The Arts in California Parks Program is conducting more than twenty pilot projects in California State Parks.

What are pilot projects, you ask? California State Parks staff were given an opportunity to submit project proposals that engage diverse audiences and align with Program goals. Pilot projects that were selected serve as both inspiration and learning opportunities to inform project development in subsequent rounds.

Pilot projects include community events, installations, and artist in residence programs, each offering unique ways for the public to participate. Explore the list below to learn about upcoming opportunities.

Scheduled Events
  • What: Event
  • When: April 27, 2024
  • Where: California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento
For more information: TBD Students of the Great Wall Youth Orchestra, an orchestral group made up primarily of first, second, and third-generation Chinese immigrants, are returning to the California State Railroad Museum to perform a public concert of music familiar to Chinese railroad workers of the 1860s-1870s using traditional Chinese and classical instruments. This concert is free for the public to attend.
  • What: Event
  • When: May 4, 2024 and May 5, 2024
  • Where: Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia

 

For more information: TBD

Columbia State Historic Park: the celebration of Cinco de Mayo started in 1862 with Columbia being one of the first documented places to celebrate Mexico defeating the French at the battle of Puebla. Although the war continued, this victory symbolized Mexico’s strength of conviction not only for Mexico but for the American Civil War. The date holds the memory of national pride, courage, freedom, civic duty, and community strength. It is a remarkable story of an American tradition, rooted in the Mother Lode. On May 4th and 5th, Columbia will come alive with art, culture, and history to celebrate the spirit, relevance, and power of Cinco de Mayo.

  • What: Community event
  • When: May 18, 2024
  • Where: Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, San Francisco

For more information: TBD

Growing Together Day is a free event that celebrates the power of art, community, and nature. This family-friendly event invites participants to help Joe Colmenares, a renowned San Francisco artist, paint a community mural. The festival will also feature activities hosted by local non-profits, guided walks in the park, food trucks, as well as live music and performances.

  • What: Community event
  • When: Spring 2024
  • Where: Los Angeles State Historic Park, Los Angeles

 

For more information: TBD

The Community and Unity People’s Kite Festival, in partnership with Clockshop, is a free event that draws thousands of attendees. A family-friendly cultural festival draws thousands of attendees and brings together the diverse communities of Los Angeles. This event is free for the public to spend the day enjoying the art of kites, kite-making, and learning new flying techniques from master kite flyers!

 

For more information: TBD

Sylvan Sounds, a series of free music events, will officially begin in the summer of 2024 with a performance on the first Friday of each month from June through November. We are currently recruiting community sponsors who can help bring in communities and performers not typically represented in parks.

  • What: Exhibit Space
  • When: August 2025
  • Where: Monterey State Historic Park, Monterey

 

For more information: Project Manager: Lisa Maldonado Bradford, CA State Parks – Monterey District: bradford@parks.ca.gov

The Casa Gutierrez Adobe Community Art Gallery space will be undergoing a complete upgrade to support community-based art collaborations. Once completed, the gallery will host tri-annual exhibits with multiple community and regional partners. The California Coastal Commission’s traveling exhibit of their Annual K-12 Student Art and Poetry former contest winners will be our first installation for the new space at the Casa Gutierrez Adobe Community Art Gallery. Artwork will be on display every Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., August through October 2025.

  • What: Installation
  • When: 2024
  • Where: Santa Cruz State Parks (multiple), Santa Cruz County

 

For more information: TBD

Two murals will be completed in Santa Cruz State Parks to bring awareness to local environmental issues such as plastic pollution, biodiversity loss, cultural understanding, and environmental justice. They will transform surfaces into meaningful art installations that serve as conversation starters and enhance the parks’ appeal.

  • What: Events
  • When: 2024 (event schedule TBD)
  • Where: Multiple State Parks

 

For more information: TBD

Poetry in Parks regional events will be offered at approximately five State parks in 2024, culminating with a full-day literary, arts, and music festival inviting poet laureates from around the state as well as poets from the regional events. Each event will offer a platform for youth and adult writers to present their work in a spoken word format and offer the public provocative experiences in incredible open-air settings.

  • What: Artist in Residence Program
  • When: 2024
  • Where: Austin Creek State Recreation Area, Guerneville

 

For more information: https://pondfarm.org/pond-farm-air/

The artist-in-residence program at Pond Farm Pottery invites artists from historically underserved communities to live and work onsite, engaging with visitors and the community. The program is administered by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, and partners include RiverArts and Creative Sonoma. Approximately 18 artists will be selected to participate; please see the program website for more information on how to apply.

  • What: Program
  • When: 2024
  • Where: Sacramento (specific locations TBD)

 

For more information: TBD

This workshop series will cultivate connections between Capital District State Parks and instruction in arts and culture at local institutions of higher learning. The series will include a tour of State Parks in the Capital District, highlighting Parks’ cultural resources, and invite participants to consider how they can work together to merge public history and public art. This shared exploration of curriculum development and pedagogical methods in the arts will result in new and ongoing collaborative projects, creating impactful, hands-on learning opportunities for students. The program will empower students to invite diverse publics to creatively engage with Capital District Parks in new ways, while also drawing State Parks into the local arts community.

  • What: Artist in Residence Program
  • When: 2024
  • Where: Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, San Simeon

 

For more information: TBD

A community artist will create diverse and reflective art at Hearst Castle that focuses on engaging STEAM school groups and visitors through dialogic interpretation and interactive displays. The artist will inspire visitors to reinterpret the art and architecture on the property, with a special focus on underrepresented voices and diverse perspectives.

  • What: Installation
  • When: 2024
  • Where: Chino Hills State Park, Chino Hills

 

For more information: TBD

A local artist will create a mural and hanging mobile-style sculpture at the Discovery Center. This art installation will be a great addition to the park and will serve as a unique opportunity to engage the community and local schools!

Upcoming Events
  • What: Installation
  • When: TBD
  • Where: California Citrus State Historic Park, Riverside

 

For more information: TBD

Artist Gerald Clarke, a Cahuilla artist, will create Cahuilla olla and Bird Singing sculpture at California Citrus State Historic Park. California Citrus State Historic Park lacks artistic installations connecting visitors with its Indigenous past, hindering comprehensive experiences, deep connections, and cultural preservation. The absence limits understanding of diverse history, inhibits envisioning future connections, and neglects art as a catalyst for well-being. By creating a Cahuilla olla and Bird Singing sculpture, this project addresses these deficiencies, providing authentic representation, fostering engagement, and enhancing visitor experiences.

  • What: Installation
  • When: TBD
  • Where: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Folsom

 

For more information: TBD

In collaboration with artists and tribal representatives, 8 pillars underneath the Lake Natoma Crossing Bridge will be transformed into canvases that will convey messages of respect and understanding to create change in the visitor experience with native cultural aspects.

  • What: Event
  • When: 2024
  • Where: Various Locations

 

For more information: TBD

State Parks staff and tribal representatives are collaborating on the development of best practices and guidelines for supporting tribal governments and organizations in conducting native dance events at State Parks.

  • What: Installation
  • When: TBD
  • Where: Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, Hesperia

 

For more information: TBD

An outdoor mural on the Nature Center will be developed through a collaboration with local students and an art teacher to reflect the park’s natural and cultural history.

Past Events

For more information: https://stewardscr.org/events/2023-sylvan-sound-check/

Join us to hear the talented Jim Ocean Band perform eco-themed songs in the middle of a protected forest. No food or beverage will be provided for sale.

Sylvan Sounds, a series of free music events, will officially begin in the summer of 2024 with a performance on the first Friday of each month from June through November. We are currently recruiting community sponsors who can help bring in communities and performers not typically represented in parks.

  • What: Community event
  • When: October 21, 2023 from 10am – 11am
  • Where: Los Angeles State Historic Park (rendezvous point)
    1245 North Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

For more information: https://procession.la/event/procession-the-performance/

Procession is a unique civic initiative that follows the historical paths of the Los Angeles River, celebrating the importance of water through a dynamic social art project. The event begins with three walking performances through the city streets, eventually converging at the LA State Historic Park.

Each performance will be led by local artists including members of the Tongva and Chumash tribal communities – Los Angeles’s First Peoples – Lazaro Arvizu Jr. (Gabrielino/Tongva), Tina Calderon (Gabrielino Tongva, Chumash, Yoeme), and Little Tokyo’s Nobuko Miyamoto share their distinct cultural practices and traditions as they retrace the river’s former paths on foot.

  • What: Community event
  • When: Saturday October 28, 2023 and Sunday 29, 2023 | 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: San Diego State Historic Park, San Diego

 

For more information: parks.ca.gov/dayofthedead2023

Celebrate Día de Los Muertos at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29, 2023. Throughout the weekend, visitors can explore the museums to see altares de muertos (altars of the dead) celebrating influential Old Town citizens, participate in hands-on activities, and sign-up for a sugar skull painting workshop (additional material fee). Around the Plaza de Armas, San Diego artists are invited to create chalk art celebrating many communities that have defined “Old Town” over the centuries. Visitors are encouraged to honor their loved ones’ past by contributing their name to the Community Altar located in the Plaza de Armas in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. On Saturday, October 28 at 7 p.m. San Diego Public Library will be presenting a FREE community showing of Disney Pixar’s Coco in the Plaza de Armas.