The California Arts Council has established 14 state-designated Cultural Districts, including three in San Diego County. These Cultural Districts are a direct result of passage of Assembly Bill 189 in 2016, a bill I co-authored with Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica).
San Diego’s three Cultural Districts include Balboa Park, home to 17 museums and the San Diego Zoo, Barrio Logan, which includes Chicano Park with 79 historic murals, and in North County, the Oceanside Cultural District., which celebrates the city’s Beach City heritage, museums and growing arts scene.
The budget recently signed by Governor Newsom included a $10 million increased funding allocation for the California Arts Council (which also receives federal funding), for competitive grant programs that fund arts and cultural experiences across the state. Last month, the Council announced 1,243 grant awards totaling over $20 million for arts/cultural non-profit organizations, the largest allocation in over two decades. The budget also provided one-time grants to a number of organizations including the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California, the Latino Theater Company, and the Korean American National Museum.
The Arts Council’s mission, “Advancing California through the arts and creativity,” not only enriches lives, it can spur new businesses, increase employment, attract more tourism and establish vibrant cultural economies throughout the state. It is my hope that other communities in this region, including North Inland San Diego and Southwest Riverside Counties, will soon be able to take advantage of the state’s Cultural District program.
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.