California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

October 01, 2008Mary Beth Barber

California Arts Day -- Friday October 3

“California Imagination” is theme for eighth annual celebration of arts, culture and imagination in the Golden State

Sacramento -

On the first Friday of October, the annual celebration of California Arts Day takes place in cities and towns across the state. The theme this year is "California Imagination," and the image is the California Imagination bear created by Los Angeles artist Jillian Kogan and composed of objects from hundreds of arts organizations and artists in California.

"California Imagination represents the vastness, diversity and creativity of California," said Muriel Johnson, Director of the California Arts Council. "Creativity, innovation and the arts play a vital role in the formation of the state's economic strength and unique artistic culture -- as expressed in California Imagination. It's the perfect theme for the eighth annual California Arts Day."

California Arts Day coincides with National Arts and Humanities Month, and the California Arts Council is encouraging all Californians to take this year's theme to heart and get involved in the arts through schools, events and arts-related organizations and acknowledge the role that music, theater, visual art, poetry, literature, dance, and other arts play in the state. Dozens of arts organizations have listed dozens of Arts Day events on the California Arts Council's website, and hundreds of people statewide are expected to participate in a variety of events. Examples include a youth film festival, street fairs, classroom exercises in the arts, free musical performances, and much more. (Details on the "What's Happening?" page for Arts Day.)

The California Arts Council initiated California Arts Day in 2000 to highlight the importance of creativity and imagination to the health of our state's economy, schools and communities. There are almost 99,000 arts-related businesses in California that employ over half a million people as of January 2008, according to Dun & Bradstreet data compiled by Americans for the Arts. National studies like Tough Choices or Tough Times: Report from the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce indicate that creativity, imagination and innovation are essential qualities of the workforce of tomorrow. And the arts are also an essential quality-of-life element in healthy communities.

"California Arts Day -- and the days following -- are great times for arts lovers to find special programs for their families, and for parents who don't normally take their children to arts events and venues to take a first step toward making the arts part of their lives," said Johnson.

The annual California Arts Day is always on the first Friday of October. For more information about California Arts Day this year and in past years, go to or contact the California Arts Council at 916-322-6555.

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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 Michael Alexander, Vice Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Eunice David, Charmaine Jefferson, Chong-Moon Lee, Fred Sands, Karen Skelton, Susan Steinhauser and William Turner.

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