State Budget Includes $8.8 Million One-Time Increase in California Arts Council Funding

State Budget Includes $8.8 Million One-Time Increase in California Arts Council Funding

On Wendnesday, June 27, 2018,Governor Edmund G Brown Jr. signed a state budget that includes a $8.8 million one-time increased funding allocation for the California Arts CouncilCalifornia’s state arts agency.

This fiscal year 2018-19 one-time $8.8 million funding increase will extend the reach of the California Arts Council’s competitive grant programs to meet the needs and demand for arts and cultural experiences benefiting diverse communities across the state. These programs serve California communities by funding local nonprofit arts activities with a focus on fostering safe and healthy communities, arts learning, and equitable access to the arts.

To learn more, click here.

July 2018 City of San Diego Arts and Culture Commission Meetings

July 2018 City of San Diego Arts and Culture Commission Meetings


The following are the dates and times for the Arts and Culture Commission and Committee meetings in the month of July. Please check the Commission for Arts and Culture website for meeting agenda and location. 

Commission’s Advocacy & Outreach Committee 
When: Friday, July 6, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Commission’s Public Art Committee
When: Friday, July 6, 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Commission’s Policy & Funding Committee
When: Friday, July 13, 2018
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Commission’s Executive Committee
When: Friday, July 13, 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Arts and Culture Commission Meeting

When: Friday, July 27, 2018
Time: 8:30AM – 10:30AM

California Arts Council 18-19 Budget Update

In the May budget Revision, Governor Jerry Brown added $5 million one time funding in the Arts Council’s budget. On May 24th, the legislature voted to increase the Arts Council’s budget by $5 million one time funding over the May Revision, for a total

of $25.1 million in general fund support for the California Arts Council in the 18-19 budget year. Stay tuned for the next step in the arts council budget process.
In the meantime, please reach out to our legislators and Governor Jerry Brown to thank them for their ongoing support of arts and culture.
Here is an example of a message you might wish to send:

Dear ______________,

We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Governor Jerry Brown and the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees for proposing and advancing a significant increase in funding for the California Arts Council for 2019! Thank you for your ongoing investment in the arts and culture. Every county—rural, urban, and suburban—receives funding to offer arts experiences to ALL, including underserved populations, at risk youth, veterans, children, families and senior citizens. All have benefited from the more than 1,000 grants made last year to local organizations that know their communities and how to engage them.

And spread the word that the California Arts Advocates are hard at work to advance the arts, culture and creativity in California and have continued to successfully influence additional funding to support California Arts Council programs.

Please see the list below to find your representatives. If you are not sure who is your representative, click here.

Legislator Roster List


District California State Senator Contact Information
36 Senator Patricia C Bates Email
38 Senator Joel Anderson Email
39 Senator Toni Atkins Email
40 Senator Ben Hueso Email


District California State Assembly Contact Information
67 Assembly Member Melissa Melendez Email
71 Assembly Member Randy Voepel Email
75 Assembly Member Marie Waldron Email
76 Assembly Member Rocky Chavez Email
77 Assembly Member Brian Maienschein Email
78 Assembly Member Todd Gloria Email
79 Assembly Member Shirley Weber Email
80 Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher Email

House Increases NEA Funding

On May 15, 2018, the U.S House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee advanced legislation to fund the nation’s federal cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

We are happy to report that under the leadership of Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN), the Subcommittee allocated increases of $2 million to both the NEA and the NEH, bringing their budgets up to $155 million each for FY 2019. Thanks to your impactful grassroots advocacy work, this is the same appropriation level that we requested on Arts Advocacy Day this past March.

Breaking News : Arts Victory in Congress!

News from Americans for the Arts

Victory! The voices of arts advocates were heard on Capitol Hill.

On March 21, 2018, Congress released the details of its delayed current year FY 2018 Omnibus spending bill. I am pleased to share that arts advocates like you helped convince Congress to reject President Trump’s proposal to terminate the nation’s cultural agencies. In fact, Congress has allocated an INCREASE in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to$152.849 million each. Please check our blog post for a detailed list of of Omnibus allocations to each of the federal cultural agencies and arts education programs.

This victory is such a fitting tribute to last week’s passing of Congressional Arts Caucus Co-Chair Representative Louise Slaughter, who spent her career in Congress fighting for the arts. She had most recently co-authored an Arts Advocacy Day “Dear Colleague” letter to her fellow Members of Congress recruiting a record number of 166 House Democrats and Republicans to sign a joint letter to House Appropriators to increase arts funding in America.

Together, Arts Action Fund members provided a strong and united voice for the arts:

·Grassroots arts advocates sent close to 200,000 messages to Members of Congress, thousands more signed our petitions and visited their elected Representatives and Senators.

·Our Arts Action Fund PAC was incredibly effective in educating and supporting key leaders in Congress to take an important stand on the arts.

·Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), soundly rejected President Trump’s attempt to terminate our nation’s cultural agencies.

·Persuasive and timely ads were placed in political publications during key decision times to inform Members of Congress about the latest research on the economic power of the arts.

Below are the final funding levels for the cultural agencies:

Key Federally Funded Arts Program/Agency

(in $ millions)

President Trump’s


U.S. House


U.S. Senate

Committee Proposal



FY 2018 Funding

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)





National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)





Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)





Corporation for Public Broadcasting


$445 (plus $0 for interconnection system)

$445 (plus $20 for interconnection system)

$445(plus $20 for interconnection system)

Assistance for Arts Education





Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants





Smithsonian Institution





John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts





National Gallery of Art





U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum





Save America’s Treasures





Commission of Fine Arts





National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs





Educational and Cultural Exchange programs





Community Development Block Grants


































Action Alert Update: Charitable Giving

Reported by Americans for the Arts

Early Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate passed a tax reform bill along an almost exclusively party-line vote of 51-49 with all Republicans voting yes, except for Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who opposed it for the $1.5 trillion in debt that would be created.

In a rush to pass far-reaching tax reform before year-end, both the House and Senate have passed separate but similar tax bills. Unfortunately, both versions of the tax bill would have a very negative impact on charitable giving. The bill now moves into a joint conference committee to negotiate a final, unified bill that can be signed into law by the President. It is anticipated that the ability to include any new provisions at this point will be severely limited, if not impossible.

What is the Status on Charitable Giving?

Because both the House and Senate tax bills propose doubling the standard deduction, access to specific incentives for income tax deductions of gifts to charity become severely limited to only the top five percent of taxpayers who itemize their deductions. Americans for the Arts and the charitable sector had actively supported the idea of a Universal Charitable Deduction so that the incentive to give to charities would be available to both itemizers and non-itemizers. However, Universal Charitable Deduction proposals offered by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and James Lankford (R-OK) never made it into the final bill nor were given an opportunity for a floor vote.

Unfortunately, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that charities, including nonprofit arts organizations, could see a staggering loss of up to $20 billion annually as a result of this tax policy change. 

Data shows that the charitable deduction under both bills also will no longer be viable to 95% of all taxpayers because of the expansion of the standard deduction. That means:

  • 31 million taxpayers who currently claim the charitable deduction will lose it.
  • Charitable contributions will decline by up to $20 billion per year.

What Do the Bills Mean for the Arts?

We are still reading through the latest proposals. Although there are some differences between the two bills, both bills overall fail the arts and cultural sector. Here is a preliminary summary of some of the other provisions in addition to the expected reduction in charitable itemizers that we’ve identified impacting artists and the nonprofit sector.

U.S. House Bill U.S. Senate Bill
Eliminates the performing artists’ business deduction No such elimination
Eliminates the $250 deduction for teacher supplies and instructional materials Doubles the same provision to $500
Reduces estate and gift taxes by doubling the exemption and then ultimately fully repealing the estate tax (historically a generator of major charitable gifts) Reduces estate tax by doubling the exemption
Repeals the “Johnson Amendment” prohibition on tax-exempt organizations’ support for political campaigns, without causing them to lose tax-exempt status No such elimination
Repeals lifetime education credits, tax deduction for interest on student loans, and tuition waivers from income for graduate and PhD students No such elimination
Increases limit on cash contributions to qualified charities from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income. However, this only applies to the narrowed group of donors who can itemize their taxes. Same
Repeals income tax exemption for private activity bonds, often used to finance cultural infrastructure projects, like museums No such elimination


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