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For Immediate Release

Creative Sonoma Announces Recipients of First-Ever Arts and Cultural Equity Fellowships

Funding Provided by County of Sonoma, the Manitou Fund, and the California Arts Council

Santa Rosa | July 06, 2022

Creative Sonoma, in collaboration with Kimzin Creative, a local arts and equity consulting group, is happy to announce the inaugural class of Arts and Cultural Equity Fellows.  The fellows are emerging to mid-career artists and culture workers who work within, on behalf of, or to support Sonoma County’s communities of color.

The Arts and Cultural Equity Fellowship Program ( is designed to uplift and promote the artistic and economic advancement of six emerging or mid-career arts and culture workers with funding, training, mentorship, and increased connection to the local arts and business communities.

 “This fellowship recognizes the remarkable diversity of practitioners in our creative and cultural communities, and to address the challenges that they have historically had in accessing funds for their work,” said Supervisor James Gore, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.  “Providing a pathway of resources to establish new arts and cultural leaders will provide great benefits to Sonoma County.”

 Each fellow will receive $5,000 in grant funding and an additional $1,250 training stipend to support cultural art works, activities, events, and professional development opportunities that promote and celebrate the diverse racial and ethnic individuals and communities within Sonoma County. Fellows were selected through a multi-tiered, peer-reviewed process.

The recipients demonstrated the potential impact of this fellowship on their already-established creative careers and how that might advance their work, as well as in work by, for, or within communities of color and other traditionally marginalized communities. The cohort of fellows will meet together and with outside advisors who will provide training customized to their specific needs over the course of the next six months as they develop their fellowship projects.

Melissa Andrade (Santa Rosa), Multidisciplinary Arts & Community Organizer

Jesus Bravo (Boyes Hot Springs), Visual and Functional Arts

Ron Carter (Santa Rosa), Visual Arts

Dianna L. Grayer (Petaluma), Performing Arts

Skylaer Palacios (Santa Rosa), Performing Arts

Féven Zewdi (Santa Rosa), Visual Arts

Additionally, five semi-finalists were named to highlight their excellent applications, as well as to serve as alternates should any of the Fellows not be able to accept their award. They include Jorge Bolanos-Santillan (Santa Rosa), Mathew Bowker (Rohnert Park), Victor Ferrer (Sonoma), Isabel Lopez (Santa Rosa), Farrah McAdam (Santa Rosa).

The Arts and Cultural Fellowship grant program is part of a menu of services and activities provided by Creative Sonoma to support and advance the creative community of Sonoma County.  For more information, please contact Samantha Kimpel,

Creative Sonoma is a division of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.  Please visit for more.


Contact Information

Samantha Kimpel