Celebrating 5 Years!

Creative Sonoma turned five in July 2019 and we are already looking forward to the next five. Your collective voices formed the basis on which we were established and as we have developed, we have sought to expand that strong foundation.


The shared vision expressed by hundreds of participants in town hall and focus group meetings in 2014 was the impetus to launch Creative Sonoma. We took your baseline ideas and have worked to cultivate your vision by being opportunistic and collaborative. And we plan to continue and expand that work, again with your input. 

There is plenty to say about what we have accomplished, and about the much longer list of what still lies ahead. Far and away, the best part of it all is the remarkable exploration into the creative hearts and minds of our community, and the support and camaraderie with which you have all welcomed us in our first five. Thank you!







$1,074,880 awarded in grants and contracts to the creative community

302 grants made to individuals and organizations (not including fire recovery grants)

21 cities and towns served through grants, contracts, workshops, and events

17,500 students received arts education through Creative Sonoma-funded programs

$1,100,00 raised for the creative community, 50% of which was re-granted directly

4,000 subscribers to the Creative Sonoma newsletter

567 Creative Profiles on CreativeSonoma.org reflecting the breadth and volume of our creative community. Click HERE to view them.

1,500 attendees at 85 workshops and conferences

28 Coffee and Conversation meetings throughout the County. Click HERE to sign up to co-host a 2019-20 Coffee and Conversation. 



We’d love to know if what we’re doing has made a difference and where you think we’ve missed the mark. How can we improve our shared creative experience and how might you be willing to help? Click HERE to share your thoughts on this brief survey.



During our first two years, Creative Sonoma staff went on the road to hold “Coffee and Conversations,” an opportunity for us to meet with you all, in your own neighborhoods, to better understand the issues affecting creatives in Sonoma County. The meetings are town-hall like in format: we present some updates on our work, but the majority of the time is set aside for questions and comments from those who attend. In the last round, we held 28 meetings in 15 towns and cities across the county with 250 attendees. Now is the perfect time to relaunch the program as a check in on how the creative sector is doing, and build your feedback into our plans for moving forward.

We’d love your help in hosting this round of Coffee and Conversation meetings. If you are interested in helping, either by volunteering a venue, reaching out to potential attendees, or shaping the agenda, please click HERE and respond to the Coffee and Conversation question on the survey.



Creative Sonoma has engaged in research, reports and planning in key areas over the past five years, culminating in five reports, all of which will be released this year.


As a lead member of the Arts Education Alliance, Creative Sonoma has helped produce two reports assessing the state of arts education in Sonoma County’s K-12 schools.

REPORT 1:  State of Arts Education in Sonoma County K-12 Schools:  Analyses of Survey Data

This report is an analysis of survey data gathered from arts education stakeholders including teachers, administrators, parents, and arts education providers.  Key findings include that arts education is valued in the county and that there is alignment between the attributes that key stakeholders identified as important for students to graduate with and the attributes they can develop through high-quality arts education.  Challenges include disparity among schools in terms of availability of arts education, and limited arts-related training for teachers.  

REPORT 2:  The State of Arts Education in Sonoma County Secondary Schools:  Analyses of the California Arts Education Data Project

This report is a compilation and analysis of information collected by the California Department of Education from middle and high schools across the state as entered by local schools.  The focus of the analysis is on arts education including type of classes being taught, class sizes, enrollment, and more.  The report covers four years’ worth of data showing trends, and compares Sonoma County with our neighboring counties and the state overall.  Key findings show that arts enrollment in Sonoma County is stagnant and lags behind surrounding counties, that many schools do not provide the comprehensive arts education required by Education Code, and that some students have no access to arts education. 


Sonoma County is home to a vast array of public art.  Some of it has been created through municipal ordinances and programs, others through private collections, still others through more spontaneous donations and placements. 

REPORT 3:  2019 Public Art Study

Creative Sonoma commissioned a study on the municipal percent for programs in the County to evaluate what exists. The study also includes an outline of best practices and considerations to consider in developing public art programs, as a tool to help determine if and how the County can integrate art, design and place-making into the community. 


The creative sector is an important contributor to the cultural vitality and quality of life of Sonoma County.  But the arts also contribute directly to our economic health.  Creative Sonoma sponsored a study of exactly what that looks like in our county.

REPORT 4:  Arts & Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts & Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences

Originally released in 2017, this report shows that the 40 participating arts organizations generate an $80 million impact on the Sonoma County economy. The report further details how the arts retain local dollars and attract outside revenues, how they generate tax revenue, and why they are a sound economic investment. To read the full report, the executive summary, and stories of our local arts economy, click on the report title. 


Creative Sonoma has just initiated an assessment of the arts activity that is occurring on an annual basis all across the County.  

REPORT 5:  2020 Arts + Culture Benchmark Study 

More than 140 arts and cultural organizations were surveyed in fall 2019 to share information about their arts activities including exhibitions and performances, arts education and trainings, and all manner of art making. The results will become a baseline measure to use in coming years as one factor in assessing the health and vitality of our creative arts economy.