We recently caught up with Linda Levy, a longtime supporter of the Arts Council. Growing up in a family of painters and opera singers, Linda has lived a life full of art. “I’ve had art in my life always, all the time,” she says. Linda has served on the Arts Council Board, been a loyal donor, and worked on hallmark programs of the Arts Council including grantmaking, youth education programs, and Open Studios.
Linda supports the Arts Council “because the arts help build a whole child.” She acknowledges that consistent, quality arts education improves kids’ confidence, school attendance, and decision-making—especially when begun early. She laments that these critical arts education programs have been “drastically cut from our formal education.” But the Arts Council engages more than 16,000 students in the arts throughout the county in a way that “allow youth the freedom to think outside the box and be recognized for their art.”
During her years of involvement in the local arts community, Linda has seen the long term influence the arts can have on someone’s life. She remembers a student who received a scholarship from the Arts Council to take an art class, which jump started his interest in the arts. “When he was in high school, he would come in during the summer and be a teacher’s aid for art classes for the younger students, and then when he went on to college, he went to the California College of the Arts in Oakland. He got two degrees. And he’s come back into the community and has been teaching art.”
A Santa Cruz without the arts is a Santa Cruz Linda can’t even contemplate. “I think it would be a sad community. I can’t conceive it, it’s hard to imagine.” With her decades as a supporter of the Arts Council, Linda says, “I’m investing in the health of the community. I think the arts, more than ever, are needed for us to come together as a community and be able to move forward. Whether its youth learning music or theater or painting or just having creative experiences, the arts help promote healthy individuals.”
Linda Levy is among our family of supporters that make a life of art possible for everyone in Santa Cruz County. Join Linda and invest in the present, and future, of arts education in our community.