City offers grants to spark artistic creativity during pandemic

A tile encrusted bollard depicts a garibaldi at the Promenade on Forest. Photo by Daniel Langhorne

To support Laguna Beach’s legacy as an artist’s colony, the Laguna Beach Arts Commission has established grants for Laguna Beach artists that community arts leadership hope will enable them to return to their creative roots.

Cultural Arts Manager Siân Poeschl developed a proposal for a grant program, called Fostering Creativity in a Time of Crisis, for Laguna Beach artists to return to their creative work and shared the concept with the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, which has provided support to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, a donation of $100,000 was awarded to Laguna Beach for the grant program as a gift from the Wayne Peterson Fund. The program was unanimously supported by the City Council and Arts Commission.

Since the application period opened in late June, there have been 28 submissions for creative projects and another 20 applications in process, Poeschl said.

“These grants will allow artists the opportunity to reimagine what changes they must make to sustain their future in uncertain times,” she said. “Facilitating the opportunity for artists to create work that is shared with the community celebrates our healing to this pandemic and reinvigorates the economy. Artists define our community as a different and special place to visit and where we call home.”  

Grants between $1,000 and $8,000 will be awarded to Laguna Beach resident artists over the age of 21 to create artworks for the enjoyment and economic revitalization of the community. The works can be anything from an installation on a display panel on Forest Promenade, a performance at Heisler Park, a virtual reading, a digital projection, an experiential virtual installation, a temporary sculpture, an Art Pop, “or something we’ve never seen before,” Arts Commission Chair Adam Schwerner said in a video message posted on the city website. “We are a community of artists and we have the opportunity to think creatively and get back to what we do best, being creative,” he said.

Once grants are awarded, the works must be completed within a 12-month period and exhibited, performed, or experienced with no additional costs to the City of Laguna Beach and as state and federal orders allow. Through July 21, artists can submit proposals by providing examples of their work and how it will be shared with the community at

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  1. A great deal of what is called *art* today is really artifice, which is defined as: noun – clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others. Outright fakery.
    synonyms – trickery, deceit, deception, duplicity, guile, chicanery


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