Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission

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The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission was established in Sacramento, California, United States in 1977. The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is a public agency devoted to supporting, promoting and advancing the arts in the region. The mission of the Arts Commission is 'ADVANCING COMMUNITY THROUGH ARTS AND CULTURE'.

Funded by the City and County of Sacramento, the Arts Commission provides funding to local artists and arts groups; promotes the arts through marketing, outreach and education initiatives; provides resources to support and increase regional arts education activities; and serves as a community partner and resource.

The Arts Commission is guided by 11 Commissioners, appointed by the Sacramento City Council, and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

As a local arts agency, the Arts Commission is committed to uplifting the cultural quality of life for the Sacramento region. Through community facilitation and planning, the Commission provides leadership in arts and economic revitalization; neighborhood and educational enhancement; regional cultural tourism and marketing; and in organizational and financial arts stabilization.

The Arts Commission’s programs include Art in Public Places, Grants and Cultural Programs, Arts Education and Arts Marketing and Outreach.

Art in Public Places[edit]

The City of Sacramento’s nationally renowned Art in Public Places (APP) program was established in 1977 to expand public experiences of visual art by installing artworks in public spaces. It includes a collection of more than 400 permanently sited works of art integrated into Sacramento’s built and natural environments. More than 80% of these artworks are by local and regional artists.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission manages Sacramento’s Public Art Program which is funded through City and County ordinances and a Memorandum of Understanding that specifies 2% of eligible City and County capital improvement project budgets be set aside for the commission, purchase, and installation of artworks throughout the City. The Art in Public Places Committee, a sub-committee of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, oversees the development of a public art master plan, long range planning, policy and procedures and reviews and approves artist selection and projects.

The program has grown to include exhibition spaces, featuring ongoing installations of regional artists at Sacramento City Hall and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). An Education Program was established in 2008 and includes guided tours, workshops, lectures, discussions, and other educational opportunities for design professionals, public art practitioners and the general public.

The goal of the Art in Public Places program is to integrate art and the ideas of artists into the fabric of the City. The collection includes permanent and temporary artworks as well as art that is integrated into the design of buildings and landscapes. Some of the artworks are interactive, some static, some made with traditional or non traditional media like paint, wood, steel, glass, and clay or sound, light, video and film. There are artworks in the collection that are functional, like a bench or tree grate, some address a political or social concern. There are works that are monumental and others are meant to be experienced more intimately, and many will simply take you by surprise.

As a whole, the ever-changing APP collection is meant to:

  • Contribute to building and sustaining the unique cultural heritage and identity of Sacramento
  • Encourage community dialogue and interaction
  • Provide unique educational opportunities
  • Influence the way we think of others and ourselves
  • Inspire, celebrate, and help us remember
  • Create a more beautiful built and natural environment
  • Encourage economic development and vitality by providing business opportunities and by making Sacramento a better place to live


View the artworks that are part of this incredible collection on the APP Collection Directory. You may search by name, title, medium, or simply select the Random Images option to browse.

Grants and Cultural Programs[edit]

Artists, arts groups and arts and cultural organizations are offered a variety of resources and grant opportunities to encourage their growth and to broaden their offerings to the Sacramento arts communities.

Because the Arts Commission re-grants public dollars, programs are always open to any and all artists and arts groups that wish to apply for a grant with us.

Each application is treated with the same transparent professionalism that exists in all Arts Commission processes. Funding decisions are not made by staff. Staff enforce equal access and inclusiveness as they facilitate the evaluation process through peer review panels.

Applicants have to spend time writing their applications, answering questions, and providing information that may seem redundant and can be hard to put together. All of this keeps the Arts Commission highly accountable to the public.

The Arts Commission offers grant programs targeted at Sacramento County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, artists, and arts groups.

Arts Stabilization Program

The Arts Commission offers this program in an effort to provide resources, support, and technical assistance to Sacramento County arts and cultural organizations, artists, and arts groups.

The Arts Stabilization Program began in 1998 in an effort to strengthen the arts community and specifically nonprofit arts organizations. In 2007 some Arts Stabilization programs were expanded to include small arts groups and individual artists. This program provides resources, support, and technical assistance to Sacramento County arts and cultural organizations, artists and arts groups in marketing, business and financial planning, board and staff development and professional development.

Sacramento Poet Laureate Program
The Sacramento Poet Laureate Program was established in February 2000, and is designed to extend and bring to life the power and beauty of poetry and the spoken word to our community and to increase literary awareness in Sacramento County.

The Sacramento Poet Laureate Program strives to encourage literary awareness by the general public and celebrates the high caliber of talent among Sacramento’s poets.

Past Poets Laureate include:
Bob Stanley, Sacramento Poet Laureate, 2009-2011
Julia Connor, Sacramento Poet Laureate, 2005-2008
José Montoya, Sacramento Poet Laureate, 2002-2004
Dennis Schmitz and Viola Weinberg, Sacramento Poets Laureate, 2000-2002

Arts Education[edit]

The Arts Education program of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission provides access to and engagement in, arts learning experiences for residents of all ages in the greater Sacramento region. The program does this by providing resources and collaborative partnership opportunities for arts organizations, social service and community organizations, schools, teaching artists, and educators to develop educational programming.

The Arts Education Program:

  • Facilitates collaborations between the arts community and public and private organizations, to develop educational programming in all the performing, visual and literary arts.
  • Advocates for regular arts learning activities in schools and neighborhood settings for all ages.
  • Creates model arts teaching programs for replication across the region.
  • Provides connections and support to artists, educators, and arts organizations working in educational and community settings.


The Arts Education Program also manages an Arts Education Resource Directory, which is a searchable database of visual and performing artists and their arts education programs. The Directory lists workshops, residencies, performances, and field trips for all ages with contact information for booking the artists.

All the teaching artists listed in the Directory have been screened for their experience and skills by the Arts Commission through a panel of regional working and teaching artists. You will see on their listings that they have been approved for either K-12 Arts or Community Arts, or both.

Arts Marketing and Outreach[edit]

Making Sacramento a Dynamic Cultural Destination The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission sponsors cultural tourism and arts marketing initiatives designed to engage residents and visitors in the rich and vibrant arts community of Sacramento.

This is accomplished through marketing and public service advertising campaigns, cultivating business and media relationships which broaden access to the arts and by establishing a program through which individual artists are honored for their lifelong achievements, arts organizations for special accomplishments and arts advocates for their efforts on behalf of the arts community.

Highlights of marketing and community outreach programs offered by the Arts Commission:

  • ARTS. OPEN DAILY. A broad reaching public service advertising campaign designed to inform and direct residents and visitors to engage in the many arts and cultural opportunities in Sacramento County. The campaign includes: advertising, special events and public relations on a year round basis. This is a long term program and will run over the next 5 years.
  • The Arts Commission e-Newsletter is sent out to a wide network of e-contacts on a weekly basis. It highlights new opportunities for artists and arts groups as well as special community events and general arts community happenings.
  • A series of well placed media stories about the Arts Commission and the many organizations they support.
  • Special events and festivals are on the Arts Commission schedule year round. New events are listed on the Arts Commission Facebook and home page of this web site so please keep in touch for the latest information.

External links[edit]