California Cultural Districts: What’s Next?

Updated 11/1/2016

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.

Public Input Meetings

Between now and November, we will be holding five public input meetings in various locations across the state. Click here to view a PDF of the presentation shared at these meetings.

  • “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
  • Bay Area Public Input Meeting – October 5th in Oakland
  • Los Angeles Public Input Meeting – October 24th in Los Angeles

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?

Survey

All interested parties are encouraged to weigh-in via brief online survey, available at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CAC-CD. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. (Survey now closed.)

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.

Our Council will review the program recommendations at our December meeting. It’s expected that the cultural districts program and application process will launch in 2017. In the meantime, our work continues, and we look forward to engaging with you along the way!


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