Visalia Can Help You with Your Zombie Opera

This Central Valley City Supports the Arts—and Reaps Their Cultural and Economic Benefits, Too

Can the arts make a city vibrant both economically and culturally? Artists and arts administrators in Visalia, California, think so. At a “Living the Arts” event co-presented by the James Irvine Foundation in front of a full house at Arts Visalia, they discussed their community’s thriving performing and visual arts scene and the support they’ve received from local government, businesses, schools, and individuals to make it possible.

At college in San Diego, Rosalinda Verde fell in love with opera—but she learned to love art while growing up in Visalia. “Instrumental people …

Want the Arts to Make Your City Vibrant?

Don’t Just Throw Money at Artists. Give Them Places to Perform, Collective Bargaining Powers—or a Break on Permits.

For towns like Visalia, California, the expression “arts for art’s sake” doesn’t make much sense. In Visalia—as in other emerging arts towns throughout the U.S.—art isn’t just there for its …

I Did Not Want to End Up in Modesto

But Thanks to a Community of Poets, I Grew Into the Central Valley—and My Adopted City Grew Into Me

The land around coaxes out
almonds, apricots, walnuts.
At 3 a.m., the call to irrigate.
—from “An Alphabet for a Mid-Sized City”

I am not from here, not from the …

How Does the City Keep the Show Going On?

In Modesto, Music Is By the People and For the People

How do you engage a community in the arts—especially when resources, attention spans, and time are all limited? A panel of local musicians addressed this question and others at a …

Can Art Heal Our Minds—and Our Communities?

I Founded Modesto’s Peer Recovery Art Project to Keep Mental Health Consumers From Being Isolated. In the Process, I’m Helping Revitalize My City.

I don’t care for labels, but I’m a Californian who went around the country working carnivals before schizophrenia dug its hooks into me. After 10 years, some of them wandering …

Arts Organizations Walk the Tightrope

You’re on a Budget. You Can Be Excellent. Or You Can Welcome Everyone. But Can You Do Both?

California spends about 18.5 cents on the arts for each of its 38 million residents. That’s not much—in fact, last year marked the first time in a decade the …