Creative Sonoma Responds to COVID-19

Since April 2020, Creative Sonoma has been working to generate new financial resources to support and sustain our creative community through the dual public health and economic crises. 



We’re gratified that the creative work of our community has been recognized by funders as critical to our collective health and recovery. We have received funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Manitou Fund and the County of Sonoma totaling $575,000. We also worked with the Community Foundation Sonoma County to help distribute an additional $110,000 to arts organizations that provide arts education. A full description of how the funds have been distributed is below.

The arts always help us find our way to a better place and, once there, replenish our determination to thrive. We hope these resources can help our creative community build a bridge between now and that better future. And we thank all of you who are bringing your unyielding spirit of innovation and tenacity to these most challenging of times. 

Please consider supporting our creative community by signing up for their re-invented programs and services or by making a donation to them. 


Creative ReOpening projects are helping our local businesses as they safely reopen by incorporating the arts into their plans. We have funded six local chambers or downtown organizations who have repurposed public spaces (streets, parking strips, town squares, sidewalks, etc.) so businesses can expand their “footprints” for social distancing. Our partners are hiring artists to help enliven the temporary spaces with their work.

Artworks underway include murals, tiny galleries, labyrinths, light installations, sculptures and poetry, and light installations. Several artists have designed interactive works to engage residents in letter-writing, art-making, self-reflection, and commitment to social and civic causes. We anticipate that 40 individual artists will be hired through this project.

These projects are underway now. Each community will determine how long the space re-use will continue – some are scheduled through November and others well into 2021. To find out what’s happening in each community, please click on the links below for more information. If you plan to visit a Creative ReOpening site, please be safe and follow mask and safe distance requirements.              

Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce: VOICES – Healdsburg’s Creative Reopening

Petaluma Downtown Association:  Parklet Program

Russian River Chamber of Commerce:  Creative Reopening Campaign by Artist Jim Isermann

Santa Rosa Metro Chamber / Downtown District:  Open & Out Downtown Santa Rosa

Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce:  Sonoma Al Fresco & Sonoma Promenade 

Windsor Chamber of Commerce:  Windsor’s Global Cuisine – Around the World in 20 Blocks & Dia de Los Muertos Celebration

COVID-19 Arts Relief Grants for Organizations have been provided to 38 Sonoma County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in two phases, the first from Creative Sonoma and the Community Foundation Sonoma County for those with arts education programs, and the second from Creative Sonoma to all arts and culture nonprofits. Grants support these organization’s operating costs to help them stay afloat while reimagining their future in a digital world. Grantees span the county – from Occidental to Sonoma, from Cloverdale to Petaluma, and all parts in between. Relief grants range from $3,000 to $17,000. For a full list of grantees, please click HERE

Return to our Emergency and Recovery Resources page.

Header Image:  “Making Waves” by Joshua Lawyer, installed on 4th Street as part of Open & Out Downtown Santa Rosa.