In 2019, Californians for the Arts successfully campaigned the state Senate to have April designated as Arts, Culture and Creativity Month. The resolution points out that the creative economy contributes more than $400 billion to the state each year and that “the arts serve to give voice to our many communities, spark individual creativity, foster empathy and understanding, spur civic engagement, and serve as a continual source of personal enrichment, inspiration, and growth.”
In the past two years, all those economic and cultural benefits were largely erased, and arts celebrations turned into arts emergencies. Mandates concerning public gatherings and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic hit the arts sector—especially the performing arts—hard.
Now, in April 2022, it appears the worst is behind us. As theaters, galleries and music venues welcome back the public, the theme for this year’s Arts, Culture and Creativity Month is “The Arts Work,” focusing on how the arts serve “to heal, to build community, to advance justice, to empower youth and to create jobs.”
In honor of the month, the CN&R joins with Californians for the Arts in the celebration. Throughout this special Arts & Music Issue, we highlight the artists, events producers, theater companies, musicians, galleries, museums and nightclubs as they return to their vital role in shaping the character and economic viability of Butte County.
In this issue:
Looking ahead, Creative City Chico coalesces vision for local arts
Arts in the wild, Two beloved community arts events return from pandemic hibernation this spring
Sound of transformation, Young Chico musician Chloe Brandii sings out about abuse, self-love and vulnerability
Editor’s Note: Bring back the arts, As the pandemic wanes, hope for a return to arts-as-normal returns
Sisko Lives, A preview of the career-spanning retrospective of a beloved local artist
Staging a comeback, Arts DEVO’s rundown of new music venues in Chico
Guest comment: Art can heal us, Co-creating art and community in the wake of trauma
Do you enjoy local arts? A Streetalk question in downtown Chico