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Modesto Sound Awarded Grant To Create Artistic Media
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The California Arts Council, whose mission is to advance California through the arts and creativity, recently awarded Modesto Sound two grants totaling $17,980. One of these grants, a Youth Arts Action Grant in the amount of $3,490, combined with grants from Boyett Petroleum’s Make Dreams Real Endowment Fund and an in-kind donation from Gallo Center for the Arts, will fund this year’s Modesto Sound’s Summer Recording Arts Music Camp. Specifically, the awarded amount has created additional scholarship opportunities for low-income youth to attend camp for free.

Modesto Sound’s Music (Recording Arts) Camp is for youth ages 8-17. This year, the camp will be held July 15 through July 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gallo Center for the Arts. The program is free for youth from low-income families. Waived-cost participation in the program does require community service hours to qualify, as part of Modesto Sound’s partnership with the Make Dreams Real Endowment grant. The entire family can participate in these service hours, and Modesto Sound supervises volunteer activities to help complete these hours, such as cleaning up local parks. The fun week-long Music Camp includes writing a song and performing the song on stage at a free concert open to the public, held at the Gallo Center for the Arts.

Modesto Sound is one of 244 grantees chosen for the Youth Arts Action program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, with total allocated grant funds supporting statewide arts programming reaching a projected $24.5 million for fiscal year 18-19, the highest investment since 2000-01.

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues – dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures. The Council is humbled to support the vital work of Modesto Sound and its passionate efforts to make a better California for us all.”

The second California Arts Council award granted to Modesto Sound was through the Arts and Public Media grant, in the amount of $14,490. This endowment, along with grants from the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation and the Bright Family Foundation, will support the continued production of Modesto Sound’s California Audio Roots Project (CARP) podcast series. The goal of Modesto Sound’s CARP program is to inspire and enable local participants to create media through a community project.

Residents of Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon are among those who take part in the various Modesto Sound programs, said Janet Seay, Executive Director of Modesto Sound.

The California Audio Roots Project involves recording a radio show about local residents’ experiences of living in California and can include community members’ poetry and music. CARP is free to participate and open to everyone.

Intended outcomes of Modesto Sound’s CARP program include: boosting cross-cultural understanding, inspiring feelings of being heard and mattering through story and art sharing, sparking creativity and teamwork, mentoring through professional studio interactions, increasing self-confidence, providing the county with broadcasting material that highlights community members sharing their stories and art.

In addition to the funds received from the California Arts Council, US Bank has also granted $2,500 in support of Modesto Sound’s Job Circle program, through the US Bank Community Grant Program for Work training support. The Job Circle teaches audio technician skills, such as how to record a band and set up a stage, while also guiding youth and young adults into a deeper awareness and practice of real-world job skills like communication and teamwork.

Additional support for many of these programs has come from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Peace Life Center’s KCBP 95.5FM, Valley Media’s KGIG 104.9FM and KPHD 93.3FM, the Gianelli Family, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Dittos Printing and many other organizations and individuals. Modesto Sound’s annual fundraiser will be held this year at the Gianelli’s home on Sept. 21. Silent auction items are currently being sought out from donors (contact Modesto Sound if interested) and everyone is invited to attend. The fundraiser entry charge, silent auction item bids and ticket sales help provide required matching funds to these grants.

Modesto Sound is honored to have received a record grant support this year to fulfill their organizational goal of helping youth gain valuable life skills and to enrich the community. Modesto Sound is currently looking for volunteers who are passionate about the arts and who may also wish to be on the Board of Directors. The Board meets once a month and helps to guide the organization toward meeting its mission. Modesto Sound would encourage families and individuals from the community who are interested in being a part of its Board of Directors or other community programs, many of which are free, to contact the organization.

Modesto Sound was established in 2005 and has a recording studio, live sound service, educational programs, and provides local programming for public radio. Modesto Sound offers scholarships for its educational programs to students on free or reduced-cost lunch programs (the most recent data available on kidsdata.orgindicates a 61 percent enrollment rate for these lunch programs as of 2015 for Stanislaus County). Modesto Sound also provides local programming to area radio stations, creating a win-win for artists, media outlets, and community enrichment. In addition, they upload streaming podcasts to SoundCloud and and links this programming to the organization’s website. Also, each season Modesto Sound holds a free public showcase at the downtown Stanislaus County Library.

“I am proud to be part of this evolving and exciting media outlet that brings happiness to people’s lives” said Brenda Francis, Founder of Modesto Sound. “With the expert guidance of our Producers, Directors, and Teachers, everything comes together to create beautiful works of art, even though we are dealing with complex electronics and technology. It helps that we have cheerful and energetic participants who ask for more. Their enthusiasm carries me forward.”

For more information, contact Janet Seay at (209) 573-0533, or visit Modesto Sound’s website at