Stanislaus Connections Article

Modesto Sound Awarded “Arts and Public Media” Grant

Modesto, CA – The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $8,608 to Modesto Sound as part of its Arts and Public Media program.

The Arts and Public Media program is rooted in the California Arts Council’s vi- sion to create a state where the arts are a central component of daily life and accessible to all, reflecting contributions from all of California’s diverse populations and foster- ing civic engagement. The Arts and Public Media program supports the production and programming of multiplatform media projects that engage Californians with authentic local stories and experiences centered on the value of arts, culture, and creative expression.

Since Modesto Sound opened in 2005, the studio’s staff and programs have stayed true to the organization’s mission: “to empower youth with real-world job skills to create music and artistic media.” Modesto Sound has now been awarded a grant for its newest program entitled California Roots Media Project. This grant of $8,608 will be used to engage the underserved families of youth who through scholarships were able to attend Modesto Sound’s programs, such as music camps and audio technology classes, due to their families’ low-income. Family members will be recording themselves and each other to share stories about their lives and about living in California.

Multiple small groups of eight people will convene with Modesto Sound’s guest, art- ist poet and librarian, Stella Beratlis, along with audio engineer and producer, Lucky Lew, to record their experiences of living in California and their life stories however they wish to relay them. They will record each other via interviews, storytelling, poetry, and music (if applicable). Audio engineers and student interns will finalize completed projects and issue to area radio stations, such as Valley Media’s KGIG 104.9fm/KPHD or 93.3fm and Modesto Peace/Life Center’s New Community Radio Station, KCBP 95.5 FM, along with providing television sound beds for Central Valley Media Center’s MyTV26. The recordings will also be avail- able for streaming on the internet as podcasts.

Anticipated outcomes include building communication skills, using creativity and teamwork, cross-cultural understanding, men- toring, and increasing self-confidence. After all the recordings are done, a culminating event will be held at the public library free and open to the public where participants can all network with the community and each other. The guest artist, Stella Beratlis, will emcee the event and announce milestones achieved and have willing individuals share their stories on stage in a showcase format.

Founder, Brenda Francis, says “We are thrilled to bring this program to the commu- nity and are still looking for sponsors to help support the project in ways such as providing refreshments and helping us to purchase a CD duplicator. Having support in purchasing a CD duplicator will allow every participant to receive a CD of their recordings and enable us to distribute CDs at the showcase. Our current duplicator is outdated; it costs $1,700 to upgrade it. Feel free to join our mailing list on and we will keep you apprised of all of our programs including the California Roots Media Project recording sessions and its free culminating event at the Modesto Public Library.”

Modesto Sound is one of just 13 grantees chosen for this competitive program. The news of Modesto Sound’s grant was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, which can be viewed at

“Public media is crucial to the Arts Council’s mission of providing access and exposure to the arts for all Californians,” said Donn K. Harris, Chair of the California Arts Council. “Expanding the reach of arts cover- age and fostering community dialogue and engagement through arts and culture-based media activities broadens overall support for the arts.”

To view a complete listing of all Arts and Public Media grantees, visit APM_Grantees_2016-17_FINAL.pdf.

Modesto Sound’s mission is to empower youth with real-world job skills to create music and artistic media. They have a record- ing studio open to all ages. They offer media duplication and live sound services while pro- viding job training to youth. Modesto Sound has recorded over 500 artists, held hundreds of concerts, and recorded thousands of public service announcements for radio.

Modesto Sound operates as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization for the benefit of the community and networks with other organi- zations to maximize its efforts (and theirs). A group of professionals, young and old, volunteer their time to serve on our Board of Directors. We thank them and encourage others to join in our efforts. Each year we hold an annual fundraiser concert to support scholarships to our music camp and music technician certification programs.

You can view the entire article here!

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