Inventory of the California Arts Commission Records

Processed by The California State Archives staff; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Brooke Dykman Dockter and Jessica Moran.
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2000
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the California Arts Commission Records

Inventory: F3719



California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California

Contact Information:

  • California State Archives
  • 1020 "O" Street
  • Sacramento, California 95814
  • Phone: (916) 653-2246
  • Fax: (916) 653-7363
  • Email: ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov
  • URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
Processed by:
The California State Archives staff
© 2000 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: California Arts Commission Records
Inventory: F3719
Dates: 1963-1975
Creator: California Arts Commission
Collection Size: 15.5 Cubic Feet
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The California Arts Commission was created in 1963 (Stats. 1963, sh. 1742) "to join with private patrons and with institutions and professional organizations concerned with the arts, to encourage and assist the freedom of artistic expression of the arts." The Commission was dissolved in 1975 and the California Arts Council was established the following year. The California Arts Commission Records (1963-1965) consist of ten series documenting the administrative history of the Commission as well as its activities, programs, and exhibits.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], California Arts Commission Records, F3719, California State Archives.

Acquisition Information

The California State Archives acquired the records of the California Arts Commission through an agency transfer.

Agency History

The California Arts Commission was created (Stats. 1963, ch. 1742) to join with private patrons and with institutions and professional organizations concerned with the arts, and to encourage and assist the freedom of artistic expression of the arts. The original Commission was not empowered to administer funds or to promote cultural and artistic programs until 1973 (ch. 1143). The revised responsibilities of the Commission provided for funding, including the acceptance of federal and private funds, for promotion, support and development of needed arts programs. The Commission, in order to amplify the state's existing cultural resources - thus making many art institutions and organizations serve the audience in community-wide programs - promoted and sponsored cultural state-wide touring exhibitions such as Horizon, Music for Youth, and Perception, an exhibition for the sighted and blind. The Commission was dissolved in 1975 and the California Arts Council was established the following year

Scope and Content

The California Arts Commission records consist of Minutes (1964-1975), Reports (1966), Chairman of the Board Files (1972-1975), Executive Director Files (1972-1975), Program and Development Administrator Files (1973), Personnel Files (1963-1974), Central Office Files (1967-1974), Grant Application Files (197301975), Press Clipping Files (196601975), and Records Relating to the California Arts Commission Projects and Touring Exhibitions (19651975).
The Minutes provide information about the development of the California Arts Commission policies, procedures, and organizational structure. Chairman of the Board Files include information about events and entertainment functions, public relations and funding and budgeting matters. Executive Director Files encompass correspondence and records of state-wide arts and entertainment programs, and day-to-day administrative work of the Director. Program and Development Administrator Files includes correspondence pertaining to the administration of the seventeen state-wide programs in the arts and other project development work. Personnel Files include miscellaneous data, such as biographies of chairman, individual members and advisory panel members. The records also include Grant Applications Files in the categories of visual arts, community and environment, arts and service organizations, theater, dance and music, and a series of press clipping scrapbooks.
A final series of Records Relating to the California Arts Commission Projects and Touring Exhibitions is broken into further sub-series documenting individual projects and programs.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Art commissions - California


Series Descriptions

folder F3719:1-121

Series 1  Minutes 1964-1975

Physical Description: 121 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

Minutes, including background and informational materials for consideration at each meeting. Meeting file may include: agendas; correspondence and memorandum; budget and fiscal reports; program and summary activity and progress reports; grant application status reports; news releases; press clippings; and newsletters. Subject matter covered includes the development and implementation of commission policies, procedures, and organization; preparation of the Governor's Inventory of the Arts; development of guidelines for private and corporate contributions; operations of regional arts councils; touring exhibits programs; and legislative proposals and reports; and personnel and fiscal matters.
folder F3719:121a

Series 2  Reports 1971-1974

Physical Description: 1 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

This series includes Report to the Governor and the Legislature...on the Cultural and Artistic Resources of the State of California (1966); 1970-1972 Annual Report; Touring Art Exhibitions: The California Experience (1972); and interim fiscal report, June 1, 1973-March 30, 1974.
folder F3719:122-127a

Series 3  Commission Chair's Correspondence 1972-1975

Physical Description: 7 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date and then alphabetically by correspondenct's name.

Scope and Content Note

General correspondence of William Kent III, Chair, whose powers included recommending expenditures of C.A.C. funds, appointment of the Executive Director, and presiding at Commission meetings and events. Most of this series relates to invitations and appearances at Commission meetings, events, and at state-wide art and entertainment functions; public relations; and funding and budgeting matters.
folder F3719:128-174

Series 4  Executive Director's Correspondence 1972-1975

Physical Description: 42 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

This series includes letters received and copies of letters sent by the Commission's executive directors. These include correspondence from Albert Gallo in 11972 relating to California Arts Commission's sponsorship of state-wide arts and entertainment programs and projects. Correspondents include American composers Samuel Barber and Roy Harris. Other correspondence relates to the powers and duties of the Executive Director encompassing development, organization, direction, and evaluation of programs; California Arts Commission staffing; advising and consulting with the Commission on matters of public relations and formulating programs and projects.
Outgoing correspondence of James D. Forward, Jr., with California art and entertainment associations and agencies, Commission Chairman and Commissioners, state legislators, and the Governor's office during the years 1973-1975.
Also included are letters received and copies of letters sent by James D. Forward, Jr. between 1973 and 1975 with art and entertainment associations and organizations, with the Chairmen and members of the California Arts Commission, state legislators, and the Governor's office. Includes documentation requests for funding from Federal (National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for History) and private agencies; theatre improvement programs; advisory panel meetings; fiscal matters; and administration of the grant program as authorized under Stats. 1973, ch. 1143.
This series also includes outgoing correspondence of Susan Hooper Billstein from 1975 regarding grant allocations, reorganization of the California Arts Commission as mandated by SB 1024 (Stats. 1975, ch. 1192), budget evaluations, and responses to private individuals and agencies requesting state financial assistance for arts programs.
folder F3719:175-179

Series 5  Program and Development Administrator Files 1973

Physical Description: 5 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year.

Scope and Content Note

This series includes correspondence received by and sent from Susan H. Billstein to California Arts Commission members and staff, art and entertainment organizations, and private individuals. Much of this series pertains to the administration and operations of seventeen state-wide arts programs as well as project development work, including grant funding and information on the Commission's grant program.
folder F3719:180-181

Series 6  Personnel Files 1963-1974

Physical Description: 2 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by name.

Scope and Content Note

This series includes miscellaneous data, including some biographies, on the chairman, individual Commission and advisory panel members.
folder F3719:182-213

Series 7  Central Office Files 1967-1974

Physical Description: 32 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically by correspondent name.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of outgoing correspondence of principal staff members covering all aspects of Commission activities. Activities discussed include promotional activities of communities in the areas of music, dance, and theatre, recommendations for financial assistance for state funding, and responses to invitations.
folder F3719:214-390

Series 8  Central Office Files 1973-1975

Physical Description: 176 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by category and numerically by application number there under.

Scope and Content Note

This series contains grant applications in the categories of visual arts, community and environment, arts and service organizations, theatre, dance and music. Each grant file includes the applications and related background literature, Commission evaluation report and miscellaneous correspondence relative to funding and grant approval stipulations. Of particular note is the grant file of the Paramount Theatre of the Arts (Oakland) which includes a historical survey of the theatre.
Other approved grant files include those from the California Museum of Science and Industry; Hebrew Union College; San Francisco Art Institute; Pasadena Unified School District for the Visual Arts; Berkeley Film Institute; Old Globe Theatre; Contemporary Afro-American Films for Community and Environment; Squaw Valley Creative Arts Society; Artists for Economic Action; Palo Alto Community Players, Inc.; Blacklight Explosion Co.; Chinese Folk Dance Association; Pacific Ballet; Napa Valley Symphony, Santa Monica Youth Orchestra; and, Peninsula Concert Association for Music.
folder F3719:391-418

Series 9  Press Clippings 1966-1975

Physical Description: 28 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically by date there under.

Scope and Content Note

A series of scrapbooks of newspaper clippings relative to the California Arts Commission projects and touring exhibitions.
folder F3719:418a-465

Series 10  California Arts Commission Projects and Touring Exhibitions 1965-1973

Physical Description: 48 file folders

Arrangement

Organized into ten subseries: (1) Association of California Symphony Orchestras, (2) California Dance Project, (3) Dimensions, (4) Festival Arts Olympiad Project, (5) Horizon, (6) Music for Youth, (7) Nehru Exhibition, (8) Perception, (9) Alliance of California Arts Councils, (10) Photographs.

Scope and Content Note

The California Arts Commission's projects were conceived, researched, and developed by the Commission staff to fulfill existing needs in the arts throughout California. The five areas found to be of need include the performing arts, visual arts, film, literature, and community service.
This series has been organized into ten subseries which document the specific projects and touring exhibits of the Commission.
folder F3719:418a

Subseries 1 Association of California Symphony Orchestras 1970-1973

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

This sub-series consists of correspondence, memos, reports, press releases, program statements, conference programs and information. Most of the material relates principally to funding and sponsorship of the annual Association of California Symphony Orchestras conferences and to develop a state-wide catalog of scores and parts owned by community orchestras.
folder F3719:419-423

Subseries 2 California Dance Project 1970-1973

Physical Description: 5 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by date there under.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, memos, reports, news releases, and background information relative to joint venture between the California Arts Commission and the Association of American Dance Companies to survey California dance companies, establish an information center, and to strengthen community support. An output of this program was the production and distribution of a descriptive directory of dance companies available for performances.
folder F3719:424-427

Subseries 3 Dimensions 1969-1970

Physical Description: 4 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by date there under.

Scope and Content Note

The purpose of the Dimensions exhibition was to make art available to the 110,000 blind of the state and to give the sighted a new perception of art through the sense of touch. This series consists of project development and implementation report, correspondence and memos regarding loans of artworks, publicity releases and materials for use by docents and tour guides, and progress evaluation reports and comments from individuals, organizations, and classes attending the exhibition of thirty pieces of sculpture.
folder F3719:428

Subseries 4 Festival Arts Olympiad Project 1969-1970

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Material in this sub-series consists of correspondence, feasibility studies, reports, and miscellaneous background information relative to a proposal to provide an opportunity for professional and non-professional artists of all ages, representing all disciplines, to participate in an Arts Olympiad. Winners would be established as California honor groups and would tour the state. The proposal did not receive the Commission's sanction.
folder F3719:429-439

Subseries 5 Horizon 1968-1971

Physical Description: 11 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by date there under.

Scope and Content Note

"Horizons: A Century of California Landscape Paintings," was a traveling exhibit to communities and neighborhoods of 22 California landscapes painted between 1850 and 1950 as loaned by California art museums and sponsored by three financial institutions. This series includes project proposals, cost and budget estimates, suggestions as to works of art to be included in the exhibit, development of catalog, loan agreements with lending institutions, minutes of financial institutions project committee, exhibit itineraries, press coverage and publicity, reports of attendance and reactions to exhibit, and a manual on set-up, security, transportation, and breakdown of the exhibit system.
folder F3719:440-446

Subseries 6 Music for Youth 1970-1973

Physical Description: 7 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by date there under.

Scope and Content Note

A project in cooperation with the California Music Educators Association and sponsored by Standard Oil Company of California, to afford opportunities for student performances and student audiences to participate in musical performances of high artistic caliber that would be otherwise unavailable. The program organized youth orchestras, choruses and vocal or instrumental ensembles. This series includes program and budget proposals, action plans and fact sheets, program evaluation guidelines, meeting minutes and materials submitted thereto for consideration and action, progress reports, and agreements and contracts as entered into with Standard Oil Company of California.
folder F3719:440-446

Subseries 6 Music for Youth 1970-1973

Physical Description: 7 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by date there under.

Scope and Content Note

A project in cooperation with the California Music Educators Association and sponsored by Standard Oil Company of California, to afford opportunities for student performances and student audiences to participate in musical performances of high artistic caliber that would be otherwise unavailable. The program organized youth orchestras, choruses and vocal or instrumental ensembles. This series includes program and budget proposals, action plans and fact sheets, program evaluation guidelines, meeting minutes and materials submitted thereto for consideration and action, progress reports, and agreements and contracts as entered into with Standard Oil Company of California.
folder F3719:447-448

Subseries 7 Nehru Exhibition 1965-1966

Physical Description: 2 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

The Nehru Exhibition toured the United States under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Information and was sponsored in California by the California Arts Commission as an artistic event of high caliber. This series includes general correspondence memos, minutes of planning meetings, invitations, press releases, publicity and financial reports relating to the collected photographs, art, artifacts, and personal memorabilia of Jawaharlal Nehru and his India.
folder F3719:449-452

Subseries 8 Perception 1969-1972

Physical Description: 4 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

"Perception: An Exhibition of Sculpture for the Sighted and Blind" was the second California Arts Commission touring exhibit expressly designed to reach the visually handicapped. This series includes minutes of the planning committee, miscellaneous correspondence, publicity and news releases, educational material kit, lecture notes and background information, and fiscal report. A separate file contains publicity materials and the Governor's Inaugural Program which included a Mini-Perception exhibit representing a preview of the larger exhibition which followed.
folder F3719:453-459

Subseries 9 Alliance of California Arts Councils 1968-1973

Physical Description: 7 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by date there under.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, memos, minutes, reports, membership lists, questionnaires, news releases, conference programs, and miscellaneous fiscal and budget data regarding organization of the Alliance of California Arts Councils to facilitate communication between California's numerous art councils. A Steering Committee, based on a survey of local art council organizations, proposed the formation of the Alliance to generate public interest and participation in the arts on a state-wide basis. Most of the series relates directly to the formation of the Alliance but also includes data on formation of local community art councils.
folder F3719:460-465

Subseries 10 Photographs 1966-1971

Physical Description: 6 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Photographs and video tapes from the following exhibitions and projects: Nehru Exhibition (1966), Horizons (1970-71), Dimensions (1973), National Youth Audiences Week (1975), California Arts Commission Staff and Personnel, and Miscellaneous (1974).

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.