Art + Community Grant Program

The Arts Council is proud to announce five grants totaling $10,000 have been awarded toward project investments for local artists and grassroots organizations.

Piloting in spring 2024, the Art + Community grant program, funded by the County of Mariposa, invited working artists, groups and organizations to submit proposals for projects and programming that support community goals, or serve, uplift and represent underserved populations in Mariposa County.

A select review panel of arts and community leaders evaluated applicants on their artistic merit, project design and implementation, community impact, professional capacity, and commitment to accessibility. Projects will take place starting June 2024 through May 2025.

2024 Grant Recipients

Megan Levad Beisner – Writer in Residence Program with Deborah A. Miranda

Dr. Deborah A. Miranda, who writes that she is “the mixed-blood daughter of an Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation man with Santa Ynez Chumash tribal ancestry, and an English/French and Jewish woman from Beverly Hills,” is best known for her memoir, Bad Indians. Her poems have been featured in Poetry Out Loud – one was chosen by a 2024 Mariposa County Poetry Out Loud finalist – and her scholarly work includes co-editing the collection “Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature”.

In 2025 Dr. Miranda will visit Mariposa County for a week-long residency, hosted by Megan Levad Beisner, including a public reading and interview, a memoir workshop designed for indigenous writers, a high school classroom visit, and other opportunities to interact with our community.

Sandra Chapman – Cultural Medicine Walks

The preservation and revitalization of Native American traditional medicine practices are essential for maintaining cultural heritage, promoting tribal health, and fostering a deeper connection to the land. Sandra’s project seeks to empower the tribal members by showcasing the wisdom of traditional medicine through guided walks led by Sandra, Chairperson for the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation.

Gail Driefus – The Ukulele Ensemble

Ukulele group during a holiday performance

Mariposa Ukulele Ensemble meets once a week to practice songs and partake in a close musical community, with performances throughout the year. This program is free to the public and composed primarily of seniors and elder adults, many of whom had no prior music experience. The Ensemble provides significant benefits to participants, with professional instruction, access to instruments, and social opportunities through music, movement. and creativity.

Anna Friedland – Foothill Art + Lecture

This arts lecture series was developed to connect members of the community through the celebration of elder artists and regional arts legacy. Grant funding will contribute to the continuation of this existing program, and its expansion to wider audiences, contributing to communal mental health and creative connection. This project is in collaboration with Mariposa County Library and will culminate in a Mariposa Artist Archive.

Upper Merced River Watershed Council – Student Film Festival

Working in collaboration with two Mariposa filmmakers and County education partners, the Upper Merced River Watershed Council (UMRWC) will host an art and nature film festival for local youth. The year-long effort will be conducted in alignment with the organization’s Merced River Fest event held each spring.

Students will be guided and mentored through the process by local filmmakers who will help them understand storytelling through film and how to use the natural world–and their community–to express themselves artistically. This project has two components: a series of filmmaking workshops, and a youth film festival event itself to take place in May 2025.

Grant Requirements + Guidelines

Artists, community groups or organizations who met the following requirements were invited to apply:


Request Amounts

Evaluation Rubric



Application Criteria

The grant application required responses to the following questions.

A. Program/Project Objectives

B. Community Engagement and Relevance

C. Alignment with County Policy

D. Artistic Expertise

E. Professional Capacity

F. Work Samples

G. Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

Program Contacts

Ava Burns:
Clay River: