Then, inside weeks, COVID-19 exploded as a worldwide well being menace.
Simply as Hamilton: An American Musical went darkish in San Francisco, so did the native Hillbarn Theater, Dragon Productions Theater and Peninsula Ballet Theatre, together with galleries and different venues. Organizations additionally misplaced a season-plus of outside cultural festivals that carry collectively people and households of all backgrounds.
“What we witnessed was an important a part of our group shut down with no clear mild on the finish of the tunnel for them,” stated County Supervisor Mike Callagy. “With no income stream, a lot of our native organizations confronted everlasting closure.”
In response, the Board of Supervisors steered $150,000 in federal Coronavirus Support, Aid and Financial Safety (CARES) Act funds as grants to assist native nonprofit arts and cultural teams climate the storm. Complete grants topped $230,000 with further donations from foundations and different sources.
“What we shortly realized is that we’d like a degree particular person to actively discover grant alternatives and a degree particular person to work with our native arts and cultural organizations,” Callagy stated.
“We are able to solely lean on the volunteers who serve on the Artwork Fee for a lot. In some ways, we modeled this new workplace on the Parks Fee and Veterans Fee,” Callagy stated. “On these commissions, we’ve group members who serve in advisory roles. Then it’s our employees who perform their and the Board’s imaginative and prescient. Robin is now in that function with the Workplace of Arts and Tradition.”
Rodricks has labored as a volunteer for 10 years on the San Mateo County Arts Fee and labored for a decade as a supervisor for the Nice Arts Museums of San Francisco.
The all-volunteer Arts Fee provides three galleries for native artists on the County Heart campus in Redwood Metropolis. In addition they provide trainings and workshops for artists and, amongst different actions, hosts Poetry Out Loud, a nationwide poetry competitors for highschool college students.
Because the Workplace of Arts and Tradition govt director, Rodricks, who’s employed on a contract, will work intently with the Arts Fee. Her function, together with a part-time help and a soon-to-be-hired curator, expands
Rodricks has the next targets laid out for her by County leaders:
► Staffing the Arts Fee and aiding commissioners in implementing its strategic plan.
► Making use of for federal, state and personal funding in assist of County arts and artists.
► Managing state and federal grants.
► Selling cross-departmental collaborations to realize the County’s targets of incorporating arts, tradition and creativity into all sectors of County authorities.
► Liaising with key County companions to additional the humanities and tradition countywide.
As for a splashier objective, she has her eyes on spring 2022, when with extra COVID-19 vaccines in arms the state and nation might have turned the nook on the pandemic.
“Working collectively, I want to see a countywide arts pageant with one thing occurring all through the Peninsula,” she stated. “The alternatives are on the market and I feel we will help make the connections to make it occur.”
Whenever you begin to join the dots, you by no means know the place the traces might lead.