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The Madera Tribune

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webmaster | 03/28/13

Money. It’s something that the Madera County Arts Council (MCAC) has never possessed in any significant amount. But, that changed Saturday night when Dianna Marsh presented a check for $2.55 million to Dr. Julia O’Kane, president of the arts council.

The huge donation came from the will of Elaine Secara, who was Marsh’s great aunt. She and her late husband, Franklin, were both artists, award-winning photographers. And, Franklin was a charter member of the MCAC when it was founded 30 years ago.

Importance of the arts

In 1965, Congress created the National Endowment for the Arts, which apportioned funds to any state that established an arts agency. As a consequence, under then-Gov. Jerry Brown, our state established the California Arts Council in 1975. The opening paragraph of the section of the California Code that institutionalized the organization states, “The Legislature perceives that life in California is enriched by art.”

The law continues, “The source of art is in the natural flow of the human mind…. (T)he people of the state desire to encourage and nourish… skills wherever they occur, to the benefit of all.” And, it has been shown in literally hundreds of studies that children do better in all of their subjects when they are exposed to the arts...


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