Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Saturday, August 15, 2020

San Diego + Imperial counties Regional Conversation Summary

San Diego County Regional Conversation – Aug 14, 2020

Victoria Hamilton, California for the Arts was the moderator of this conversation with about 40 participants in zoom attendance.

Matt Carney, SD Ballet and SD Regional Arts and Culture Coalition SDRACC reported on the push to educate the November candidates and public about the arts. Equity and Inclusion are priorities of the issues that will be raised.  SDRACC is organizing this in four parts: Education of candidates, an open forum, follow up with short answers to written questions and finally a survey. Elected official and the candidates for the City of San Diego are being held now, but the County Supervisors candidates will be coming soon.

Susanna Pereda Swap also representing SDRACC reported on the progress of the SD Challenge Fund with a goal stabilize the creative sector. In Phase One, 32 grants between $3000 to $10,000 totaling $250,000 were given out to moderate sized organizations with paid staff. Phase 2 will be Relief funds for critical needs of individual artists in program called #SDArtistFund with money raised from a Go Fund Me effort. BLPOC ARTISTS for black artist who are in need is part of that push.  It was suggested that a partnership with Synergy Arts Foundation who is the only local arts organization to give out grants to artist in need might be advantageous.

Jonathon Glus, SD Commission for Arts and Culture has goals including sustainability for both large and small organization but particularly for individual artist. They have $1 million for individual visual artists for acquiring art work, plus they are commissioning 18-20 artist to create art in the parks. The work force has to be supported. They are working with UCSD to do a deep dive assessment about how the orgs are pivoting and restructuring to come out leaner and stronger during the lockdown.  They are also working with the Performing Arts to find better alliances and efficiencies.

Leticia Gomez Franco also of the SD Commission for Arts and Culture spoke strongly about equity and social justice. The Commission is trying hard to be flexible for example with contract extensions and making funds available without delay. They are making assessment to look at past distributions with a priority for building community access and reducing barriers to access to funds.

Julie Baker – Californian for the Arts and American from the Arts is concentrating on arts jobs and the arts as second responder. So much money is distributed through COVID funds so she asked us how can we be of service to the health industry. How do we get recognized for seeing the contribution that the arts make to mental health? Looks for grants in social services and try to create jobs around public health issues. This is a listing of grants for non-profits: . Make connections to our elected official and make sure they know the value of the arts in supplying jobs in all sorts of fields, not just entertainment.

Jason Schmeltzer told us that in Sacramento there is a big deficit and the state government is struggling. So, we must make sure and put arts into the budget conversation or we will lose out. Stimulus money should go to small non-profits because they are small business and they help the economy.

Larry Baza from California Art Council asked how do we raise money for orgs at all levels.  Online fundraising is not as successful as we would like. CAC has a remit to serve all of California including rural areas. CAC does not want to continue administering 18 grants and instead wants to spread the money throughout the state as one of their big goals has always been to try to create a level playing field. He was very grateful to California for the Arts for its lobbying efforts for the arts. They saved the arts budget for CA. We also need federal funds to come to the state and there are none of those except the Heroes Act*.  He reminded us that CAC Administrators of Color Fellowship Program Grants are due soon.

A poll showed that the biggest percentage of those in attendance were from the non-profit sector and their biggest concern was funding. There was then lengthy discussion from the others in attendance. One of the most interesting discussions was about co-creating and co-funding to work better and smarter. This applied especially for outreach to social service organizations. Two examples were given  and Reaching out to organization that you have never partnered with was encouraged to expand funding and audiences.

The chat line also allowed us to register topics for further discussion. A Virtual Presentation Toolkit was mentioned as was the need for the capacity for a unified mailing list of arts leaders and press perhaps as part of a centralized directory and events calendar.

This presentation and live chat was recorded and will be available on at Questions can be directed to  Julie Baker, Executive Director: Californian for the Arts

* The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or HEROES Act is proposed legislation acting as a $3 trillion stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is intended to supplement the earlier CARES Act stimulus package. 

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