LQAF wishes you a happy and healthy New Year!
It was another busy year for La Quinta Arts Foundation. We said hello to new programs and services and bid adieu to others, awarded scholarships in the arts for local students and provided grants to innovative arts projects for others. We gained a new voice for local arts at the state level and once again attained a top national ranking for our work.
We reached a difficult decision to retire our signature event based in part on the dramatic changes we are seeing in the way art collectors learn about and acquire new works as well as the significant investments in technology and talent now required to meet patron and safety expectations. These factors have been highlighted in recent news as other festivals announce cancellations and/or hit the pause button, signaling the myriad challenges facing today’s event producers and the paradigm shift that is occurring in how people wish to engage and participate in the arts.
As we have looked to develop new and innovative platforms and programming, we joined local partners to create the California Desert Arts Council (CDAC), a new digital platform to promote and serve the local art and culture community.
Throughout the year, the CDAC resource platform and outreach helped promote arts and culture events, jobs in the arts, calls for artists and grant funding available for local artists and organizations. I’ve also had the privilege of serving as a board member of Californian’s for the Arts (CFTA), adding a local voice for the valley’s arts and culture assets, needs and issues at the state level.
For many years, LQAF has supported the arts across multiple disciplines and has both learned from and benefited from the experience and the relationships we cultivated. We have provided grants and scholarships to many local students and organizations.
Last year, LQAF funded the inaugural CDAC ArtsTank projects, including the Greetings public participation mural now installed near the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Power Plants exhibit which was presented at College of the Desert along with an artist lecture for students and the community. Building upon this initial success, we are exploring options that will allow us to expand the ArtsTank grant program throughout the valley.
While it hardly seems possible, November marked my 21st anniversary with LQAF. Over those many decades we have seen many changes as we have adapted to our ever changing environment. And this year was no exception with several staff changes, including two retirements, two staff leaving to pursue opportunities outside of the valley and one position lost to allow LQAF to move forward as efficiently as possible. Some general operating functions, such as accounting and communications, have been outsourced to local professional firms during our reorganization.
The LQAF office lease at the Calle Tampico office also ended on November 30th. It was no small undertaking to honor and catalog LQAF historical records as we sought to economize our former 1,700 sq. ft. office. With a relocation we were happy to share excess equipment and supplies with Old Town Artisan Studios, Raices Cultura, and other local nonprofits.
For now, we have been fortunate to be welcomed by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership into a suite located in one of the iHub campuses sprouting up across the valley. The collaborative and forward thinking environment is a great place to envision LQAF’s future role with close-by resources to help and support our strategic process.
As we gear up for all that 2020 has in store, we are beginning a strategic planning process which we expect will continue through the end of the fiscal year. A series of stakeholder interviews along with research and consultation with community organizations and partners will help solidify our strategic direction and help provide solid direction for a business and operations plan to move forward.
Our visual arts college scholarship program will continue, with over $1.3 million awarded thus far. The scholarship application process begins each year in February. We particularly enjoy touching base with and sharing the great stories of the progress and accomplishments of current and former scholars whose hopes and dreams have been enriched as a result of our efforts and your support.
We also believe that the well-being of our entire community is enhanced by supporting a variety of opportunities for all people to experience the arts. Programs that support the arts and artists, such as CDAC, the arts scholarship program, and ArtsTank will continue to be of special interest.
We look forward to bringing you a timely calendar of events, job postings, exhibits, grant funding availability and relevant and useful reports and content related to our growing arts and culture community.
We invite you to stay in touch and learn more at LQAF.com, and cadeserarts.org. With your support, for 37 years LQAF has served the Coachella Valley contributing to the vibrancy of arts and culture in our community.
President & CEO