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Aug 172016
 
Autumn Delight Ink People fundraiser. Photo by Carrie Badeaux

Autumn Delight Ink People fundraiser. Photo by Carrie Badeaux

From the love of printmaking, the Ink People came into being. Two local printmakers, Libby Maynard and Brenda Tuxford, wanted to create a peer support group for artists. The collective quickly came to use providing education about the value of the arts to the community and creating jobs for artists in the arts as core tenets. It evolved to be a force for change.

Based on a philosophy of sharing and community building, The Ink People has spent the last 35 plus years weaving arts and culture into the fabric of the community. Working with the ideal that the arts ought to be an integral and conscious part of everyone’s life, the organization has had a tremendous impact on the efforts of many individuals to engage their creative potential. Their belief that art, in all its forms, is essential to the human spirit and well-being has manifested in the production of a tremendous amount of creativity in a wide variety of art disciplines. With a membership of over 400 Inkers, their programs include exhibitions, performances and educational opportunities for all ages.

A key part of the Ink People is their DreamMaker program. This program provides 501(c)(3) sponsorship for over 85 self-directing projects, with new projects presenting themselves every month. This relationship provides administration and grantwriting assistance for a wide variety of artistic and cultural endeavors, including dance and music, writing projects and magazines, storytelling events and exhibitions, and even a band of free-spirited souls who do community service and live on a painted purple bus called the Vagabus. They have projects that exhibit and engage the cultures and languages of Latino, Hmong, South Pacific Islander, and Native American cultures, as well as a project that is a multimedia exploration of Creole food and diaspora. They remain open to new projects; ideas are presented at monthly board meetings, with an open mind to just what constitutes art.

Another key part of the Ink People is their work with at-risk youth. The MARZ Project, Media Arts and Resource Zone, works with at-risk youth ages 13 to 22 at the Ink People Center for The Arts, located at 25 Fifth Street. The free program mentors youth in graphic arts, video, music through the use of the electronic music program Ableton as well as instrument lessons. They are open Tuesday through, Friday, 3 to 6pm, during the school year, and through the summer Noon to 5pm. In addition, the Ink People has become a key part of a program to teach music, mural painting and poetry to youth in juvenile hall and the local community schools.

The community is greatly enriched by the grassroots spirit of its arts organization, which is the officially designated local arts agency of the City of Eureka. Countless lives have been affected, enriched, and brought to a place where individuals could fully realize their creative potential. The community recognizes its value with solid financial support; The Ink People is funded by the National Endowment for The Arts, The California Arts Council, the City of Eureka, and numerous other foundations, trusts, and local firms and businesses.

For more info visit the website, InkPeople.org