Sol Treasures was honored at the Arts Council for Monterey County’s Champion of the Arts Gala. The annual gala was complete with a Red Carpet,paparazzi, television coverage, musical performances, and dazzling and glamorous guests dressed in their finest. Sol Treasures was recognized as the Champion of the ArtsNon-Profit of the Year – an honor to be selected among their peers in the art community throughout all of Monterey County. This event is like the academy awards of the regional art world,” commented Janene Norum, the organization’s Vice President.

Supervisor Salinas further described the evolution of Sol Treasures. “It was founded in 2008 by Sonia Chapa, Barbara Pekema, and Bruce Graham. Never underestimate what a committed group of individuals can do – they saw the need in King City and South County, and they formed this beautiful organization.  It began with the intention of strengthening the community through art and culture by developing a dedicated space to create share, and celebrate art . . .

Sol Treasures was presented their award to the audience of 435 guests by Supervisor Simon Salinas, of Monterey County Board of Supervisors, District 3. Dignitaries from throughout Monterey County introduced each of those honored for the evening,  The presentation included a professional video by Julie Ahearn of True Idea Photo and Video, an introduction by Supervisor Salinas, and an acceptance speech by Sol Treasures represented by Executive Director Betsy Oltmann. Supervisor Salinas so graciously described the community impact and the importance of funding non-profit organizations such as Sol Treasures:  “Non-profits can find a way to magnify the benefits of those (funding) dollars.” 

The Champions of the Arts award is particularly meaningful in our tenth year of operations. We began with a start-up grant from the Arts Council and have grown to 14 – 15 programs in visual and performing arts, serving communities from Soledad to Bradley. Photo credit: Richard  Green Photography.