Arts and cultural grants to be given by San Marcos Community Foundation

The San Marcos Community Foundation (Foundation) has $6,000 to award under its Arts and Cultural Grant Program for various projects or programs that meet the granting criteria of enhancing arts or cultural programming in San Marcos.

Interested applicants may apply now through April 5 for consideration. Application details are here.

Since awarding its first set of grants in 1988, the Foundation has provided nearly $1 million to non-profit organizations serving San Marcos. The Foundation acts as a non-profit public benefits corporation to provide financial and other assistance to programs that benefit the City of San Marcos. Foundation board members are appointed by the San Marcos City Council.

The San Marcos Community Foundation oversees granting of monies from three sources: an endowment, a public art in-lieu fee fund and a special wildlife fund.

The original granting program was established in 1988 when a $1 million endowment was given to the City of San Marcos by North County Resource Recovery Associates as part of a development agreement for a trash-to-energy plant. While the plant never came to fruition, the City retained the endowment under the agreement.

Since then, the Foundation has granted funds for programs or projects that have supported the San Marcos community. Funding has been granted to benefit senior programs, children and youth sports, drug and alcohol abuse prevention and daycare for pre-school and latch-key children.

In addition to the original endowment fund, the Foundation also oversees granting of public art in-lieu fees collected by the City on new development projects. This fund was established in 2009 and is designed specifically for implementing artistic and cultural events and/or activities that generally benefit the San Marcos community.

Finally, the Foundation oversees the Wildlife Fund, which was established in March 2010 following a surge of interest in “Molly the Owl,” a barn owl that nested in the San Marcos backyard of Carlos and Donna Royal. Molly subsequently had several owlets hatch on a live Web stream set up by the Royals with more than a million viewers from around the world watching the coverage.

Thanks to efforts by the Royal family and author Eric Blehm — whose children’s book on Molly the Owl was just awarded in the children’s nonfiction category by the San Diego Book Awards Association — thousands of dollars were donated and used to establish the Wildlife Fund at the San Marcos Community Foundation. These dollars are intended for use in wildlife preservation and education in San Marcos.

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