Committee created to address lack of arts funds


Peaces of Chico is a mural by artist Gregg Payne in downtown Chico. Photo credit: Latisha Cheney

The Chico City Council voted 7-0 to form a committee focused on the lack of funding for the arts in Chico Tuesday.

City Council
The council voted Tuesday to approve a committee. Photo credit: Latisha Cheney

Funding for the arts has experienced a devastating decline and has nearly dissolved in Butte County, according to Debbie Presson, city clerk of the Arts Commission.

Bidwell Park Bridge
Art in Bidwell Park’s One Mile. Photo credit: Latisha Cheney

“Funding went away when the recession hit Butte County, which was when the city laid off Chico Arts Projects Coordinator Mary Gardner in 2013,” said Presson.

“After that, we lost our sources of funding.”

In place of direct funding, a community service grant was set aside in which the commission could apply in competition with social services to receive part of the funds.

Councilman Coolidge will act as chair of the committee, working with Councilwoman Schwab to decide funding for restoration of existing arts projects and creation of future ones. Two members of the Arts Committee are to be appointed by council to explore alternative sources for funding outside city grants.

Tisha Cheney can be reached at [email protected] or @orionnews_TC on Twitter.