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Nov 9 - Dec 31, 2023

Arts Council for Monterey County


The mission of the Arts Council for Monterey County (Arts4MC) is to improve the quality of life for everyone in our region through the arts.

The Arts Council for Monterey County supports artists, programs, and organizations that preserve culture, create community, promote arts as a universal language, and stimulate the creative economy. The organization’s overarching strategy is to advance social equity through the arts by supporting artists, programs, and organizations that are emerging, under-resourced, or underrepresented. In doing so, the Arts Council pursues the following strategies in programs and operations:

-Facilitate access to entry for under-resourced, nascent, emerging, or typically underrepresented groups in accessing Arts4MC’s resources and services.
-Form partnerships with leading local organizations at the forefront of social equity issues in Monterey County.
-Expand Arts4MC’s scope of work to include and recognize less traditional and conventional art forms.
-Stimulate the creative economy through development of artists and arts organizations.
-Ensure the financial stability of the Arts Council through strong leadership and transparency.

The Big Idea

While the pandemic is officially over, many are still dealing with trauma, stress and depression, so extra support for time lost building cognitive learning skills and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is vitally important. Visual arts naturally align with social-emotional learning goals and our professional teaching artists, with specialized training through the UCLArts&Healing program, are uniquely positioned to aid in this crucial developmental process.

Engaging in art can be a therapeutic and stress-relieving activity. It provides an outlet for individuals to channel their emotions and reduce anxiety or stress. The act of creating art can promote relaxation, mindfulness, and a sense of accomplishment, which contribute to overall well-being. By incorporating art into SEL practices, individuals can develop coping mechanisms and resilience to better manage their emotions and mental health.

Overall, art stimulates social-emotional growth by promoting emotional expression, self-reflection, empathy, problem-solving skills, and well-being.

The art provides a different modality for our survivors in terms of classes. Especially because most of their classes are trauma based, this is such a nice break from that! Plus their art is BEAUTIFUL and we are going to hang all their creations in our new classrooms.

- Ashley Chesney, Executive Director, Set Free Monterey Bay