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American River Messenger

Sacramento Public Library Puts out Call for Artists

Dec 20, 2023 03:12PM ● By Tamara Warta

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, one of the potential sites for a Parks and Tranquility Project art installation. Photo courtesy of California Department of Parks and Recreation

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Public Library (SPL), which has 29 locations spanning from Orangevale to Isleton, recently announced its new Parks and Tranquility project. With the intention of bringing visual and performing arts to a selection of the region’s many outdoor spaces, artists are invited to apply for grant awards that range from $5000 - $10,000.

“We will engage and collaborate with community members, community-based organizations, and arts and justice collectives,” states the official website, “to create site-specific art and educational experiences at multiple California State Park sites around Sacramento County.”

A schedule of the public events developed through the Parks and Tranquility program are expected to be announced in early 2024.

The idea to bring the arts into parks and other outdoor spaces was inspired by the California State Library's statewide Parks Pass program. This program allows any California resident with a library card to borrow free passes to approximately 200 state parks. SPL specifically was granted funds to identify and create art installations to complement these passes. While any artist may apply, selected projects should carry one of the specific themes being prioritized by the library.

According to Ricardo M. Ramirez, the system supervisor of SPL, these themes include a project goal to “generate positive measurable impacts in the areas of health, natural resource stewardship, and historical and cultural connections with an equity lens.”

“SPL will engage and collaborate alongside our Sacramento community members, community-based organizations, and arts and culture collectives on arts and recreational equity experiences that include community events and field trips," Ramirez also stated.

Selected artists will work with a special project team that consists of both library staff and community members. The original visual artwork will be featured at pre-selected California state parks, while other artists will prepare and execute community workshops featuring their art discipline.

“All types of art mediums are eligible,” said Ramirez. “We encourage a wide range of artists and all levels of experiences to apply for these grants. We are fortunate to be in a dynamic and lively arts community, and are continually inspired by what we see, hear, and experience. We plan to curate a number of public programs that will incorporate the work of the selected artists that reflect our communities and the joy of being in natural spaces.”

While any type of artist is welcome to apply, it is with the understanding that their art form may be converted to accommodate a realistic outdoor art installation. A watercolor or acrylic painter, for example, may complete their piece and see it converted into a more durable digital print. Dancers should expect to accommodate an outdoor learning or performance space in lieu of a traditional indoor studio.

In order to be eligible for the Parks and Tranquility grant, applicants must be a resident of the Sacramento region and aged 16 or older. Applicants cannot be currently employed by SPL, and should be eligible to receive taxable income. The selected artist(s) must also be available for public events and installations related to the finalized artwork at the select location(s).

The grant application and selection process is a quick turnaround — applications are due by December 30th, and artists will be notified by the end of January. Time is of the essence for those artists wishing to be considered. With all levels of experience welcome to apply, SPL understands there will be questions. Applicants may call (916) 264-2920 or email [email protected] with any inquiries.

Potential artists may visit for more information and to apply, as well as for the opportunity to view artists’ inspirations behind the project for a better view of what SPL is seeking out for this unique new opportunity.