstrated high quality design and originality, with work that will enhance the surrounding areas of the boxes. 

Angela Tannehill
Brian Alexander
Ianna Frisby
Jennifer McGuire
Jessica Eastburn
Kent Smith
Kerri Warner
Lily Therens
Melissa Uroff
Philip Hua
Sandy Fong Whetstone
Susan Silvester
Will Durkee


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.

*The application deadline for this call was Monday, October 15th, 2018, at 5:00 P.M.

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


Click this link for for additional information about these funded projects and the grants program.

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 


Poet Laureate

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.

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.



Congratulations to the recipients of recent City of Davis public art commissions: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