List curated by: Laura Marie Anthony
In no particular order, here are 9 Sacramento based creative organizations to watch in 2019:
1. ART OF THE DAY SACRAMENTO
Founded by Desaree Lynee Deckard, Art of the Day Sacramento features and celebrates local artists. From personal experience, I’ve noticed that Desaree has a highly observant and empathetic pulse on the city’s visual art scene.
Photo by: Nelson Murray
Art of the Day Sac has been wildly successful locally and abroad with fans using the the now-famous hashtag #artofthedaysac – over 27 thousand uses so far. Woah.
Follow their social media, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #artofthedaysac for a chance to be featured!
2. LAVENDER LIBRARY
“The Lavender Library is an LGBTQ+ all-volunteer-run community library with over 12,000 titles of books, DVDs, and periodicals. They also manage a community archive that contains many original documents from Sacramento LGBT activists and other ephemera. The Lav hosts queer book clubs, support groups, open mic nights, crafternoons, and most importantly, everyone is enthusiastically welcomed!
In 2018, the library collaborated with the Gender Health Center and the California Endowment to unveil a powerful mural of the late Chyna Gibson, by Jessica Sabogal and Shanna Strauss, on International Day of Trans Visibility, reminding us that #BlackTransLivesMatter.
Follow and support this wonderful organization:
3. SOL COLLECTIVE
This organization is a community-based partnership whose mission is to provide artistic, cultural, and educational programming, promote social justice, and empower youth of color, marginalized, and underserved communities through art, activism, music, and media.
Recently, Sol Collective launched the #SchoolsNotPrisons DIY Grant, and awarded California artists, media makers, youth, activists, educators, and organizations as they highlighted the many ways our systems of punishment harm communities, particularly communities of color.
The list of ways to get involved at Sol are numerous. With interactive workshops such as #SacActivistSchool or events like “Plugged” Open Mic/Open Jam, you’re guaranteed an amazing time. Many activities are geared for all ages, so we highly encourage you to follow their work:
4. ZFG PROMOTIONS
ZFG Promotions, which partners with Sol Collective often, has a creative focus on intersectionality, accessibility and activism.
Zero Forbidden Goals has enriched the local scene and abroad with the popularization of guerrilla pop-ups, advocating for busking law reform, and overall providing a platform of creative growth.
My personal favorite ZFG event has to be Drunk Poetry, which is pretty self explanatory, so make sure you follow them to get involved with a very fun, empathetic, and influential group of souls:
5. 916 INK
As many in the area may know, 916 Ink is Sacramento’s arts-based creative writing nonprofit that provides workshops for Sacramento area youth, grades 3-12, in order to transform them into confident writers and published authors.
Since 2010, they’ve transformed over 3000 young people in the greater Sacramento region into published authors. 916 ink has also published over 100 professional anthologies of student work. And perhaps most notably, they also seek to serve at-risk or vulnerable youth including those in foster care, those who are experiencing homelessness, or those who are involved in the juvenile justice system.
To learn more about their cause and ways to support, please follow them on social media and visit their official site.
6. THE CREATION DISTRICT
Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento, The Creation District is a safe haven and hub of creativity offering dynamic classes in a wide range of arts to youth and young adults experiencing homelessness and economic instability. The Creation District believes that community connections are paramount in helping youth permanently overcome homelessness.
They recently introduced its new roving, pop-up studio program. Based out of a newly remodeled moving van, Street ARTreach delivers a fully stocked pop-up art and music studio to scattered sites around the Sacramento region to increase artistic accessibility to youth experiencing homelessness and income inequality.
7. EMPIRE ARTS COLLECTIVE
I’ve been personally enchanted with this organization for quite a while now! With the overall goal to “Work together. Learn together. Rise together.” Empire Arts Collective is a warm and welcoming place for artists and art fans alike. Many events and activities are geared toward those of all experience ranges and abilities.
They’ve live-streamed educational workshops pertaining to the entertainment industry, hosted sing-alongs to some of the most popular musicals like Hamilton or Wicked, they just sold out a run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical called “Once More With Feeling” and they’re about to fire up a series called “Pop Choir,” which invites people of all ability levels to participate in a choir concert. With renditions of “Smelly Cat” or songs from “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” – you’re bound to crack a smile or burst into song yourself.
Snag your tickets here before they sell out:
POP CHOIR / https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4101811
Oh! And of course, follow Empire on social media to keep track of their numerous fun events, like the Open Mic at Oblivion Comics!
8. ART ADVICE
If you’ve frequented Second Saturdays or many other art events around town, you might have noticed this booth:
What is Art Advice? Well, if you have time, I urge you to follow this podcast link to glean some invaluable tips on creative process, and to gain an understanding of their mission on a much deeper level. But in a nutshell, Art Advice is simply a place you can go to get free, no judgment advice on art or artistry!
The co-founders Ianna and Gioia sensed a need, after seeing a hunger for guidance from many artists who compose our creative community. Some who come for advice are novices, and others are seasoned creatives.
I am personally looking forward to seeing them at Crocker Art Mix on May 9, so make sure to follow their social media to keep in the loop on that event, and other rad places they’ll be popping up!
9. LIBRARY OF MUSICLANDRIA
Every time I hear about Library of MusicLandria, it’s followed by words of delight and inspiration. This organization is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to musical exploration, and is pretty much every music enthusiast’s dream. You can literally check out musical instruments from their library! They have everything, and I heard a rumor (from their social media) that they’re taking recording sessions and offering rehearsal space, too.
Musiclandria has a strong desire to change the way people access music. They value musical exploration as a way to heal, build a strong sense of community togetherness, promote personal growth, increasing the quality of life in foster youth, and all members of the community for that matter.
For instance, a lovely gentleman who experiences dementia on a daily basis and is normally disengaged, recently saw an accordion at their Instrument Petting Zoo and lit up with a huge smile, picked it up and went to town playing it with grace and ease!
For even more context on the significance of musical healing, here’s an excerpt of Musiclandria founder Buddy Hale’s story:
“When I was growing up, my father battled with dementia, I went through the foster system and ultimately became an emancipated minor. I really struggled with isolation, a lack of personal identity, and had no helping hand to show me how to navigate the world. My life would have been very different if I had access to musical instruments and resources earlier. Musical exploration helped me define who I am in this world. It allowed me to identify my interests and passions and ultimately helped me create family-like bonds with a community of other music enthusiasts. Now that I’m in a place where I can create a resource that I wish existed when I was growing up, I can be the change I wish to see in the world. I can create a resource that provides opportunities for youth that didn’t exist when I was young, which is very rewarding”
If you know someone who would benefit from a visit at The Library of Musiclandria, or if you’d like to support them, do yourself a favor and check out more at the links below: