On March 19, on a picture-perfect afternoon, the Pasadena Art Alliance distributed $305,000 in
grants, a record, to 28 southern California organizations. The grants team, led by Carol Econn
(her co-chair Judy Plunkett was unable to attend) and President Bea Trujillo greeted the
grantees and mingled with them at a reception beautifully arranged by Special Events chairs
Judy Penner and Sonia Singla. Judy also hosted in her spectacular garden. Bea thanked
Susan Crawford and Karen Hillenburg, the 2018 PAA Auction chairs, whose wildly successful
auction resulted in our having such rich coffers to empty in support of contemporary visual art.
And she thanked the recipients for helping us to fulfill our mission.
All the grantees expressed heartfelt appreciation to the PAA and said how valuable to them the
grants process was. A few themes emerged:
1. Artists over the age of 80! The photographer having his first exhibition at the Vincent
Price Art Museum is in his 80s. Betye Saar (LACMA) and Anna Silver (AMOCA) are in
2. PAA funds art projects that otherwise wouldn’t get
3. The importance of collaboration. The grantees
were delighted to spend time with their colleagues
in the arts, many of whom they had worked with
on previous projects. They said that no other
organization gathers the grants awardees together
the way the PAA does. The support of friends,
mentors and peers is invaluable.
4. Several spoke to the importance of the site visits, and how much they appreciated them.
One grantee said our process is more thorough than most, and others said how helpful
our site teams were.
5. Validation. A representative from Craft In America said that a grant from the
PAA is validation that “We’re getting there.”
6. Excitement. The representatives from the final grantee (last alphabetically), Women’s
Center for Creative Work, had huge smiles and said how honored they were as a new
grantee to be in the company of the others.
The coffers for the Art Alliance may be empty but hearts are filled with pride in being part such a line-up of exhibitions and programs for the upcoming year.