By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

Every two years, SVCREATES partners with the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) to select a new Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. Since 2009, we have been moved by each of the poets selected: County Poet Laureates Nils Peterson, Sally Ashton, David Perez, Arlene Biala, Mighty Mike McGee, and most recently, Janice Lobo Sapigao. Thank you to this remarkable group of poets for elevating this beautiful art form and sharing the power of poetry to heal, inform, and inspire.

We are excited to share that we are formalizing our partnership with Poetry Center…

By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

As of late, and for good reason, we have spent a lot of time talking about our arts ecosystem and all of the challenges we face. Today, I am taking a break from that and sharing a personal story involving my granddaughter, Savi. She has been taking dance lessons for the past several months (mask and all) and had her first recital at a park during one of our heat waves. They rescheduled it to a late evening and an early morning performance to avoid the heat of the afternoon. …

By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

The essence of Silicon Valley informs our unique arts and cultural ecosystem.

Silicon Valley is a relatively young and highly educated region that attracts people from around the world. Our entrepreneurial, risk-taking, startup culture fueled the emergence of a global center of technology and innovation at record speed — a feat for which we have become world-renowned. And in doing so, we also created a broadly diverse “culture of churn” and unprecedented wealth that is, in many cases, only loosely tied to our local community.

Silicon Valley wealth is largely “new money” and…

By Tamara Mozahuani Alvarado, SVCREATES Board Member and Equity Council Co-Chair

Photo Credit: Content Magazine Issue 9.0 “Celebrate”

After many years in a career dedicated to racial justice, through community activism, arts administration, and nonprofit leadership, I now find myself in the midst of a hot topic of the day — Racial Equity in Philanthropy. And it’s about time!

It’s exciting to be working with colleagues in the field of philanthropy to deeply investigate how we can change the nature of our work to advance equity. Racial equity has been defined as just and fair inclusion into a society in which all people can participate, prosper, and…

By Roy Hirabayashi, co-founder of San Jose Taiko and a leader in our local arts community.

What are folk and traditional arts? The definition can vary from where you live and the cultural community in your neighborhood. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has the following description:

“The folk and traditional arts, which include crafts, dance, music, oral traditions, visual arts, and others, are those that are learned as part of the cultural life of a community whose members share a common ethnic heritage, cultural mores, language, religion, occupation, or geographic region.”

The Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA)

By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

Happy Holidays!

As we close out this truly incredible, unprecedented year, we are reflecting on the many people and institutions who kept us hopeful this year. We are feeling the depth and importance of our community, of those people and institutions that are woven inextricably into our work and our daily lives. We are grateful.

We are grateful for the Silicon Valley artists, culture workers, and arts leaders who have nurtured our souls and brought us joy, learning, and inspiration during this dark time of COVID-19, wildfires, a divided nation, and contentious election season. …

By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

Photo: Airyka Rockefeller

With the election (nearly) behind us and a vaccine on its way, there is reason to be hopeful for 2021. In a normal year, the holidays are a source of great joy for families and friends of all religions and cultures as we gather together to give thanks, enjoy traditions, and welcome in the new year. 2020 is not that kind of year and with COVID-19 cases rising and our country so divided, it appears that life will become more difficult before it gets better. …

By Chike Nwoffiah, Founding Director, Silicon Valley African Film Festival

From the griots of the 12th century Mali Empire to the rappers of present-day America, the artist continues to be the mirror that reflects who we are or should be as a people. I come from the Igbo ethnic group of South East Nigeria, a culture where life’s daily activities are often interwoven with one form of artistic expression or another. Art, therefore, assumes agency for the spiritual wellbeing of the community.

As we sort our way through a COVID-19 world and adjust to new ways of being and doing…

By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

Being a cultural leader in Silicon Valley is not easy. The cultural sector faced many challenges before the pandemic, and we were not alone. Our region’s “old normal” has decades of systemic and structural flaws impacting every segment of our community. There is no one solution to Silicon Valley’s interdependent and complex problems.

Driving change has always been an uphill battle and many of us have been fighting for it for a long time. It is easy to be skeptical about the motivation of others and our ability to come together for the…

By Connie Martinez, SVCREATES’ Chief Executive Officer

The centrality of equity in our lives, our relationships, and the way we do business has been amplified in recent months as we try to make sense of the inequitable impact of COVID-19 and the murders of people of color at the hands of police. Let’s hope that our collective focus on equity is more than just a politically correct moment in time, but rather central to our enduring quest for a “more perfect union” — anchored in truth and justice.

When change occurs it often seems as if it happened overnight. It…


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