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State Will Honor Private Arts Group

A private arts foundation that has provided dozens of free concerts, arts workshops and musical equipment for Ventura County students will be honored for excellence by the state, officials said Monday.

The Ventura County Performing Arts Foundation will receive a citation from the California Arts Council at a reception later this month, said council spokeswoman Barbara Peiper.

Foundation Director Jim Petrarca has done an outstanding job bringing arts to public education, particularly at a time when state funding for arts education is limited, Arts Council officials said.

Over the past two years, the foundation has organized musical assemblies, brought arts teachers into classrooms and arranged loans of instruments for poor students, officials said.

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No public funding is involved; money is donated by corporations and local business owners. It is a grass-roots model that is being copied by other communities, state officials said.

The California Arts Council is a state-funded agency whose mission is to support individuals or organizations that create, teach and preserve the art of all cultures, Peiper said.


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