Category Archives: CARC Foundation News

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 thwww.culturalartsrotary.org.

CARC Announces Operational Support of Historic Water Tower and Partners with Art by Hand to Launch Youth Art Gallery Space

Forty Central Unified students, Cultural Arts Rotary members, HandsOn Central California volunteers and community members celebrate the opening of dedicated space for youth art in Art by Hand at the historic Water Tower.  Eleven artists from Central High School are featured.   The reception includes students from the music program of Fresno EOC’s School of Unlimited Learnipictureng (SOUL) charter high school playing in the Plaza.  City Council Member Baines, and Central Unified Superintendent Mike Berg join the group for the ceremonial presentation of a $4,800 check by Cultural Arts Rotary Foundation toward annual operating expenses of the historical Water Tower that serves as a Visitor Center for Fresno.

Artwork displayed by students will be available for sale in the same manner as the adult artists, with 25% of the proceeds to support HandsOn Central California and its programs that benefit the community.  Every three months, the art will rotate and new student works will be displayed.  The first year’s art is from Central Unified, which has its Superintendent Mike Berg and Assistant Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer Laurel Ashlock as members of Cultural Arts Rotary.

Adult volunteers will also work with student volunteers, teaching them about the history of the Water Tower while volunteering to help Art by Hand or elsewhere for Hands On projects.  Youth at Central High from the Rotary service youth club Interact will contribute volunteer time.  The Central High Interact club is less than a year old and has a membership of 180 students, already logging more than 500 service hours the first semester.

The student artists from Central High East are Mario Campos, Alexandria Fall, and John Roubedeaux.  From Central High East, works are included from Helaina Bradley, Josh Villanueva, Marisol Hernandez, Garrett Ruiz, Raylene Delgado, Valencia Espinoza, and Sydney Phillips.  Students come from grades 10, 11, and 12, with works created using a variety of techniques and styles.  These include watercolor, acrylic painting, block prints, and gouache and India ink.

The Water Tower is a historical landmark for the City of Fresno, built in 1894.  Serving as a Visitor Center since 2001, HandsOn Central California took over the operation of the site in 2011 and moved its Art by Hand shop that sells local art and crafts to the location.  The Water Tower and Art by Hand share the $33,000 operational costs for the Water Tower that includes utilities, security, and cleaning. The City of Fresno covers remaining expenses for the site.  The Art by Hand entity’s budget is $18,000 and the Water Tower alone is $15,000.   Donations and Art by Hand sales proceeds currently cover the majority of the Art by Hand portion of operating costs. The $4,800 donation by Cultural Arts Rotary Foundation provides 32% of the Water Tower’s separate portion.    More than 15 volunteers man the site annually to the approximately 6,500-7,000 visitors.  The donation by Cultural Arts Rotary will provide 15% of Hands On Central California’s total operating costs for the entire Water Tower site annually.

Cultural Arts Rotary cultivates creativity through service.  Meeting every Tuesday noon at Arte Americas, the 49 member club raises funds and volunteers time to benefit the community, with an emphasis on youth arts.  For more information on the club or its giving, please go to www.culturalartsrotary.org.

HandsOn Central California, formerly known as the Volunteer Center of Fresno County, Inc., has served the community since 1962. It was founded by a group of community leaders who saw the value of volunteerism as a tool for community change. In 2008, The Volunteer Center became a transformational affiliate of HandsOn Network, and expanded to serve Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare counties. HandsOn Central California INSPIRES, EQUIPS, and MOBILIZES people to take action to serve their communities. For more information, go to www.handsoncentralcal.org.

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Three Organizations Receive Funding for Youth Arts Programs

Focus Forward, Milestones Jazz, and Woodward Shakespeare are the latest CARC grant recipients

Three organizations received funding for youth arts programs totaling $2,400 over the past three weeks.  Focus Forward received $1,000 for their U-Turns Allowed magazine highlighting juvenile justice youth turning their lives around, Milestones Jazz received $900 to lower tuition for their youth jazz training program, and $500 went to Woodward Shakespeare to provide a stipend for a youth composer’s original song or incidental music for The Tempest production next summer.  Composers are picked through a judged contest.

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.

Elizabeth Leon Receives A.J. Parker Memorial Award

Elizabeth began to study music in 5th grade at KIPP Academy. To challenge herself, she taught other struggling students and learned to play various woodwind and percussion instruments. She earned multiple summer music camp scholarships and a one-year scholarship to study with Dr. Riggs at Fresno State, where she learned the oboe.

Growing up working in the fields with her parents, until the age of 12 she lived in a two bedroom apartment with 20 people. She also faced the hardship of a tractor driving over her legs at age nine while working in the olive groves, but continued to attend school on crutches.

Her long-time teacher, Dr. Christine Montanez, describes Elizabeth’s initiative as “extraordinary” and notes her “hunger, humility and hard work coupled with her keen intelligence have elevated her to one of the finest students at ACEL.”

As a freshman at Big Picture High School, she found ways to attend music, anthropology, and archeology classes at City College. In April 2013, the Northern California Boys and Girls Club region recognized her as Youth of the Year.

Elizabeth is at University High School for her 2013-14 senior year and studying clarinet with Dr. Montanez’s own mentor while on the Fresno State campus. Elizabeth intends to attend and graduate from an Ivy League school as an engineer and also play clarinet at Carnegie Hall. Now she has her own clarinet for the journey.