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October was officially declared as National Arts and Humanities Month by President Obama back in 2009. Artober is a month-long event starting Oct. 1 that highlights the talents and art resources in Sacramento and celebrates the meaning of the month. It will include local artists, businesses, art walks, festivals, workshops and other special events in Old Sacramento and the downtown area.
Last year, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced that the For Arts’ Sake Coalition would be introducing a new action plan for the Sacramento area. A team of 20 artists and art enthusiasts worked to bring resources together such as getting organizations and businesses involved in the process of making the public aware of the power of the arts. Last year, “Arts Open October” was held, which was a test run and smaller idea of what will be going on this year.
“This is our first year doing it quite like this (bigger than ‘Arts Open October’), and we are trying to rally everyone together, from individual artists to big names like the Mondavi Center,” Artober spokeswoman Veronica Delgado said.
According to Veronica, Sacramento alone holds about 30 museums, a professional ballet company and opera company, music groups and more than 125 theater companies.
“We have different stages of how people are involved,” Delgado said. “We've been sending out letters and making phone calls because we want small and big event supporters. We've also been offering businesses the option of doing an Artober indulge product such as a signature drink or meal.”
The businesses that agree to this will be donating 50 percent of the proceeds to the art organization of their choice, or giving a $200 minimum to it.
“We got enough positive feedback and support to come back and do it again,” Delgado said. “We started with two pages of scheduled events, and now we have almost seven full pages – it's really great that so many people want to jump in and help.”
Some big names that are sponsoring and involved are the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau, For Arts’ Sake, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Sacramento365, Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Midtown Business Association, the city’s Department of Convention, Culture and Leisure, The Sacramento Bee and the Sacramento News & Review.
“We want individuals to get active also, and we are giving them the option of doing artist 'hot spots.' They can team up with their biggest collector and have an in-home art show. The same goes for musicians. It doesn't have to be big, but if two people bring 10 friends and host it in their backyard, that is giving them a great opportunity to market themselves,” Delgado said.
There is a variety of ways to get involved, and every style of art is included. Fashion designers, singer/songwriters and private dance or theater companies are all welcome.
Clemon Charles, 47, is a local artist who moved from Barbados 20 years ago and has been performing in the United States ever since.
“I'm a very busy singer/songwriter, and I also play guitar,” Charles said.
Charles will be in the global village set up in Old Sacramento on the “Storytellers Stage” (set-up location not yet announced) doing Caribbean-style storytelling for children on Oct. 1 (he does not know his official time yet).
“Children are my favorite (audience), but everybody is welcome,” Charles said. “I do a lot of folk songs with Jamaican and Indian dialects that people won’t understand, so I tell them what I am singing about.”
The World Music and Dance Festival in Old Sacramento will be kicking the month off for the first two days of October.
On Oct. 9, there will be the Arts Open House, which is an entire afternoon of theater performances at the Community Center Theatre that will also include an art fair.
On Oct. 26, Synthia St. James will be the guest artist at the For Arts’ Sake Coalition Meeting at the Guild Theatre located on 2828 35th St. It will be an opportunity for the public to learn about the For Arts’ Sake implementation and hear what’s going on around the region with Artober activities.
The Artober calendar will be finalized in the coming weeks.
“We are not only raising awareness for art, but we are helping local (forms of the) arts build up their potential customer base and giving them the ability to take action into their own hands and make new opportunities for themselves,” Delgado said.