Arts in the 2010 California Governor’s Race Campaign Launches

The Arts in the California Governor’s Race project does not endorse any candidate, nor does it support any specific legislation.

CALIFORNIA — September 9, 2010 — A committee of arts advocates, non-profit arts leaders, creative business owners, and concerned individuals today announced a non-partisan campaign, calledArts in the California Governor’s Race, to raise public awareness and inform the 2010 gubernatorial candidates about the significance of California’s creative industries in fueling the world’s 8th largest economy (Legislative Analyst’s Office, Cal Facts 2006).

“Despite being the home of hundreds of thousands of artists, world-renowned symphonies, operas, theatres and museums, and even though we are the global center of popular film, California has fallen to 50th nationwide in per-capita funding for the arts and cultural policy initiatives,” said Brad Erickson, president of California Arts Advocates and co-chair of the steering committee, “that is why we created this campaign.”

California’s economy is fueled by its creative industries, including both for-profit and non-profit creative businesses and organizations. Art galleries, individual artists, writers, and performers in California earned over $12 billion in 2008, while photography, music, book, and record store sales totaled over $3.2 billion according to the Creative Vitality™ Index, an economic development tool developed by the Western States Arts Federation. While the billions of dollars in domestic film industry revenues is common knowledge, foreign sales of motion-picture and video products totaled over $10.4 billion just a few years ago, a number that continues to rise. In addition, California’s non-profit arts sector alone generates $5.4 billion in total economic impact each year, creating 66,000 full-time and 95,000 part-time jobs, and returning $300 million in state and local taxes.

The goal of the Arts in the California Governor’s Race campaign is to educate both the public and the 2010 gubernatorial candidates about the important roles of quality public education, non-profit public/private partnerships, and small business in ensuring a robust creative economy. The campaign will work closely with gubernatorial campaign managers to brief each candidate about California’s creative sector. The campaign will also encourage each of the candidates to prepare a public statement indicating her or his awareness of the creative industries and commitment to ensuring California regains its competitive economic edge when the next governor takes office.

Through its newly launched website and a field activist, the steering committee of Arts in the California Governor’s Race is currently working in communities throughout the state to educate voters about the important role of the creative industries in ensuring that students thrive, communities succeed, and that California’s economy flourishes.

“This campaign is an exciting new effort to help bridge the gap between the arts and politics, both in this gubernatorial race as well as the future. The campaign will strengthen the California’s broad arts communities and show our local and state representatives that we are an important constituency,” said Michael Alexander, current member of the California Arts Council.

To learn more, please visit or contact Field Activist Jackie Koppell by e-mail at or by phone at (917) 817-4418.

Please join thousands of your colleagues across California and take control of our future. Learn about the specifics of this effort, who is involved, what you can do and how to contribute to making this an effective campaign.

Arts Leaders Meet with Congresswoman Susan Davis

San Diego Arts Leaders Ron Jessee, Victoria Hamilton, Dalouge Smith, and John Malashok met with Representative Susan Davis (second from right), who has been a steady arts and culture supporter. The group met with Rep. Davis to discuss proposals for strengthening inclusion of arts education in the next version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and to ask for her support of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Spread the News: It’s Your City, and Your Arts Scene

by Christopher Ashley
Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune July 25, 2010

“Our cultural ecosystem has quietly flourished over the past two decades, yielding vibrant centers for live theater, visual arts, dance, opera, classical and contemporary music. We have a staggering number of pioneering artists, quality arts organizations, adventurous audiences and committed supporters. San Diego is at the tipping point of becoming a major, nationally recognized arts center. Yet even now, whenever I ask San Diegans what distinguishes us from other cities, our arts scene rarely makes the Top 10. It is up to us to change that.”

Read the full piece here.

Arts in Crisis, Funding Needed

by John Eger,
Published July 8, 2010 in The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Today the arts are being cut to one of the lowest points in history…As demand for a new workforce to meet the challenges of a global knowledge economy is rapidly increasing, nothing could be more important in this period of our nation’s history than art and an art infused education. It may seem ludicrous to say it, but we really need to be spending more on the arts and art education. Much more.”

Read the full Op-Ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune

New Campaign to Promote Arts and Culture

The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the San Diego Foundation have partnered on a multi-faceted initiative designed to assist arts and culture organizations to survive the economic downturn and ultimately thrive in a new world economy as part of their Survive and Thrive Initiative. Additional support is provided by the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau (ConVis), California Arts Council, San Diego Grantmakers and other funders.

Click here to see the campaign on the ConVis website:

Want Job Creation? Try the Arts

by San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition Chair Dalouge Smith
Published March 1, 2009 in The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Our local officials, especially in the city of San Diego, now have the chance to give congressional members a lesson in leadership by maintaining stable funding for arts and culture to mitigate further job and program losses. Investing in the economic strength of San Diego’s cultural assets is an investment in our financial and civic future….”

Read the full Op-ed in The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Art of Competitiveness

by San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition Chair Dalouge Smith
Published October 29, 2008 in The San Diego Union-Tribune

“To flourish in the new world economy, we need to take a whole-brain approach to preparing everyone for both left-brain and right-brain thinking. Clearly the arts, with their contributions to design, ability to foster the imagination needed to innovate, and grounding in emotional communication have an important role to play in our long-term economic competitiveness as a nation and as a community….”

Read the full Op-ed in The San Diego Union-Tribune