California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

June 24, 2014Caitlin Fitzwater

California Arts Council Invests in Public Media Arts Programming

Thirty-seven California counties will be reached by original television and radio content highlighting powerful stories about the arts and their value

Sacramento -

 Three California public media outlets will receive support from the California Arts Council for new and expanded arts programming. Grant awards to KQED, PBS SoCaL, and Radio Bilingüe, totaling $200,000, will support the creation, broadcast, and promotion of original programs highlighting the arts and their value.

"Our new grant program, Arts on the Air, invests in telling meaningful stories of California's vibrant artists and arts communities. We know that -- as with schools -- when media outlets are challenged to make cuts, arts coverage is often the first to go," said Wylie Aitken, Chair of the California Arts Council. "We are pleased to make a first-time direct investment in public media content, which will lead to greater awareness of the critical impact of the arts in every corner of our state."

Fifteen public media organizations applied to this competitive grant program, which is supported by one-time funds from the California State Assembly. After an open application process, an advisory panel reviewed all grant applications, followed by a review and vote from the Council at a public meeting in Los Angeles on June 18, 2014.

The supported projects demonstrate a clear approach to building public awareness and support for the arts; maximize audience reach and community engagement; and involve California artists and arts organizations.

Arts on the Air Grant Recipients (in alphabetical order)

KQED - Northern California, Television and Radio

KQED is piloting a new multimedia thematic collection exploring the intersection of art and social issues in California through the eyes of artists from diverse backgrounds. Distribution of "SPARK: Arts and Social Issues" is expected to reach 28 California counties via television, radio, interactive and education platforms. $75,000.

PBS SoCaL - Southern California, Television

PBS SoCaL will produce video stories about California artists and arts organizations, and their efforts to advance the state's creative industries that are driving innovation, growth, and success in California's economy. These videos will be broadcast, posted online, shared in social media, circulated to teachers, distributed to arts partners, shared with California PBS stations through a new online arts exchange portal, and used in a PSA campaign. $75,000.

Radio Bilingüe - Central Valley, Radio

Radio Bilingüe will produce and broadcast eight short-form features and eight call-in interview/talk shows called "Raices - Los Maestros," highlighting innovative Latino artists who are ensuring that younger generations know and experience art and what it can offer their lives and communities. All productions will be broadcast in 23 California counties, streamed live, and archived for public use. $50,000.

One-time California State Assembly Arts Funding

Arts on the Air grants are supported by one-time funds from the California State Assembly. In July 2013, the California Arts Council received $2 million in savings from the 2013 State Assembly operating budget. The funds, directed to support arts and arts education programs in California communities via grants or direct services, must be encumbered during the 2013-2014 fiscal year and expended by June 30, 2015. Funds will not be used for administrative costs at the agency. Funds will be distributed through Arts on the Air and two additional competitive grant programs, as well as through two special arts education initiatives.


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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Wylie Aitken, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Christopher Coppola, Donn K. Harris, Charmaine Jefferson, William Turner, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

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