Helping Others

Supporters run, walk for the arts

California arts supporters gathered in William Land Park on Saturday to run or walk in the 16th annual Race for the Arts, a fundraiser for more than 45 local arts organizations.

Participants ran or walked in the 5K or fun run events after raising pledges that go directly to the arts group they choose. The event also included a festival with 45 interactive booths featuring hands-on visual, cultural, performing and literary arts.

This is the fifth year the Capitol Pops Concert Band participated in the race. The band has about 60 members, 35 of whom ran or walked this year.

The band has been able to use funds from past races to purchase chimes and percussion and sound equipment, according to band member and flautist Kim McCarley.

“Fortunately (Race for the Arts) covers a lot of the publicity, so we aren’t using our funds for the publicity,” she said. “That allows us to put all of this money towards purchasing equipment or music folders or stands, to keep our band going.”

The event offers more than fundraising potential, McCarley said.

“It’s more about the exposure and just sharing the love of music with our audience,” she said.

Analisa Johnson, communications director for Staging a Miracle, said the group typically raises about $1,000 through the race. The money is used for program operations at the nonprofit, which provides free performing arts opportunities to children up to age 18. This is the group’s third year participating in the race, which Johnson said allows programs to connect with each other.

Nichole Harshbarger, director of the Sierra Mountain Music Camp, ran the race with her two young sons and raised at least $400 to fund scholarships for the camp’s students, she said. The choral and orchestra camp for kids is offered in June in Nevada City.

The scholarships allow, “kids of all different walks of life the opportunity to shine in music,” she said.

Runaway Stage Productions didn’t raise any money this year because the group signed up at the last minute, but board member Bernard Abera still enjoyed the experience. “Really, I liked the people. They came to take pictures with our Bonnie and Clyde,” he said.

Visitors to the RSP booth could take pictures with actors Jennifer Zimny and Matthew Rives, who dressed up as and will play Bonnie and Clyde in an upcoming production.

“So it’s not just your standard booth, standing here with fliers. Each booth has something different, whether its pictures, or giveaways, or spin the wheel,” Abero said.

Some groups even put on performances that ranged from dance, a cappella, and brass band music to baroque cello.

Race for the Arts event coordinator Sally Rice said the event attracts all types of arts organizations. “As long as they’re in the state of California and a school literary, music, drama, arts program, or any California nonprofit visual, performing, cultural organization, they get 100 percent of the pledges they raise,” she said.

Rice co-founded the event with Mary Wesley because she believes the arts are vital to Sacramento’s economy. “The arts bring money into the city. People come to the arts, they go out to dinner. They attend the arts, they pay for parking,” she said. “So we’re passionate about it.”