ICYM: CAC’s New Director, Anne Bown-Crawford Visit to San Diego

We were proud to host in partnership with the California Arts Advocates the new California Arts Council director, Anne Bown-Crawford on Thursday, March 15th at The Old Globe. In case you missed this event, here’s a great article from the San Diego Union Tribune

Thank you to The Old Globe for hosting and to Toni Robin at TR/PR Public Relations | Marketing for the donated media work. Thank you to everyone that attended. Be on the lookout for more upcoming events from SDRACC.

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: City of San Diego Arts and Culture Funding

City of San Diego Arts and Culture Funding

Action Alert

Good news!   Thanks to everyone’s advocacy efforts, a significant majority of City Councilmembers included increased funding in their Budget Priority Memos to the City’s Independent Budget Analyst. 

Here’s the language from the IBA Report:

Arts and Culture Funding (Council Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9)

A majority of Councilmembers prioritized an increase in arts and culture funding for FY 2019 over the amount included in the Mayor’s Outlook. The FY 2018 Proposed Budget reduced arts and culture funding from $15.1 million in FY 2017 to $10.4 milliona $4.7 million or 31.3% decrease.


When the City Council adopted the FY 2018 budget, they allocated one-time resources to the arts and culture budget, increasing the budget to $14.7 million. These one-time funds were removed from the arts and culture budget in the Mayor’s Outlook, which included an arts and culture funding level of $10.4 million for FY 2019.

The following Councilmembers included increased funding in their Memos:

District 1 – Councilmember Barbara Bry
District 2 – Councilmember Lorie Zapf
District 3 – Council Chris Ward
District 4 – Council President Myrtle Cole
District 8 – Councilmember David Alvarez
District 9 – Councilmember Georgette Gomez


Please click on this Link and send a quick email to at least one or all of the Councilmembers and THANK THEM for including Increased Funding for Arts and Culture in their Budget Memos.  Tell them about an upcoming program that City Arts and Culture Funding supports for the benefit of the community.



ACTION REQUESTED: Contact City Council Members NOW – Urge Support for Penny for the Arts in Their Budget Memos

ACTION NEEDED BY: Friday, January 12

As many of you already know, San Diego arts and culture organizations are already facing a potential 35% cut from FY17 levels.

Our best step at this moment is to ensure Arts and Culture is included as a priority in the budget memos for the City Council Members.

When do you need to act?
The budget memos are due January 22, which means they are being written right now. We encourage emails and calls to Councilmember by Friday, January 12, especially since Monday, January 15 is a federal holiday.

What can you do?
Please identify ONLY people who are well connected to the various Council Members (these may be Trustees, friends, Labor Union members or key community members,) and ask them to call the Council members to ask them to include in their budget memos that Arts and Culture are a high priority and that they seek to fully fund Penny for the Arts. Stories about arts programs and audience engagement in THEIR districts are also extremely valuable.

We are interested in results. Once you or your delegate has made contact with the Trustees, please let us know which of the Councilmembers respond and what they say by sending information to SDRACC Association Manager Jessica Amaya at jessamaya.sdracc@gmail.com 

Thank you.

District Name Email
District 1 Councilmember Barbara Bry barbarabry@sandiego.gov
District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf loriezapf@sandiego.gov
District 3 Councilmember Chris Ward christopherward@sandiego.gov
District 4 Council President Myrtle Cole myrtlecole@sandiego.gov
District 5 Councilmember Mark Kersey markkersey@sandiego.gov
District 6 Councilmember Chris Cate chriscate@sandiego.gov
District 7 Councilmember Scott Sherman scottsherman@sandiego.gov
District 8 Councilmember David Alvarez davidalvarez@sandiego.gov
District 9 Councilmember Georgette Gomez georgettegomez@sandiego.gov

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: arts.san.org/master-plan

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

San Diego Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Report

On October 18, 2017, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture launched its billion-dollar arts announcement (read Local Art Nonprofits Generate over $1 Billion in Economic Activity) with an exciting presentation by Vice President of Research and Policy of Americans for the Arts, Randy Cohen.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the City of San Diego—one that generates $1.1 billion in total economic activity. 

The results of the study for the City of San Diego and the Balboa Cultural District are available for public use. Click on the links below to access the reports.

Balboa Park Cultural District Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 Report

City of San Diego Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 Report




The Arts: San Diego’s Billion Dollar Industry on October 18, 2017


The Arts: San Diego’s Billion-Dollar Industry

Why Investing in the Arts Matters to San Diego Now

Keynote Speaker: Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy, Americans for the Arts, Washington DC

Americans for the Arts has conducted the most comprehensive economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States. Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy will present the results of the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5Report and San Diego’s billion dollar impact with a special report on Balboa Park.

Presented with the support of the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, and the Balboa Park Conservancy.

When: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:00am – 11:30am

Where: Museum of Photographic Arts, Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theater
1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92110

Space is limited! RSVP  today