The City of San Diego, through the Commission for Arts and Culture, has been awarded $4.75 million to administer a new pilot California Creative Corps arts program.
The grant funds will help support artists and cultural practitioners in San Diego and Imperial counties who are developing artistic content that increases local awareness of public health, civic engagement, climate and conservation and social justice within Imperial and San Diego counties.
The effort is part of the City’s “Far South/Border North: Artists and Cultural Practitioners in Community” initiative.
The funds will be allocated following approval by the San Diego City Council. The grant award was announced in late August.
The grant funding is part of $60 million in grants recently awarded to 14 statewide administrating organizations by the California Arts Council (CAC).
Supporting Artists and Cultural Practitioners
“This is exciting news for artists and communities of need in San Diego,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “The power of art helped us all during the worst of the COVID-19 crisis, yet unfortunately, arts and culture were among the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic. This funding is a recognition of the important role artists and cultural practitioners play in our communities, and we’re deeply appreciative to the California Arts Council for their support.”
“Far South/Border North: Artists and Cultural Practitioners in Community” is a City of San Diego initiative that will be implemented in collaboration with San Diego Foundation, San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition and Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties.
The collaboration brings together government, foundation and community partners, providing financial support to artists and cultural practitioners to:
- Help support the health and well-being of communities in the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
- Incubate and carry out public campaigns that raise awareness, engage and inspire change.
- Continue enriching their creative, artistic and cultural practice.
The City and its partners are developing guidelines, requirements and the process for awarding CAC Creative Corps funds to qualified applicants.
The initiative will be implemented through a “bi-county collaborative” led by the City of San Diego and will regrant California Creative Corps funds to artists and cultural practitioners, organizations and local and tribal governments to hire artists living and working in San Diego and Imperial Counties, according to Jonathon Glus, executive director for the City’s Commission for Arts and Culture.
“The engaged artists and cultural practitioners will work with the City and partners to develop media, outreach and engagement campaigns that speak to the initiative’s goals,” Glus said. “These goals are to increase public awareness related to social justice, public health, energy-water-climate and civic engagement and prioritizing the health and well-being of communities within the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places.”
“This important creative workforce initiative integrates arts and culture into public work and demonstrates the need for intersectionality in tackling our pressing regional challenges and opportunities,” Glus added. “There are many different approaches and engagement strategies artists and cultural practitioners can take in developing these campaigns, from storytelling and performative work to film.”
Applications to be Available in 2023
The City plans to release the first round of grant applications for individual artists and cultural practitioners by early next year, followed by a subsequent round later next year for organizations and local and tribal governments to subgrant funding to artists.
“Assisting the City in granting funds that support creative workforce needs is critical to our regional recovery,” said San Diego Foundation Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer Pamela Gray Payton. “Together, we will foster the regional prosperity of artists and cultural practitioners while also collectively advancing health and climate equity and change as part of our vision for just, equitable and resilient communities.”
Mayor Gloria said the City’s investments in its artists, cultural practitioners and organizations, both large and small, reflect a deep commitment to making San Diego a more dynamic place to live, work and play – and contribute to a more equitable, inclusive, accessible and sustainable arts and culture ecosystem that amplifies creative work and experiences.
To learn more about the arts program, visit sandiego.gov/arts-culture.