Pacific Art League


                            Shannon McDonnell, Executive Director
                            Pacific Art League of Palo Alto
                            (650) 321-3891


PALO ALTO, Calif. -  (July 5, 2016) — Pacific Art League of Palo Alto (PAL) has received $8,500 from the Palo Alto Community Fund and a $2,500 matching grant from Oliver and Company to fund the New Day Project in collaboration with the Downtown Streets Team.

       PAL, a non-profit visual art gallery and school serving the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula region, is celebrating the 95th Anniversary this year.  It also marks the one-year-anniversary of the appointment of executive director Shannon McDonnell who has brought with her years of experience in the non-profit sector and developing community engagement programs such as the New Day Project.

       “We are very grateful for the generous support from the Palo Alto Community Fund, Steve Oliver and Oliver & Company,” said McDonnell. “It takes a collective effort like this one with the Downtown Streets Team to make real changes. We want to show people that art is the perfect medium to integrate everyone into one community despite factors that affect income and living condition.”

       "The Palo Alto Community Fund is proud to be supporting the Pacific Art League's Community Engagement Initiative this year,” said Cammie Vail, executive director of the Palo Alto Community Fund. “We believe that through the free art classes provided by the Pacific Art League to members of the Downtown Streets Team (DST), that DST members self esteem and creativity will increase all at the same time as creating community bonds. We look forward to seeing their art exhibited at the Pacific Art League this month.”

        The center piece of the New Day Project is an eight-week tuition-free art classes taught by PAL instructors for recently housed individuals who are involved in the New Day Project. “Homelessness doesn’t end with keys to an apartment. People need to feel like they have something to wake up for, a community to be a part of,” said Julia Lang, New Day Project Manager. “PAL provides incredible space and instruction for 10 Team Members every quarter to help them realize their skills and be part of a community that helps them feel valued.”

        "Doing art classes at PAL has inspired me to look forward to showing up. I'm now doing art at home. I bought oil paint, acrylic, and crayons. Instead of going out and getting in trouble or being depressed I'm doing something therapeutic. I like thinking about how I would render things I see. It's brining out something in me that was hidden for years. I just love it! It's beautiful, before people would ask me if I was an artist or liked art, I said no, I thought it was kids stuff, but I'm an artist. It has awakened something in me,” said Triza Aurora, New Day Project Team Member.

        Art works from the New Day Project are on display this month at PAL. For more information about these grants and the community engagement programs at PAL, please contact Shannon McDonnell, executive director, at (650)321-3891 or email For all other press inquiry, please contact Jim Fung at (408)203-4846 or email

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About Pacific Art League
The Pacific Art League of Palo Alto has been dedicated to sustaining the great tradition of promoting art, training emerging artists and enriching lives in the San Francisco Peninsula since 1921. The Pacific Art League currently enrolls over 2,100 students of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels in classes taught by a faculty of 60 experienced artists at its downtown Palo Alto location. The gallery showcases monthly juried exhibits as well as other selected work by local artists. The League also offers summer art camps for youth and regular special events for art lovers as part of the growing vibrant art scene in the area.

About Palo Alto Community Fund
The Palo Alto Community Fund grows, sustains, and uses its endowment and other donated funds to support the work of new and existing nonprofit organizations serving the Palo Alto area.  We area nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to improving the quality of life in our local community.

About Oliver & Company
Oliver & Company is a hands-on, full-service construction operation servicing the San Francisco Bay Area. We manage clients' construction needs at any, or every point in the building process. Often, our work begins before our client proceeds with purchasing land or a pre-existing building, and our involvement continues through the final building inspection, warranty period, and beyond. Our experience and expertise enable us to enter the building process at virtually any phase and uniquely bring in the construction on time and on budget.

About Downtown Streets Team
Downtown Streets Team is ending homelessness by restoring the dignity and rebuilding the lives of unhoused men and women. Founded in 2005, Downtown Streets Team is now beautifying five Bay Area communities: Palo Alto, San Jose, Sunnyvale, San Rafael and San Francisco, with a sixth on the way. We now serve over 500 unhoused men and women a year with over 40 staff members and growing. Our goal is to end homelessness in our lifetime: one community at a time. Downtown Streets Team is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.