Creekside Cares creates special masks for Clayton council

Creekside Cares creates special masks for Clayton council

Creekside Cares creates special masks for Clayton council
Emily Ventura, second from left, and Christine Tran, presented special Clayton masks to Vice Mayor Peter Cloven, left, and Mayor Carl Wolfe at Clayton City Hall on March 26.

CLAYTON, CA – While home on spring break, two college students majoring in medical and health fields presented personalized, Clayton-themed masks to the City Council members.

The black cotton masks feature the city of Clayton logo embossed on gold leather ovals along with the years 2020-2021. The opposite side of each mask has the initials of the individual council member.

In a letter to Mayor CW Wolfe, Christine Tran wrote: “Thank you for leading our community as we continue through these challenging times, and we hope you and each City Council member enjoys this small token of thanks.”


Artist Annette Ventura designed masks with the Clayton city logo as part of the Creekside Cares during COVID project.

As students on lockdown, Tran of the University of Southern California and Emily Ventura of the University of San Diego began volunteering with the Clayton-based community group Creekside Cares during COVID (CCC). Over the past year, CCC has provided more than a thousand homemade cotton masks to local schools, fire departments, senior citizen facilities and businesses as well as county health and nonprofit organizations.

CCC is an offshoot of the Creekside Artists Guild (CAG). Artist Annette Ventura made multiple mask designs – including the special Clayton one. There is also one ready for Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.

Julie VanWyk made “hundreds upon hundreds” of other masks, says Arlene Kikkawa-Nielsen, CAG’s president and director of community engagement.

“Julie is so very prolific and not only a beautiful painter and mask maker. She has also crocheted ‘loveys’ for children, and gloves and hats which we’ve donated as well to Hospice, the Bay Area Crisis Nursey and many other children as comfort during this time,” Kikkawa-Nielsen said.

Community collage

The two college students are now collecting CCC “mask selfies” to create a community collage. The volunteers can arrange to have a photo taken, or recipients can send selfies to

“The mask selfie photo project is for all in the near future to reflect upon what we’ve battled through together as a community regardless of our differences,” Kikkawa-Nielsen said. “CAG thought this would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 15th anniversary as a community arts group this May with this memorable project as a reminder of how and why we initially came together.”

Bev Britton
Bev Britton
Copy Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer |

Bev Britton graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota and moved to the Bay Area with her soon-to-be husband Jim in 1986. She was features editor at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek before becoming managing editor of the Contra Costa Sun in Lafayette in 1995. She retired from newsrooms in 2001, but an ad for the Clayton Pioneer drew her back in. The family moved to Lake Wildwood in the Gold Country a few years ago - but working at the Pioneer keeps her in touch with her old neighborhoods in Concord and Clayton.