Artists of Sonoma

Creative Sonoma – A Strong Identity

prints by Micah Schwaberow

There is a great description of Sonoma’s cultural identity, in the  “Creative Sonoma Arts Action Plan” written by the Sonoma County, Economic Development Board. I like the premise of the Action Plan so much:

Creative Sonoma starts from the point of view that arts and culture are among a community’s most powerful assets.”

I especially like their “Findings” on the Sonoma Arts Culture. According to the “Creative Sonoma Arts Action Plan”, the art of Sonoma County is strongly associated with the beauty of our landscape, our wineries and agricultural heritage:

Sonoma County has a broad, shared sense of its cultural identity. Stakeholders express a clear sense of the county’s cultural identity and broader quality of life. Theirs is an expansive definition of culture and creativity, including art forms (e.g., visual art, music, theater) as well as participatory arts experiences, ethnic cultures, and contemporary artistry expressed through technology. Culture in Sonoma County encompasses a strongly independent and entrepreneurial spirit, especially among younger people. There is an emphasis on self-reliance, DIY (do-it-yourself) and an inclusive definition of creativity, such as non-arts expressions of creativity through technological and conceptual invention. Creativity spans those participating in the alternative Burning Man Festival to “maker fairs.”

Sonoma County’s distinct character goes beyond arts and creativity to the beauty of the landscape, the agricultural heritage along with its current vital resurgence, and of course the world-renowned wine industry. There is a value placed on a more casual way of life than neighboring Napa and Marin counties. Stakeholders share a pride in the county’s existing arts and cultural assets, such as its museums, performing arts venues, art galleries, artist communities, the SOFA district, outdoor sculpture collections, community arts centers, festivals, and events, among many others. At the same time, some express a desire to elevate the level of artistic quality and interest, in part in recognition of the standards set by San Francisco and the Bay area. There is a strong but less publically visible collection of ethnically specific cultural communities and artists, including a large and diverse Hispanic population.”

To read more go to: “Creative Sonoma Arts Action Plan“, June 2014.

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  • Irene Rowley says:

    p.s. I am so excited about the Creative Sonoma Arts Action Plan motto (“arts and culture are among a community’s most powerful assets” ) that I am looking for some Sonoma artwork to illustrate it on the website on a new page. I will be accepting art from Sonoma artists for 30 days through April to illustrate or decorate the motto. Simply email your illustrations to me. All tasteful illustrations from Sonoma county artists will be posted at, with my favorite “winning entry” to be featured on our home page prominently in May!

  • Thank you for posting my paintings on your site. I look forward to what the Creative Sonoma Arts program will develop to help the artists of Sonoma County.

  • irowley says:

    Hi the “Creative Sonoma Gallery” page is ready to see. Check it out by selecting the word “Gallery” in the top menu or the announcement from the home page!

    I decided to feature Mary Linnea Vaughan’s artwork “Patches” on the home page as my personal favorite entry. In my opinion, it is not only beautiful but it also reflects “Creative Sonoma” the best, since it is a vineyard landscape.