City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

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The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture is the official arts council for the city of San Diego, California. The Commission consists of 15 volunteers appointed by the Mayor of San Diego, supported by a professional staff. [1]

An arts council is a government or private non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts; mainly by funding local artists, awarding prizes, and organizing arts events. They often operate at arms-length from the government to prevent political interference in their decisions.

San Diego City in California, United States

San Diego is a city in the U.S. state of California. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.


The Commission was established by city ordinance in 1988 as part of Mayor Maureen O'Connor's "Year of the Arts" proclamation. [2] It serves in an advisory capacity to the mayor, city council and city manager on promoting, encouraging and increasing support for the arts and culture institutions of San Diego. The first chairman was Milton "Micky" Fredman. [2]

Maureen OConnor (California politician) former mayor of San Diego

Maureen Frances O'Connor is an American Democratic politician from California. She was mayor of San Diego from 1986 to 1992, the first woman to serve in that position. In 2013, federal prosecutors charged her with money laundering, but deferred prosecution based on her agreement to pay back the funds involved. The charges were formally dismissed by Judge David Bartick on February 24, 2015.

San Diego City Council

The San Diego City Council is the legislative branch of government for the city of San Diego, California. The city council was first established in San Diego in 1850. The council uses a strong mayor system with a separately elected mayor who acts as the executive. There are currently nine members of the council. City council members serve a four-year term and are limited to two successive terms.

It is the Commission's responsibility to make all recommendations pertaining to arts and culture for city funding to the city council. The Commission makes grants through a competitive application process under two categories: organizational support for nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and support for specific projects. Its funds come from a portion the city's transient occupancy tax [3] as well as from grants from the California Arts Council (CAC), the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. [4]

The California Arts Council is a state agency based in Sacramento, United States. Its eleven council members are appointed by the Governor and the state Legislature. The agency's mission is to advance California through the arts and creativity.

National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. The NEA has its offices in Washington, D.C. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, as well as the Special Tony Award in 2016.


The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture vitalizes the City by supporting the region's cultural assets, integrating arts and culture into community life and showcasing San Diego as an international tourist destination.


The Commission believes that arts and cultural organizations and activities promote a better quality of life for local residents. Such activities also play a major role in the tourism industry; 2.7 million visitors in 2007 made their travel decision based primarily on the city's cultural attractions. [5] Arts and culture also provide employment for the area; the 85 organizations funded by the Commission in 2005 provide more than 4,500 jobs for area residents. [5] In 2009 the Commission funded 76 organizations, which directly stimulated the local economy to the tune of $181 million and attracted 1.46 million arts-and-culture tourists who pumped $750 million into the local economy. [6]

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  1. "City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture website". Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  2. 1 2 "Milton Fredman, 84; attorney was on arts, civic commissions", San Diego Union Tribune, June 23, 2005
  3. "Arts advocate Vicki Reed chairs a commission to keep San Diego vibrant" Archived 2012-05-11 at the Wayback Machine , La Jolla Light, January 26, 2011
  4. "City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture website: funding". Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  5. 1 2 "Arts and Culture: Contributing to San Diego's quality of life and economy", San Diego Union Tribune, October 5, 2007
  6. Mayor Jerry Sanders: “The future looks bright for San Diego’s arts and culture", San Diego Gay and Lesbian News , June 15, 2010