This week seven Santa Cruz County arts organizations were recipients of gifts totaling $2 million from the Trust of Lana K. Weeks, who passed away November 20, 2019 in Big Sur.
The gifts are unrestricted, and each of the recipients were selected over the course of two years by Tom Fredericks, by special power of appointment granted to him in the Trust.Learn more about the gift, or read on to learn about the cohort of arts leaders highlighted through these gifts.
“Over its storied 60-year history, Cabrillo Festival has become a sacred space of creation and community for musicians and audiences. The Festival’s unique mission and commitment to contemporary orchestral music and adventurousness was borne of this special place, Santa Cruz; and the powerful ethos and culture that flourished has become the bedrock of what distinguishes it as a unparalleled environment for music-making, access to the creative process, social connection, and discovery. At the center of it all are the bonds of deep and meaningful relationships. Lana loved every element of the Festival experience and was literally aglow in the energy of it all; and Tom’s decades-long commitment and passion for the Festival is manifest in his designation of this profound and enduring gift. We are so very grateful.”
– Ellen Primack, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Executive Director
“Ten years ago, I started Indexical with a community of composers as an itinerant concert series in New York. I could have never imagined opening an experimental music venue in Santa Cruz! In the last year, we’ve radically diversified our programming and audience beyond experimental music into visual art installations, expansive discussions on politics and art, a live podcast series, and partnerships with other organizations. I’m proud we’ve built this liberatory space where over 100 artists and musicians a year realize their artistic vision and are paid fair wages. I’ve long been focused on creating a permanent home and institution for radical work in Santa Cruz, and am tremendously grateful for this gift—it will help secure a future for experimental work in our town.”
– Andrew C. Smith, Indexical Executive Director & Founder
“During the three decades that I’ve been with Kuumbwa Jazz there have been countless highlights. Friendships I’ve made through the Kuumbwa Jazz community have been many and I hold them near and dear. One of my friendships was with Lana who like me loved jazz music and was so intrigued with the creative process. Lana and I hung out, went to shows, enjoyed being in each other’s company and shared a big time connection to puppy dogs. It never occurred to me Kuumbwa Jazz would be recognized in her estate plans through this extraordinary generous gift. When Tom Fredericks let me know, I was moved to tears which I guess you could say are tears of joy mixed with the realization that there are beautiful souls in our world that are making a positive difference. Thank you to Lana for sharing your love for the arts along with the beauty of living on the Monterey Bay. Thank you to Tom for your deep love and respect for nonprofit arts organizations like Kuumbwa Jazz. We have a rich cultural legacy that anyone in our community has the capacity to be part of for the benefit of everyone for generations to come.”
“My experience of Motion Pacific is not different from many others: a home away from home, a space that has nurtured friendships, growth, opportunity and wellness. I am dedicated to Motion Pacific’s ongoing development as a community oriented/driven organization, leaning into our relationships with the LGBTQIA+ community and other arts organizations, and continuing to find ways to support Santa Cruz arts as a whole through resource sharing and partnership. Reflective of our human experience, I see Motion Pacific as an organization that grows from both our mistakes and our accomplishments, an organization that prioritizes dedication to learning over perfection. Motion Pacific is a place where you can come as you are, move, and be moved.”
– Collette Kollewe, Motion Pacific Executive Director
“Radius Gallery has become a creative hub that helps radiate creativity, connectivity, and community out in the world. I want to help foster creative expression, help create and shape a community, and help the audience connect in a meaningful way. Over the years, we’ve been able to help shape artists careers – offering support and resources to large grants and projects ($5-25K). In 2021 Radius commissioned $18K in original artist works, debuted ‘From a Whale’s Back’ which will show again at the Venice Biennale. In 2018 Radius showed a collection of Bean Finneran sculptures that was the largest collection of work shown in one exhibition in her 40+ year career. I’m also super proud to have hosted big life events for people – weddings, bar mitzvah, and class performances of poetry, music, and dance (especially the teenagers!). Nothing can compare to witnessing ‘that’ moment and magic.”
“I see the Tannery Arts Center as a microcosm of our larger arts ecosystem, a visit to the campus allows you to experience an interconnected and interdependent network of artists, funders, organizations, students, teachers, and audience members who make up our cultural economy and creative community. This connectivity bolsters my commitment to supporting the potential of the arts and artists to innovate equitable systems, that in turn, nourish social & environmental health and lead us towards new and sustainable ways of being.”
– Mercedes Lewis, Tannery Program Manager for Arts Council Santa Cruz County
“Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center (TWDCC) facilitates a working home for professional world & contemporary dance artists, while providing dance education that is committed to access, equity, and excellence. Through the generosity of Lana Weeks, TWDCC will continue our mission of uplifting, elevating and educating through the arts. We are honored and humbled to be among those chosen as the recipients of such an impactful gift.”
– Micha Scott, Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center Executive and Artistic Director