Our collective future

State budget boosts arts as part of California’s investment in its people

Wednesday morning’s budget announcement brought a big boost to the arts in California. As a one-time increase, the California Arts Council will receive an additional $8.8 million general fund allocation for the 2018–19 fiscal year.

“This is a budget that represents the collective effort of the people of California. This is the way we together, the 40 million people, invest in our collective future. … There is no place that has a more progressive, thoughtful, sensitive understanding of how to cope with modern problems,” the governor said, just prior to putting his signature to the bill.

We’re so grateful for the opportunity to extend the reach of our programs and services, to deepen our impact across every county, big or small. With this boost comes a chance to further grow our grantee family and bolster our support of the arts field, full of dedicated, passionate people working tirelessly to spread power and positivity of creative expression.

Before the 2018–19 grant season kicks off this winter, we’ll be working hard to broaden our outreach, to boost our signal and get on the radar of as many arts organizations as possible statewide. It’s our goal that Californians become familiar with who we are, that they see themselves represented in our programs and services, and that every eligible organization in need will have the tools and confidence to apply for funding — and then they do just that.

We don’t take for granted the privilege of being the state arts agency here in California, where creativity sits at the heart of our identity. Where we have widespread bipartisan support for and understanding of the position of arts and culture within our communities — as a health and wellness asset, a problem solving resources, and bridge builders. Where the arts and our artists are readily incorporated into our government’s strategy to cope with our modern problems, as part of, and not supplemental to, our collective future, as we saw in yesterday’s budget allocation.

After the announcement, Council Chair Nashormeh Lindo summed up our pivotal role in that future: “We must preserve the place of culture at the center of our communities. As stewards of state funding, it is our responsibility to use the arts to foster real solutions that are deeply needed in society today.”

To the artists, innovators, and culture bearers of our Golden State, we love you. You’ll be hearing from us soon.

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