The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s public art program just got a big boost to its placard allowance, as the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the museum $10,000 as part of its Challenge America grant program.
Museum officials say the grant funds will go toward a public art and artist-in-residence program featuring San Francisco spray-paint muralist Chor Boogie.
The NEA recently approved more than $25 million in grants for 2018. SVMA won its grant funds as part of the Challenge America category, which offers NEA support for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations — those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics or disability.
“It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States,” said NEA Chairwoman Jane Chu, in announcing the grant. “These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to the SVMA, are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives.”
Museum Executive Director Linda Keaton said she was grateful for the NEA support.
“The support from the NEA reflects a statement of values in line with our own, one that works to reach all segments of the community, especially underserved students,“ said Keaton.
According to a SVMA press release, the purpose of the public art grant is to support a public-art and artist-residency project led by guest artist Chor Boogie. He will engage with area youth in a multi-week artist residency that will incorporate workshops, artist-led talks, performances, and other education opportunities that will culminate in a large street mural in the Boyes Hot Springs area. As part of the final event, the students will be paired with an adult mentor and give a presentation about their creative learning process.
Chor Boogie, a.k.a. Jason Lamar Hailey, is a nationally exhibited spray-paint artist. He was recently honored by Société Perrier as the No. 3 among the Top Ten U.S. street artists. His murals and art exhibitions have appeared internationally, including venues such as the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Public Arts in Baton Rouge, Museum of Art Puerto Rico, the Los Angeles Art Fair, the Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and the San Diego Museum of Art.