YoloArts turns 30 years old in December and will recognize its colorful countywide history with a community birthday party Friday evening. The party at Gallery 625 coincides with the December exhibition opening featuring the artwork of seven YoloArts board of directors, past and present.
“It is exciting to be carrying forward this work that was started 30 years ago, and rewarding to see YoloArts and the arts continuing to be actively supported in Yolo County,” said MaryEllen Bergh, current president of the YoloArts board of directors.
Incorporated as the Yolo County Arts Council in December 1981, the formation of the organization began in March of that year when the Yolo County Board of Supervisors received a commissioned Yolo County Cultural Plan. Supervisors at that time were Chairman Bob Black, Clark Cameron, George DeMars, Betsy Marchand and Twyla Thompson.
The plan later was endorsed by the cities of Woodland and Davis.
Following these actions, an ad hoc Arts Council was formed with appointments made by each county supervisor, each City Council, the Washington Unified School District (West Sacramento had not incorporated as a city at this time) and the county Board of Education.
Jump-started by a grant from the California Arts Council, the process was coordinated by the Sacramento Regional Arts Council, which was hired to develop the plan. Statewide, this process was being conducted by all California counties but one.
“We had composed an operable system of hopes, dreams, practical application and spirited folks who fully realized the value of a very active and high-profile art organization,” said Marianne Ryan, who was the first president of the board of the Yolo County Arts Council and a representative on the ad hoc committee.
The Yolo County Cultural Plan Resource Committee — composed of artists and representatives from county arts, culture, education and recreation organizations — developed a list of recommendations, including three priorities: creating a nonprofit county arts council, expanding the arts in education and creating an arts network.
Today, YoloArts provides arts education in every school district in Yolo County and an arts network thrives online at yoloarts.org, and through workshops, performances, public art commissions and the Art & Ag Project.
The YoloArts birthday celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Gallery 625 in the County Administration Building, 625 Court St. in Woodland. Cake, champagne, recognition of past and present YoloArts leaders and an unusual birthday surprise will round out the evening.
For more information, call (530) 406-4844 or email [email protected].