In an exciting collaboration, the City of Santa Rosa Public Art Program has joined forces with the National Arts Program to present the 21st Annual National Arts Program Exhibition and Competition.
Scheduled to run from Feb. 5 to April 19, 2024, the exhibition will be at the Finley Community Center at 2060 West College Ave., Santa Rosa.
This eagerly anticipated event offers a unique opportunity for artists of all ages in Santa Rosa to showcase their talents and foster artistic growth through scholarships and awards. It’s specifically for local Santa Rosa-based artists, City of Santa Rosa employees, relatives of City employees and retired City of Santa Rosa employees.
“The National Arts Program is a pillar of the City’s Art Program. Because it’s open to any resident or City employee, from amateur to professional, youth to seniors, it’s a unique opportunity for artists at all skill levels to display their creative work in a professional setting,” says Jessica Rasmussen, arts specialist in the Santa Rosa Planning and Economic Development Department.
The deadline is Jan. 5, 2024, but only the first 200 artists who apply will be accepted.
One remarkable aspect of this program is its inclusivity—there is no entry fee, and artists of all ages and experience levels are not only invited but strongly encouraged to participate.
The competition is divided into various categories, including Professional (defined as being in an art profession or working as an artist), Intermediate (meaning art students or those with some art experience), Amateur (those with little or no art experience yet), Teen (13-18) and Youth (12 & Under), ensuring an opportunity for a diverse range of artistic expressions.
“This program really brings our community together through art and contributes to our local culture in a special way every year. We’re going on 21 years now!” says Rasmussen.
Awards in each category will recognize outstanding achievement. For the Professional, Intermediate and Amateur categories, cash prizes of $350, $250 and $150 will be awarded for first, second and third place, respectively. Similarly, the Teen and Youth categories will receive awards of $150, $100 and $50 for first, second and third place.
In addition to the category-specific awards, there is a Best of Show award of $400—an award available to all participants—recognizing the overall outstanding contribution. Furthermore, a Continuing Art Education scholarship award valued at $200 will be presented, highlighting the program’s commitment to fostering ongoing artistic development. Every participating artist will also receive a certificate of participation, acknowledging their valuable contribution to the exhibit.
The National Arts Program, established in 1985 by The National Arts Foundation, aims to inspire, acknowledge and reward creative accomplishments nationwide. The program started as a pilot project in Philadelphia and has since expanded nationally, encompassing over 80 venues in 37 states. The National Arts Program encourages individuals of all skill levels to showcase their talents in a public exhibition, emphasizing inclusivity and providing an uninhibited opportunity for artistic expression.
Artists are encouraged to mark their calendars for the exhibition, which begins Feb. 5, 2024, and will be open Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm, offering ample opportunities for the public to explore the work of Santa Rosa artists.
Register online at nationalartsprogram.org/santarosa. For those unable to register online, contact Jessica Rasmussen at [email protected]. To learn more about Santa Rosa’s Public Art Program, visit SRCity.org/Arts, and to learn about the National Arts Program, visit nationalartsprogram.org.