Seven Organizations Focusing on Children or Arts Receive Funds from Cultural Arts Rotary Foundation

A total of $10,600 is awarded to six local and one international organizations to benefit primarily childrens’ organizations, with an emphasis on the arts. To encourage and promote arts and children’s wellbeing, each year Cultural Arts Rotary gifts organizations applying for funds through its Foundation. This year’s awardees for 2016‐17 are:

  • Children’s Musical Theaterworks ‐ $1,250 ‐ costuming for a full scale production in 2017
  • West Africa Vocational School ‐ $1,000 – educational and vocational materials for phase 2 of the New Entrepreneur’s Program to assist with welding, mechanics, and computer skill development for youth in West Africa.
  • Civic Learning Partnership Project ‐ $800 – production of two documentary videos for the Democracy School Program at Sutter Middle School, Baird Middle School, and Keplar Neighborhood School. Five hundred students in 18 classes will choose a community problem project which will be documented by Sunnyside High School’s Video Academy.
  • Howard K. Watkins Photographic Archives Project ‐ $500 – improve website to provide better access to the collection as well as increase the number of photographs available online
  • Jazz Fresno ‐ $1,000 ‐ the annual community event, When Art Meets Jazz
  • Focus Forward ‐ $1,250.00 ‐ the Spoken Word Poetry project and the annual Focus on Youth Success event
  • Fresno Arts Council ‐ $4,800 – children’s art display at the Water Tower

Cultural Arts Rotary cultivates creativity through service. Meeting every Tuesday noon at Arte Americas, funds are raised through fundraisers to benefit the community, with a particular focus on youth arts. For more information on the club or its giving, please go to

Central High Winteract at Children’s Hospital

The Central High School Interact Club held their third annual Winteract at Valley Children’s Hospital. This year the theme was Dr. Seuss books. Children could pin the heat on the Grinch, pin the hat on the cat, decorate a stocking, toss a bean bag, or write a letter to Santa. Additional activities and a gift of a book and knitted caps or gloves rounded out the evening.

A Toast to the Town


Cultural Arts Rotary Club of Fresno presents “A Toast to the Town” (formerly Storyland and Jazz) at Rotary Playland at Roeding Park on Saturday, September 10 at 6 pm. This annual fundraiser will feature great music by The After Dinner Mints with a special appearance by Clarkia Cobb and Fresno’s Finest Restaurant Tastings. Wine, beer and soft drinks will be available for purchase. The proceeds from the event will benefit youth arts programs.


Describing the Mints’ music is a challenge. Their repertoire includes jazzy favorites from the Swing Era, novelty songs from the 1940s, the pre-rock jump blues of Louis Prima, fiery Latin dance tunes, soulful Ray Charles covers, odd songs about food, and a few “modern” numbers (from the 1960s!) Add in some odd costume choices and slightly inappropriate props, and voila: After Dinner Mints!

Don’t let the “food” nicknames throw you. Jazz fans will recognize Mark Ribera (Pea), Les Nunes (Ham), Dale Engstrom (Gløgg), Craig VonBerg (Kraut), Brian Hamada (Rice), John Lauffenburger (Butter), and Mike Dana (Soup) as some of the busiest jazz performers on the scene.



Check back for news about our 2017 Fundraiser!

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