O.C. Group to Award $110,000 in Arts Grants


Arts Orange County, the 3-year-old countywide arts council, plans to award $110,000 to local artists and arts groups in fiscal year 1998-99 under the first centralized cultural regranting program in county history, Arts O.C. officials said Thursday.

The new grant program was established “to encourage the professional development” of artists and performing and presenting organizations and “to foster effective partnerships” between such groups and individuals and county schools, officials said.

Grants will be awarded for programming--not general operations. New exhibitions, performances and educational projects will be favored.


In the program’s first year, one artist from the areas of dance and two-dimensional visual art each will be awarded a maximum of $2,500, officials said, and at least 10 nonprofit arts organizations will be awarded a total of $105,000. A majority of the subsidies will be earmarked for arts education.

First-year funding will be supplied by the James Irvine Foundation and the Margaret E. Oser Foundation, both of which have previously supported the arts or arts education, Arts O.C. officials said. The funding sources might vary annually, along with total amount awarded.

Five-person peer review panels of current or former county artists or arts officials will determine all grant recipients, said Karen Schnell, Arts O.C.’s director of programs and education. Panelists will look for artistic excellence, well-documented need, program and audience development and outreach to ethnic communities.

Until now, Arts O.C. has offered administrative workshops and other in-kind services.

“The grants program will greatly expand Arts Orange County’s ability to foster the further growth and development of the county’s arts community,” Bonnie Brittain Hall, the agency’s executive director, said in a prepared statement.

The agency, which has set a Feb. 11 application deadline, will offer grant application workshops in the next several weeks. Information: (714) 477-9005.