Action Alert: Support Charitable Giving

On November 16, 2017, the U.S. House voted along party-lines to pass their tax reform bill (H.R. 1) by a vote of 227-205.

The bill contains a number of provisions harmful to charitable organizations and the arts:

  • Overwhelming majority of taxpayers would no longer have access to make tax-deductible charitable contributions. That charitable tax deduction would be limited to the wealthiest 5% of taxpayers.
  • Entertainment, amusement, recreation and membership dues expenses related to a business purpose or meeting would be repealed.
  • Doubling exemptions and ultimate full repeal of the estate tax, which has historically generated major gifts to charities.
  • Elimination of the teacher supplies and instructional materials deduction.
  • Repeal of options to treat musical compositions and copyrights in musical works as capital assets.
  • Repeal of the historic tax credit.

In sum, Congress is rushing to pass far-reaching tax reform that would have a very negative impact on charitable giving. The latest analysis of the House bill by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that charities, including nonprofit arts organizations, could see a staggering loss of up to $20 billion annually. The resulting loss in charitable giving will cause significant consequences for the health of America’s nonprofit organizations and the communities we serve.

Please take two minutes to support charitable giving by sending a message to Congress. Ask for support for a universal charitable deduction and the Universal Charitable Giving Act (S. 2123/H.R. 3988.)

San Diego International Airport Arts Master Plan

The Airport Arts Program is preparing for the future with the development of a new Arts Master Plan. The plan will guide the Arts Program’s vision for public art and arts and culture programs at the airport for the next ten years.

The previous master plan was completed in 2006 and provided guidelines and policies for the program’s three core components: Public Art, Performing Arts, and Temporary Exhibitions. Since 2006, the Arts Program has grown both in its permanent art collection and its annual exhibitions. It has also redefined how the airport traveler experiences the airport, with everything from a first-of-its-kind performing arts residency program and live concerts, to educational programs with local schools, and special partnerships with community arts groups to Grammy winners.

It is now time to embark on a new arts master planning journey. We would like you to help us plan for the future. You can participate in this planning process by taking the survey that is linked below. It will help us understand your experiences in using the airport and your thoughts about how arts resources can engage travelers in enriching ways, create a welcoming ambiance unique to San Diego, and cultivate cultural partnerships in the region.

Survey links are HERE (English) and HERE (Spanish)

For more information about the SAN Arts Master Plan please visit:

California Arts Council Seeking Panelists

Serving on a peer-review panel is a powerful learning experience. By providing your support to the arts and culture community throughout the state, you are participating in cultural policy in action.​ 

The California Arts Council are seeking panelists to help the CAC ensure that the grant application review process is democratic, fair and representative of California’s diverse geography; wealth of organizations; racial, ethnic and gender identities; perspectives and knowledge.

Panelist Requirements:


  • Must be California residents
  • Commitment to access and reviewing up to 60 applications and all work samples (photos, videos, etc.) through our online system prior to meeting
  • Travel to Sacramento
  • Participation on a panel that may convene for one to three days in Sacramento
  • Applications and artists’ work samples (photos, videos and documents) are viewed online before the panel meeting. Ability and willingness to access the applications and samples online are crucial to preparing for the panel meeting.

Each spring, applications to our grant programs are reviewed by a panel of three to five arts and culture experts. Panelists are given approximately one month to independently read and review between 30 to 60 applications through an online grant portal. Panelists are provided with an orientation on the panel process, including instructions on how to rank applications according to program-specific grant guidelines and review criteria. Facilitated by a CAC program staff member, the panel then meets in Sacramento for one to three days to collectively rank the applications. The rankings are brought to the California Arts Council body (Council) meeting to inform funding decisions. A panel representative may be selected to join staff at a Council meeting to present on their perceptions of participating on the panel and the process.

For the 2017-2018 grant cycle, panels are scheduled from February through May 2018, located at the California Arts Council office in Sacramento. Selected panelist will be included in a panelist pool to be approved by the Council in November 2017 and January 2018. Panelist will be confirmed by staff to serve on specific grant panels from the approved panel pool for up to two years.


Approved panelists may be called upon to serve on one of our grant panels in 2018 or 2019. Those listed on the FY 16-17 panel pool do no need to reapply. To confirm you are on the approved panel pool, click here.


To learn more about the panelist positions, click here

Action Alert: Possible Repeal of Historic Tax Credits for Historic Preservation​

Action Alert: Possible Repeal of Historic Tax Credits for Historic Preservation​

Your support is needed: Let Congress know that you want to save the Historic Tax Credit

The Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is under threat of elimination or curtailment during current tax reform discussions. 

Between 2002-2016, the rehabilitation of 169 historic buildings in California—with $468M in federal credits—spurred $2.8 billion in redevelopment. And, the federal credit pays back more to the Treasury than it costs! 

For example, an estimated $493M has been paid in federal taxes on these HTC projects

Despite the HTC’s proven record for stimulating economic development, we are deeply concerned that the program will fall victim to the current federal tax reform efforts. 

Join SOHO, the California Preservation Foundation and the National Trust and send a clear and strong message that the Historic Tax Credit needs to be included within the tax reform proposal. 

Contact your representative in Congress individually using the links provided below and urge them to co-sponsor the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act, which will further encourage reuse and rehabilitation of historic resources, maximize the impact of state historic credits, and broaden the eligibility requirement so more historic properties are applicable under this program. Thank you for supporting this important legislation! 

Senator Dianne Feinstein 
750 B Street, Ste 1030, San Diego, CA 92101 
Phone: (619) 231-9712 · Fax: (619) 231-1108 

Senator Kamala Harris 
600 B Street, Ste 2240, San Diego, CA 92101 
(619) 239-3884 · (202) 228-3863 fax 

District 49 
Rep. Darrell Issa 
1800 Thibodo Road, Ste #310, Vista, CA 92081 
Phone: (760) 599-5000 · Fax: (760) 599-1178 

District 50 
Rep. Duncan Hunter 
1870 Cordell Ct, Ste 206, El Cajon, CA 92020 
Phone: (619) 448-5201 · Fax: (619) 449-2251 

District 51 
Rep. Juan Vargas 
333 F Street, Ste A, Chula Vista CA 91910 
Phone: (619) 422-5963 · Fax: (619) 422-7290 

District 52 
Rep. Scott Peters 
4350 Executive Drive, Suite 105, San Diego CA 92121 
Phone: (858) 455-5550 

District 53 
Rep. Susan Davis 
2700 Adams Avenue, Ste 102, San Diego, CA 92116 
Phone: (619) 280-5353 · Fax: (619) 280-5311

Action Alert: Tax Reform and the Charitable Deduction




Republican Congressional leaders released their long-awaited tax reform framework yesterday on Capitol Hill, which could have a negative impact on charitable giving. 

We know that Arts Action Fund members care deeply about fully preserving the charitable tax deduction incentive since nonprofit arts organizations rely on donations made by individual taxpayers for approximately 25 percent of their budgets. We want to share our statement as well as highlights of our analysis below.

  • We commend the GOP proposal for preserving the charitable tax deduction for those taxpayers who itemize such qualifying expenses as mortgage interest and charitable gifts. 
  • However, the GOP plan also proposes to double the standard deduction. This would have the impact of moving taxpayers away from itemizing their deductions. While this change would simplify the average tax return, it would also have a negative impact on the future of charitable giving as whole.  It is anticipated that this plan could cause charities to lose up to $13 billion in donations each year.
  • Congress can avoid unintentionally harming charities by including a new “universal charitable tax deduction” provision that could be made available to ALL taxpayers, both itemizers and non-itemizers. With the incentive of a charitable tax deduction given to all taxpayers, it is anticipated that charities could see a $4.8 billion increase in donations per year.

Please take two minutes to help us urge Congress to expand charitable giving incentives to all American taxpayers. GOP leaders plan to move a tax package quickly through Congress by the end of this year, using this framework as the starting-point.

Help #ProtectGiving. Charities are the bedrock of our society, dedicated to advancing the public good.

California Arts Council Announces 14 Cultural Districts in New Creative Statewide Program

California Arts Council Announces 14 Cultural Districts in
New Creative Statewide Program
The California Arts Council has announced the 14 districts that will serve as California’s inaugural state-designated Cultural Districts, highlighting thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities within local communities across California. Of those 14 districts, three of them are here in San Diego. “These Cultural Districts showcase California’s cultural diversity and vibrant experiences,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “The districts are one more way to highlight the one-of-a-kind places throughout our state that inspire residents and visitors alike.” Congratulations to


Action Alert – Proposed Cuts to NEA 2017 Budget


Earlier in March, the White House proposed to eliminate all funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Humanities (NEH) from the 2018 budget. Just a few days ago, the White House submitted a new proposal to cut funding from the NEA, NEH, and other programs immediately from the current 2017 budget. If the budget from these programs gets cut immediately, it could cause many problems in being able to administer pre-scheduled grants to nonprofit and governmental arts agencies at the local and state level.

Please take two minutes to sign the petition and share through social media:

Action Alert – Save the National Endowment for the Arts


Today’s news confirmed that President Trump’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), among other programs, in the fiscal year 2018. For a synopsis of what’s at stake, please see The National Assembly of State Arts Agency’s Statement on Proposed Elimination of the NEA. Click here to read a statement from Jane Chu, Chair of the NEA.

To protect the NEA, contact your local representative with a special focus on Republican legislators in San Diego County and urge them to save the NEA by calling or sending the following message:

Dear Congressman (NAME): I am writing on behalf of (xyz organization or individual), and as a member of the San Diego Regional Arts & Culture Coalition, to thank you for your continued support of arts and culture in your district. We respectfully request that you reject the misguided proposal from the Administration to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts. As an (organization, artist, arts donor), the NEA has (tell your story here). Thank you.

Congressman Darrell Issa

Send an Email or call (760) 599-5000

Congressman Duncan Hunter

Send an Email or call (619) 448-5201

San Diego County Congressional Map – Know Your Congressman

Also, please take a few minutes to sign the petition to save the NEA


Pasadena Playhouse Welcomes Seema Sueko as Associate Artistic Director 9/5/13





Seema Sueko has been appointed the new Associate Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse. Sueko, who is the co-founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego and served as the Co-Chair for the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, will assume her new role beginning January 6, 2014. CONGRATULATIONS, SEEMA!!!


Click here for more information.

Denise Montgomery Resigns 7/26/13

Dear Colleagues in the Arts and Culture Community,

It is with sadness that I share with you my decision to resign my position with the Filner administration. I wrestled with this decision out of commitment to the arts and culture community, however, I cannot in good conscience remain part of the Filner administration. I am deeply disappointed, as I had many goals and hopes for serving in this role.

Getting to know more people and facets of our cultural community has been a highlight of my short tenure. Your work is an inspiration, from deep commitments to outreach, artistic risk taking, nurturing of young professionals in the arts, and on and on.

As we all know, there is much good work yet to be done, and I hope that the landscape will change to make more of that good work possible.

I am grateful for the outpouring of support from the arts and culture community.  I am proud to count myself among you.

With appreciation,