Huntington Beach's Honoree Uses Art to Combat AIDS

When the California Arts Council announced its Artists in Residence grants in August, Mary-Linn Hughes was the only Orange County name among 194 grant recipients statewide.

Hughes, the Huntington Beach artist who runs a self-portrait photography workshop for people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome, said she is "disappointed" by the paucity of local grants to individuals and plans to do something about it.

She does not blame state bias against Orange County; rather, she said, the lack of support is the result of local ignorance of the program, which pays artists to work with individuals in schools, communities and a range of social agencies.

"My goal is to get a lot more artists doing projects around the county," Hughes said.

To that end, she has helped set up a Dec. 3 workshop at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, where officials from the arts council and the National Endowment for the Arts will answer questions from artists and organizations.

"It's not that we don't care about Orange County," said Carol Shiffman, manager of the state's Artists in Residence program. She pointed out that low participation in the program is typical of other areas of Southern California.

Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties rank along with Orange County in the bottom 10 in terms of number of such grants per capita.

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