October 24, 2020

OCTOBER 24, 2020 – IRVINE, CALIFORNIA – Arts Orange County, the nonprofit official local arts agency and State-Local Partner for the County of Orange, has awarded grants to eight (8) local arts programs that primarily serve communities of color. This program is funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the California Arts Council, a state agency.
Recipient organizations include:

  • AHRI Center, a project of Tides Center – Garden Grove - $2,000
  • New Hope Presbyterian Church – Anaheim - $2,000
  • RYTMO – Reaching Youth Through Music Opportunities – Anaheim - $2,000
  • The Rock – Anaheim - $1,787
  • Second Baptist Church – Santa Ana - $2,000
  • The Silence is Broken – Monarch Beach - $2,000
  • Viet Cam Dance – Westminster - $2,000
  • Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association – Fountain Valley - $2,000

The COVID-19 relief funding program was announced on September 8 with a deadline of September 21. Oversight for the grant process was by Arts Orange County’s Board of Directors Cultural Equity Task Force whose members include: Dr. Stephen Barker, Dean, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine; Dr. Thuy Vo Dang, Curator, Southeast Asian Archive, University of California, Irvine; Scott Fitzpatrick, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Orange County Department of Education; Sara Guerrero, Founder and Artistic Director, Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble; Tim Shaw, President, Tim Shaw and Associates; Debora Wondercheck, Founder & Executive Director, Arts & Learning Conservatory.

“This was an extremely valuable program for our community,” commented ArtsOC President & CEO Richard Stein. “Only one of the eight grant recipients was on our ‘radar’ prior to our conducting this grantmaking process, and through the knowledge and advice of our own Board’s Cultural Equity Task Force, we were able to learn about the important work these programs are doing in providing arts experiences and instruction to communities of color in Orange County. Like all such programs, they are struggling during the current pandemic and needed relief.”

“I want to express my deep gratitude to Arts Orange County for engaging the state on these local programs that will help alleviate some of the disconnection many have felt in our community,” said Senator Tom Umberg (D – Santa Ana). “Many organizations had to adapt to a new way of serving our community this year because of COVID-19, and the grants secured from the California Arts Council will help provide an outlet where local artists can uplift and inspire hope and joy.”

The California Arts Council (CAC) voted on May 8 , to distribute the $710,400 of State Arts Agency CARES Act funding awarded to it by the National Endowment from the Arts to the 54 Arts Council's State-Local Partner grantees on an opt-in basis. Each participating State-Local Partner agency received $15,787 to regrant in processes that were locally planned and administered. The CAC stipulated that the grants were to be awarded to programs serving and/or led by Black, Indigenous, or other People of Color (BIPOC). State-Local Partner agencies were permitted to retain 20% to cover administrative costs, however Arts Orange County declined to do so and instead distributed the full amount through its grants process.


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Senator Thomas Umberg represents the 34th Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Midway City, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Westminster. Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, and former federal prosecutor. He and his wife, Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA (ret.), live in Orange County.