The mission of the Arts Council of Kern is to provide support and promote arts access, advocacy, and education for all Kern County residents and visitors. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and are the designated local arts agency for Kern County. We serve our mission in partnership with the California Arts Council, the County of
Kern, and local agencies. Taking cues from community leaders, underserved populations, and the art-going public, the ACK endeavors to more accurately serve the county and its people by introducing new ways of thinking about art while also giving financial support to artists, creatives, and organizations that have been working diligently to bring the arts to Kern County.
By supporting projects that reflect the values and cultural heritage of the people within Kern County, our organization can more accurately uplift, involve, and highlight the many voices that we serve. The ACK works to build a solid case for the inclusion of creative endeavors and the support of individuals working in the arts. A more recent acceptance of the arts by local community leaders comes from a concerted leveraging of the endemic cultural variety and arts
opportunities within the county. The public has asked for more creative activities, arts access, and additional arts funding, and through the council’s programming, cultural diversity, and the sheer number of artists in our county, we have revamped our strategic planning to fulfill these needs. The ACK fosters collaborations between groups who have not previously sat at the same table to make those creative wishes a reality. The ACK keeps the public in mind and invites a wider population to participate, educate, and embrace the value that is Kern’s arts and culture.
Working to make the arts a part of everyday life within Kern County, the ACK holds that a direct acknowledgment of myriad forms of craft and cultural production will help us build a solid foundation for future
endeavors. Finding intersections between ideas as seemingly disparate as traditional indigenous practice, lowrider car culture, and public art, the ACK brings support to historically-overlooked populations and their contributions to the vast web of our shared creative heritage.
The Arts Council of Kern (ACK) was founded in 1977 as the Local Arts Agency, a partnership between the County of Kern and the State of California. Two years later, ACK was incorporated as a public nonprofit 501(c)(3). The ACK was developed to advocate for and pay artists for work in and with our county’s communities, agencies, and commissions while also serving as a communication link between Kern’s creative community and State and County organizations on key issues facing the arts in our region. Because of our long partnership with the County of Kern, the ACK serves as their regranting organization, dispersing funds for arts capacity building. The ACK also works closely with the City of Bakersfield and with other municipalities to bring arts and culture programs to underserved and culturally isolated populations. The ACK seeks to address its diverse population and to provide support for traditionally underrepresented groups in the arts community.