About RAI

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Rural Arts Initiative

As a non-profit in Lake County, LCRAI’s mission is to be the catalyst for arts and culture as a driving force in Lake County’s economic development and cultural enrichment (important to everyone, especially our children).


Supporting their future success by bringing the arts back into education.

Art education increases test scores across every subject area, lowers dropout rates and closes the achievement gap regardless of socio-economic status. Most importantly, is it the basis for developing the #1 attribute sought by today’s and future employers, innovation and creativity.

LCRAI is partnering with the LC schools to help fund the expanded arts program the schools want and need; utilizing art teachers, local artists and combining the arts with more traditional subjects.

kids drawing


Supporting economic success by making Lake County an arts destination

Arts and culture has been proven to create economic success thru tourism and relocation by bringing revenue, jobs and attracting new “citizens”.


LCRAI will partner with our community and our bountiful, beautiful resources to promote & brand Lake County as an arts & culture destination. We will work to support and fund current and new arts spaces & studios; create a strong accessible arts community with “map” and directory, build economic clusters (“hiveries” – cultural/arts facilities linked with local businesses) and create unique arts instillations (i.e., the mural trail) and arts celebrations e.g., art & film festivals.

What is the Rural Arts Initiative (RAI)?


We believe it’s time to revitalize Lake County for the future, using the “arts” as a powerful catalyst that will also respect & incorporate our County’s history, unique resources and diverse culture.


Why?…. Lake County is the poorest County in California. It has a 25% poverty rate (28% for our local Native Americans) versus a national rate of 15.4%. More than 35% of our children are estimated to be living in poverty, considerably higher than the national rate of 21.3%. We have also been ravaged by fire over the last several years ….. 150,000+ acres burned.

Lake County Shaping An Exciting Arts Destination


With its ancient lake, stunning night skies, amazing wine and agriculture, Lake County is already attractive as a destination; add arts and the adventure is complete!


Why arts?

Reminiscent of New York’s SoHo in the late 70s with its creativity and resilience, Lake County has a vibrant, robust and most importantly authentic arts scene where artists are starting to flock to its energy and affordable rents. For arts lovers, with its surprising depth of eclectic artists; fabulous writers, poets, performers and musicians; vintage theatre featuring our own theatre company and nationally know symphony; many galleries and art shows (we’re currently rebuilding the fire ravaged but amazing “eco walk” sculpture garden) there is something interesting to experience year round!


Rural Arts Initiative is burnishing this “hidden arts gem”

To ensure Lake County is destined to become a must visit place in Northern CA, the Lake County Rural Arts Initiative, a non-profit 501(c)(3), was created. The LCRAI team, pulling together the needed talents and expertise, is quickly adding the elements necessary to make this transformation. A first step is constructing a cool, on-line, interactive Lake County “Arts Directory”, showcasing artists, arts spaces, arts events and arts sponsors to facilitate planning your arts experience. Along with that, will be an influential marketing campaign showcasing our luminous, surprising arts destination.


LCRAI is leveraging & showcasing LC’s special arts

To give our arts destination the necessary element of an art installation, LCRAI’s first project is a unique Mural Trail that expands on our amazing murals & talented muralists. This will be kicked off with a highly competitive mural contest. The contest will feature 5-7 muralists who will be chosen to compete by painting a Lake County themed mural on our “trail”. Each mural will be sponsored by a Premier Sponsor whose business champions LC’s bright future and whose sponsorship will also support an arts scholarship.


Bringing it all together

As LCRAI continues to partner with our other LC attractions, look for our tag-line…..dark skies, blue water, red hills….great arts! and, of course come visit!!

Projects in support of RAI


Though there are two “tracks” Arts in School (children) and Arts Destination (economy) all the pieces are intended to work together to support current & future success for our County.


Arts in Schools

Support arts education in LC schools, grades pre-K to 12, to boost our kids’ success in school and jobs

Our children’s success is a community’s number one priority. Interaction with arts is increasingly a critical factor for their future success. We will work with our schools to bring in more arts, based the California Arts Council long standing Arts in School Program that suggests supplementing current arts education with more arts classes, having local artists (certified) working with classes/programs and finally adding arts elements to other classes e.g., arts and history, arts and welding.


Currently, we are working with Superintendents, Principals, Dept Head for Arts, specialists etc. to outline a plan of “need” and the costs for more arts in the schools.* This will be finalized into an agreed project/business plan from which the schools can plan and manage as well as the LCRAI can work to get on-going funding. While we gather data & build plan we are sponsoring an art contest being given in the schools (Drawing Down the Moon) & creating a scholarship fund (see below) thru out “mural contest” to begin partnering with the schools around arts.


Arts Partners

Create powerful links with LC ‘s attractions (e.g., lake, wine, air,  sky & agriculture), our communities, businesses & government

Uniting our County in a unified, powerful support of the LCRAI is critical; success is based on the full community (e.g., people, government, businesses, non profits, artist, art spaces) becoming engaged in the vision of “arts” as a driver of success for our economy and our kids. This cannot be a LCRAI alone initiative. Supporting “arts” is important but also key is, together, looking for areas where we can continue to build synergy so the arts are embedded in ways that can strengthen all the enterprises. Even “small” partnerships can have a big impact e.g., art displayed in windows of empty buildings.

Currently, we are reaching out to our community, government, non-profits & business leaders to build a partnership/sponsorship around LCRAI; to work together as we design and fund the Rural Arts Initiative. This overt support is particularly important in order to showcase our entire communities “backing” of LCRAI as we reach out for funding.


Arts Branding

Brand and promote LC as an arts destination for tourism and relocation. Includes an LC on-line Directory of “arts”

We have now (& plan to continue nourishing) robust and significant arts resources in this County, including artists (of all arts areas), art spaces and art events. Mapping and publicizing Lake County’s arts resources (branding) can, along with our other attractions, dramatically increase tourism and relocation. This “creative place-making” has proven results in towns/counties like ours; it will not only provide direct revenue but encourage other businesses (hotels, restaurants) to locate here!

Currently LCRAI is mapping the arts resources and developing an on-line directory that will function as a “destination map”. This arts directory will concurrently create a platform for our arts destination branding but also be a resource to help make a cohesive art “place”, where artists, arts lovers & tourists, event sponsors etc. can find and contact the arts resources in the County.


Arts Collective

Bring together LC artists (writers, performers, craft, music, fine arts etc.) to create an association with synergy & “clout”

Lake County’s robust arts community is the foundation for an attractive arts destination. Not only given its current members but in its ability to attract new artists to lake County. The arts community ability to grow and flourish is partly based on their strength as an organization; an association, that can support/encourage/develop their entire community. Like any “association” it takes some nourishing initially to bring the many parts together.

Currently LCRAI, is using the mapping/branding and conversations with leading arts resources, to engage the arts community and help it mature into a stronger collective.


Arts Spaces

Support current and future LC galleries, theatres, pop up art and businesses that showcase arts etc.

The “heart” of an arts destination is its arts talent but the “body” is its arts spaces; formal places like galleries, add on places like art in businesses, occasional places like arts at events or festivals all “house” and showcase our arts. LCRAI will look to find support for our arts spaces making sure our arts destination is full-some and alive. It’s necessary to get the “word out” but also to provide the needed support to keep venues open and to grow the numbers of formal, add-on, occasional arts spaces in the County.


Arts “Hiveries”

Create cooperatives that bring together arts and local businesses with shared space & mentoring

Starting with arts spaces (gallery, classes, studios) as a “anchor store”, groups of local businesses can thrive together by working together and supporting the combined “hivery”. Wine tasting, local produce/products, specialties (e.g., yoga, spa treatments), natural foods; arts & local businesses supported by mentoring & PR creating more “attractions” for our destination County

Currently we are looking for and at locations that would be appropriate and available.


Unique Arts

Have unique arts attractions in LC… Mural Trail can be the first attraction, building on what we have now

Having a unique arts attraction in Lake County is one of the “best practices” to becoming an arts destination. The Mural Trail with Lake County inspired murals (from themes on natural resources, culture, history etc.), can be our first attraction, building on both “quilt trail” and the numerous murals we have on the County. This includes the recent student murals in Clearlake.

The LCRAI team will identify and manage the process between partners in this endeavor including local governments, locations, muralists and sponsors


Currently we are putting together a mural contest to kick off the mural trail and support the entire Rural Arts Initiative. This will feature 5-6 locations around the County with sponsors supporting the contestants. Sponsors’ donation will go to muralists (who will be “juried”), a money prize and a college scholarship fund for a high school student who will be going on to a degree in “arts”.