As you may be aware, new California legislation has empowered the California Arts Council to designate areas as state cultural districts. A cultural district is defined as a geographical area with a concentration of cultural facilities, creative enterprises, or arts venues.
We know that every city and town in California is different, and we want to ensure that California’s first statewide cultural districts program is reflective of the unique realities, opportunities, and challenges that exist in communities large and small across our state.
That is why we are seeking input from you, the public, as we undergo the planning process for the new statewide cultural districts program. We are seeking public input to help us develop a program that is reflective of the distinct features that make our communities unique.
We’ve retained the services of consultants Jessica Cusick and Maria Rosario Jackson – experts in public and community arts – as the facilitators of our program development process. Throughout the planning process, we will be reaching out to our arts community, as well as key stakeholders from various sectors including local businesses, community organizations, chambers of commerce, local governments, main street associations, and departments of transportation, public safety, planning and development.
Between now and November, we will be holding several public input meetings in various locations across the state, as noted below. Additional meetings in the Bay Area and Los Angeles Area will be announced soon.
- “True North” Public Input Meeting – September 8th in Redding
- Central Valley Public Input Meeting – September 29th in Fresno
- San Diego Region Public Input Meeting – October 3rd in Escondido
Additionally, we will be issuing a survey to gather input online. Stay tuned for more info on this.
Throughout this process, we will be asking key questions of communities across the state, such as:
- When you think of “cultural districts,” what comes to mind for you?
- What would be the benefits of a cultural district in your community?
- Whose involvement would be essential to the success of a cultural district in your community?
This exciting opportunity would not be possible without the cultural districts legislation authors. We extend a special thank you to Assemblymember Richard Bloom and Assemblymember Marie Waldron for their leadership and support.
It’s expected that the cultural districts program and public application process will launch in early 2017. In the meantime, our work continues, and we look forward to engaging with you along the way!
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