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Santa Maria Arts Council

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Thank You
to all who participated in the 34th Annual Student Art Show!

Coming May 19th
The Individual Grants in the Arts Showcase…be dazzled by performances and visual arts displays from some of the brightest emerging artists in our region.

The Santa Maria Arts Council is an umbrella organization for local art groups and supporters. The Arts Council continues to initiate, encourage, and expand activities which open new opportunities for all artists, students, and residents of the Santa Maria valley. Council members include artists, arts advocates, educators, city and government leaders, business, and various art groups.

The Council meets monthly on the third Wednesday of the month at noon at the Abel Maldonado Center.

The Arts Council encourages and supports emerging artists through the Individual Grants Competition which this year will disburse $13,000 annually to first and second place finalists in music, drama, dance, and visual arts.

The Council administers the Lester B. Hayes Grant in support of arts education programs in the valley.

The Council sponsors the annual Student Arts Show, and supports Santa Maria’s Autumn Arts Grapes and Grains Festival.

    The Santa Maria Arts Council has established the Nat D. Fast Memorial Grant and is currently accepting donations. This is a perpetual trust fund allowing the expansion of support the Arts Council gives to emerging artists.
    Donations currently total over $19,000!

    Our goals is $25,000.
    Santa Maria Arts Council co-founder, artist, teacher, Nat Fast passed away October 27, 2013.
    The arts community is saddened by this loss of a man whose passion for art was matched only by his love of the people who created art…in all mediums.

    The Arts Council was formed in 1965 and by 1972 the non-profit established a trust fund that would serve as a source of ongoing revenue to support our local emerging artists.

    To date the trust fund has allowed the council to award over 1/4-million dollars to talented artists.

    Nat Fast was instrumental in the early formation of the fine arts department at AHC where he taught art history, drawing, watercolor,and serigraphy.

    Nat was Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and The Children's Discovery Museum has declared the last Sunday of each January as "Nat Fast Day."

    Nat was honored with the Santa Barbara County Leadership in Arts Award for making a significant impact on the arts and culture of our region through innovative thinking and exemplary commitment to promoting, sustaining, and advancing our quality of life through art.

    The Santa Maria Arts Council was vitally significant to Nat. It was his passion to see the Council support and expand the arts in the valley. The current board is committed to see that this non-profit flourishes, and hopefully exceed all of Nat's expectations.
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    Nat Fast with judges of the Individual Grants Competition 2008
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    Nat's watercolor of The Wizard of Oz
    Why Art Matters...
    …it enriches our lives
     …it builds communication skills
     …it increases tourism
     …it employed 500,891 people in California in 2008 (not including freelancers)
     …it defines cultures over the centuries
     …it inspires us
     …it raises test scores
     …it is what makes us human
     …it reaches students who might not otherwise be engaged
     …it enlivens our senses
     …it expands our perceptual capacity
     …it enhances our ability to learn
     …it added $38.9-billion to U.S. economy in 2008
     …it increases self-confidence
     …it is the link necessary for innovation
     …it teaches professionalism and responsibility
     …it is a reflection of our personalities, dreams, defeats, and triumphs
     …it fuels the imagination
     …its funding from the state has declined more than 30% since 2001
     …it requires your undying commitment to insure it flourishes

    send your "why art matters" using the Contact Us link on the tab above


    Art 'speaks' the heart of the artist, and touches the heart of the beholder

    It keeps us striving to achieve a quality of communication that will arrive and be duplicated. It lets future generations may know what we loved and that we were thinking of them as we made our decisions and created our legacy.

    Art teaches us how to think creatively. Art shows us how to take chances. Art encourages us to learn from our failures as well as our successes.

    We have been created to create!

    it keeps us grounded to our inner lives

    It heals.

    It feeds your Soul!

    It saves your sanity when you are in great need.

    Art matters because it helps to keep us sane in a crazy world.

    Art reflects our society and mirrors our existence.

    Making art is fun for artists.

    It teaches us to think creatively (outside the box) which makes us better problem solvers.

    Why art matters? It heals human maladies of heart, mind, and body.
    Why art matters? It was the first language and continues to be a powerful language that crosses all cultures.
    Thank you for letting me contribute to your list of "Why art matters".
    Back to the studio, Shelly

    art matters because if you are involved in it, it does more to fight off depression than any drug or therapist.

    Thanks to all the artists and supporters of the 2013 Birdhouse Fundraiser. Just over $800 was raised for the Santa Maria Arts Council.

    Francis Dawson

    Marilyn Benson

    Beverly Johnson

    Steve Kennington

    Jean Shinn

    Hattie Stoddard

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    Santa Maria Arts Council
    P.O. Box 5
    Santa Maria, CA
    The Santa Maria Arts Council is a 501c3 non-profit. Your donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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