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Build My Spirit Press Release

ASCENDtials Awarded California Arts Council Creative Youth Development Grant

State funds support ASCENDtials’ mission to enhance critical consciousness by offering intelligent, all-encompassing educational tools, materials, and training courses that are preventative, prepare, inculcate, and reinforce a greater sense of self and community.


SAN DIEGO, CA– The California Arts Council has announced a grant award of $36,000 to ASCENDtials for its Creative Youth Development program. This award is part of the Council’s second round of funding for 2022.

With support from the California Arts Council, ASCENDtials will offer a before- and after-school program for BIPOC children, “Build My Spirit.” The program offers a holistic experience based on the ancient Dogon principles of creation. The program is comprised of practicing the ancestral art of Kemetic Yoga, learning five Maat principles (Reciprocity, Harmony, Balance, Order and Justice), drumming, and art classes and healing sessions with experts in the respective fields.


“We are thrilled to learn that the California Arts Council has awarded ASCENDtials a Creative Youth Development program grant for our ‘Build My Spirit’ program,” said Vera Martinoska, the nonprofit’s Grant Researcher/Writer. “We are honored and privileged to be their grantees and delighted that we will be able to offer the children in San Diego unique and carefully tailored activities where they will learn, connect, express themselves, create art, preserve heritage, and more. This would have not been possible without their generous support, for which we are sincerely grateful.”


ASCENDtials was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council with grant awards for its Cycle B programming, which totaled more than $41 million across more than 900 grants supporting nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state.

All told, the projected sum of grants to be awarded for 2022’s regular program funding cycle is more than $72 million—the biggest annual investment in the California Arts Council’s 46-year history, largely supported by the $40 million one-time boost in support for the agency’s creative youth and arts education development programs

“The resilience and creativity of California’s arts and cultural field in these last three years has been remarkable,” said California Arts Council Director Jonathan Moscone. “We are proud to be able to support the great work that California’s artists, culture bearers and cultural workers are doing within our communities as an indelible part of our state’s identity.” 

Cycle B’s programs include five funding opportunities for arts education and creative youth development and related arts workforce development. Additionally, the cycle offered funding opportunities for administering organizations to regrant funds for folk and traditional arts and individual artists fellowship programs. Operational support for statewide and regional arts service organizations and networks was also available during this round of grant funding.

To view a complete listing of all California Arts Council Cycle B grantees by county, visit this link.
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ASCENDtials is a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering BIPOC communities throughout Southern California and beyond. We specialize in building and sustaining critical cosmic consciousness, by providing thoughtful holistic educative tools, resources, and training programs that prepare, are preventative, and instill and reinforce a deeper appreciation for self and community, a oneness that builds capacity, and environmental care. 


The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez, Chair; Consuelo Montoya, Vice Chair; Gerald Clarke, Vicki Estrada, Jodie Evans, Ellen Gavin, Alex Israel, Phil Mercado, and Roxanne Messina Captor. Learn more at