Lehman is chair of the San Diego Regional Arts & Culture Coalition and director of the San Diego Museum Council and lives in Hillcrest. Hamilton is president of the California Arts Advocates, and past president of Californians for the Arts, and lives in South Park.
This is a good time to celebrate the state of the arts on so many levels, especially at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Artists and arts and culture organizations struggling financially before the pandemic saw their livelihoods threatened and pushed nearly over the ledge. Now, creatives across the state are back in the game and audiences have returned looking for inspiration and entertainment.
In San Diego, theaters and museums are filling up again and people of all ages are once again reaping the benefits of arts experiences firsthand. As the arts continue to work to be more impactful and relevant, we can’t neglect the reality that funding is an essential component of success.
Shining a light on the value of public investment in arts and culture is a cornerstone of the fifth annual Arts, Culture & Creativity Month. Organized statewide by Californians for the Arts and implemented locally by the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, the program engages advocates across the state, raises awareness of the impact of the arts, and recognizes organizations and individuals for their leadership and legislation to support the arts, culture and creative industries and workforce.
Collective advocacy has led to major victories in recent years, with millions of dollars of relief funding. Each year builds on the momentum of the last to advance the ecosystem of the arts, support the sustainability of the sector, and to encourage Californians to value the arts as a critical component to health and wellness, education, civic life, thriving communities and thriving economies.
The California Creative Corps program is an excellent example of how arts advocates work collectively to attract funds to invest in marginalized communities and underfunded constituents, such as working artists of all disciplines. California Creative Corps, developed by the California Arts Council in partnership with the state Legislature, will fuel positivity and support the social, environmental and civic engagement of California’s most disproportionately impacted communities.
Specifically, a multimillion-dollar Creative Corp grant administered by the city of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture will support over 100 artists and cultural practitioners to develop artistic content that increases local awareness of public health, civic engagement, and climate and social justice within San Diego and Imperial counties.
Organizations like the commission and other agencies across the county from Coronado to Carlsbad are often the unsung heroes who help keep the doors open and the lights on. In April, we are taking the opportunity of this monthlong celebration to focus on “investment” and, more specifically, the public investment in the arts through the engine of local arts councils and commissions.
To add to the mix, for the first time in nearly 30 years, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the formation of an Arts and Culture Commission last year and appointed a 13-member commission featuring representatives from across the county.
The commission will explore measures the county can take to directly support the arts, including the potential use of county properties as workspaces for local artists. It is also tasked with examining how to increase equity in arts because arts are some of the first programs cut from schools during budget reductions, and low-income and communities of color “have historically used arts and culture to navigate and survive systemic racism and oppression.”
Local leaders, arts supporters and government officials will gather on Tuesday at the County Administration Building to celebrate Arts, Culture & Creativity Month, to welcome the 13 new county arts commissioners, and to thank county supervisors for their support in moving this initiative forward.
Arts are essential to public services, education, health and infrastructure, and are deserving of public investment and recognition. The creative industry is more than entertainment. It underscores art, culture and creativity’s role as solution partners to the economy, innovation and community building.
We often fail to recognize the value of local arts agencies to help put tax dollars to work and manage the public investment in the arts. It reaps dividends we all can share.
We would love to say thanks to the author of this article for this incredible content
Opinion: Here’s why supporting San Diego’s arts and culture organizations is a good investment
Take a look at our social media accounts as well as other pages related to themhttps://lmflux.com/related-pages/