Building Imagination in California’s Central Valley

California State University, Stanislaus College of the Arts

Funding Received: 2012
Turlock, CA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
June 4, 2013

The Building Imagination Center is a visual arts and media hub in downtown Modesto. Working with the Modesto Art Museum, the Center provides the community with a visual arts gallery for world class photography, sculpture, paintings, and contemporary art mediums, such as video, animations, and interactive content.

Through its Resident Filmmaker Program, the Center brings regional documentary video artists to Modesto to actively engage the community with hands-on video creation, and to provide real world experience for California State University Stanislaus film students. It is the Center’s mission to create an environment where artists can work, thrive, and feel supported by the community, and then to catalyze this growth and leverage it to benefit the local community by creating a vibrant activation of the downtown art scene.

ArtPlace spoke with Jessica Gomula-Kruzic, Director for the Building Imagination Center.

ARTPLACE: Take a moment to think over the past year. What advice would you give to the new grantees? How would you encourage new grantees to leverage their ArtPlace grants for maximum effect?

GOMULA-KRUZIC: One of the suggestions I would give to new grantees is to be open to the visions that others can bring to your project. In most cases, they are coming to you because they share a mutual interest or have a common idea that they would like to expand upon, and with a bit of collaborative thinking, their participation can open new doors for you, as it did for us.

I would also recommend putting in the time and effort for a strong public relations campaign at the very beginning of your project, so that the community knows in advance all of the great ideas you have planned for the upcoming year. Write press releases for these events early on, and create a social media site with new content posted on a regular basis. And take lots and lots of pictures and share them widely with the community-at-large.

Most importantly, enjoy the excitement and anticipation of the year before you! You have a precious opportunity that has only been granted to a select few, to take your project to the next plateau. Enjoy every step of your journey.

Postscript: The Building Imagination Center will be opening a new Center in Turlock, CA, and our Modesto branch will become a resident of Modesto’s historic State Theater – an opportunity that would have never happened without the support from ArtPlace. And we are very excited that our partner, the Modesto Art Museum, is among the new round of grantees. They have a plethora of community art events and awareness planned for the coming year, and we plan to be right there to help them.
We at the Center would like to thank ArtPlace for enabling us to launch the Building Imagination Center, and the Modesto Art Museum for hosting a wide range of community events that certainly helped our project to reach a broad audience.

Most of all, we would like to thank all of the various community groups that stepped forward and became involved in supporting our events and in expanding our scope of activities; groups such as the City of Modesto Downtown planning committee, the Modesto International Architecture Festival, and the local volunteer organization, LOVE Modesto, to name a few.

Thank you,
Jessica Gomula-Kruzic, Director of the Building Imagination Center