California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

September 29, 2010Mary Beth Barber (CAC) or Jon Carroll (CCH)
916-322-6588 (CAC) or (415) 391-1474 (CCH) or

Golden State Celebrates California Arts Day and National Arts and Humanities Month

California Council for the Humanities Joins the Statewide Effort

Sacramento -

Friday, October 1, 2010, marks the 11th year for California Arts Day, a date set aside for Californians to celebrate the creativity of our communities and arts education in our schools. The California Arts Council has also teamed up with the California Council for the Humanities (CCH) to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month through the month of October. The Arts Council and the Humanities Council will utilize website event listings, "California Arts Day e-cards," and social-networking media (specifically Facebook and Twitter) to share interesting information about the arts and humanities in California and build a community of supporters throughout October.

"Creativity and artistic participation is so important to a healthy, well-balanced life and education," said Muriel Johnson, Director of the California Arts Council. "We invite everyone to celebrate California Arts Day and National Arts and Humanities Month by taking part in the arts."

The California Arts Council is the main proponent of California Arts Day. As a state agency, the California Arts Council furthers the arts for children and communities through grants, technical assistance, and communication -- all supported by sales and renewals of the Arts License Plate. This year's theme of "pARTicipate" invites Californians to recognize that everyone can partake in the arts. This year also marks the launch of the Million Plates Campaign for the Arts, an effort supported by Governor Schwarzenegger, First Lady Maria Shriver, and dozens of "Arts Ambassadors."

"Celebrating California Arts Day through the purchase of an Arts License Plate is a fantastic way to support and celebrate the arts for our communities and children," continued Johnson. "If we reach our goal of one million plates, California would go from the bottom in per capita spending on the arts to near the top and have $40 million available for the arts."

The California Council for the Humanities helps connect Californians to the power of ideas -- through documentary films, photo exhibits, book discussions, interactive media projects, radio, theater, and writing -- and helps insure that the people of California learn about our shared history and heritage, diverse cultures, and many accomplishments.

"For more than 30 years, the California Council for the Humanities has been connecting people to the power of ideas," said Ralph Lewin, President and C.E.O. of CCH. "We look forward to our ongoing relationship with the California Arts Council and our work this month to infuse a greater energy, awareness, and excitement around the arts and humanities into the public sphere. The humanities--literature, language, history, philosophy, and more--form the core of the human experience and are crucial for a healthy democracy and a vibrant state filled with thoughtful, innovative people."

California's nonprofit arts and arts-active organizations represent $3.56 billion of economic activity and 681,438 arts-related jobs, according to the Creative Vitality Index, a study of the state's strength in the creative sectors. 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. Yet 89% of California schools fall short in providing arts education in the four disciplines of music, visual arts, theater and dance. The California Arts Council is dedicated to further arts for children. CCH also recognizes the need for innovation and works to foster creative thinking, analytical skills, and inquiry with programs geared towards children, youth, and lifelong learners.

For more information, contact the California Arts Council's communication director Mary Beth Barber at (916) 322-6588, (916) 835-5580 (cell) or, or contact Jon Carroll, Director of External Affairs for the California Council for the Humanities, at (415) 391-1474 ext. 310 or California Arts Day event listings and Arts Day e-cards are available at Sign up for humanities news and events at National Arts and Humanities Month events can be found online at


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 Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Vice Chair William Turner, Wylie Aitken, Michael Alexander, Andrew Green, Adam Hubbard, Charmaine Jefferson, Terry Lenihan, Karen Skelton, and Susan Steinhauser.

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