Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Sunday, December 25, 2022

State of the Art 2023: What’s Trending - DEI, Money for the arts and Women Arts Leaders


First, I want to say how important it has been this year to recognize all the people who may not have gotten as much respect as they deserve. Inclusion, diversity and equality are not just politically correct words, but together they bring us together by recognizing that every person deserves their place in the sun. I am lucky to be a cheerleader for those in the visual arts. But whatever your interests are, I urge you to be a champion for those you know and admire.

It has been booming time for government funding. I am struck by the amount of money that it is pouring into the arts. At first, I thought it was due to the pandemic and the arts being struck so severely. But I had another idea. Do you think it is possible that people are gaining confidence that the arts actually can bring solutions to so many of the current social issues?  Those of us in the arts have always known that arts and culture can go where others cannot. Still, I am impressed with how much money is being directed our way, much of which is earmarked for the underserved and for education.  

Making sure it is fairly distributed is another matter. Grass roots organizations are now truly being recognized for how essential they are, and how collaborative they know they have to be to survive. Grass roots organizations have always had to be nimble to survive and excel. Now large organizations like American for the Arts are going through a transformation process and seems to be jumping on that band wagon. Just look at the old corporate logo and the new more open logo above with more emphasis on the arts and less on who is an American. 

Here are just some examples sums coming to the arts:

Federal Funding: A 15% funding increase to both the NEA/NEH of $27 million to bring the total to from the Senate to $207 million. A $26.8 million increase to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). A first-time ever budget allocation of $10 million in the Department of Defense to support creative art therapy programs at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. More than $66 million in direct project funding, also known as congressional earmarks, was awarded to over 68 arts organizations across the country. Level funding of $36.5 million was allocated to the Department of Education’s Assistance for Arts Education programs.

California: California Arts Council is pushing for $1 per capital for the arts which would bring them from $26M to $40M per year allocation from the state. Over $600 million was spent so far on pandemic recovery. Cultural Districts will get $30M plus Art in Parks $25M. There is also $20 in Cultural Institution relief funding still to come and an upcoming $925,000 for Artist Fellowships. Biggest news is for art education with the passing of Prop 28 = $800M for school districts through Create CA . Much of this money will trickle down to San Diego!

San Diego and Imperial Counties: $4.5M for Creative Corp.

Encinitas: $7M Pacific View Art Center

And you can’t complain about the fact that Women are still trending in the Visual Arts in San Diego.  There are a whole new crop of women taking important positions in the Visual Arts in our County: Jessica Berlanga Taylor, new director of UCSD Stuart Collection,  Jessica York new Executive Director of the Mingei,  Elizabeth Yang-Heelewell new EEO of New Children Museum, Felicia Shaw new Executive director of San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, Lauren Lockhart new Executive Director of the La Jolla Historical Society and Gina Lopez new Chief Executive Officer for  California Center for the Arts Escondido and Christie Mitchell  new executive director of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library,

They are joining Women Museum Directors Maria Mingalone at OMA, Roxana Velásquez at SDMA, Deborah Klochko at MOPA, and Kathryn Kanjo at MCASD. There are so many women running municipal and sales galleries in the county including Sonya Sparks at Sparks Gallery, Ellen Speert at PHES Gallery, Karen McGuire at Cannon Gallery, Alessandra Moctezuma at Mesa College Gallery, Melissa Inez Walker at Distinction Gallery, Julie Weaverling at Front Porch Gallery, Lynn Susholtz at Art Produce, Blanca Bergman at Art Unites, Sandi Cottrell at Art Walk, Jennifer de Poyen at Space4Art, Julia McMeans at ArtsBusXpress, Wendy Wilson at the Bonita Museum, Julie Fister at Studio Ace and Dinah Poellnitz at Hillcrest Country Club.  Both Madison and Adelman Galleries are run by women.

There are women writers in the arts like Julie Dixon Evans, Lonnie Burstein Hewitt, Lisa Deaderick, and Elizabeth Rooklidge, plus lots of great curators like Daniella Susella and Chi Essary and PR agents like Toni Robbin.  There are legions of women art administrator who are working for the SD County cities, and libraries and the airport like Bonnie Domingos at the Central Library, Giang Myers at the new County Office of Art and Culture, Lara Bullock at the City of SD Commission for Arts and Culture and recently appointed curator for the SD Art Prize.  Naimeh Tahna Woodward runs the Encinitas Friends of the Arts and Collette Murphy does arts admin at the City of Encinitas.  Let’s not forget Naomi Nussbaum who runs Synergy Arts Foundation, and their sister non-profit The San Diego Visual Arts Network coordinated by me, Patricia Frischer.

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