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San Diego Supervisors want to Revive Defunct County Arts Council



Supervisor Nora Vargas and Chairman Nathan Fletcher will ask their board colleagues on Tuesday to direct Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer to examine ways to better promote arts across the region and report back in 90 days.

“Efforts focused on arts and culture are an important component to the county’s efforts to address critical issues such as public health and healthy communities,” a report from Vargas and Fletcher reads.

“Arts, culture, and creativity are at the heart of innovation and an important part of economic and workforce development,” they wrote.

County officials in 1993 eliminated what was then called the Public Arts Advisory Council. Vargas and Fletcher said the closure resulted in a gap of resources to support local arts and culture groups and a decline in public art.

San Diego County is the largest county in California that has no dedicated arts agency, the supervisors said.

Five local cities have established arts councils, but there is no regional government panel that supports cultural programs and policies or helps coordinate arts funding across the county, they said.

“Elevating arts and culture countywide would provide a more equitable approach towards the public funding of arts and culture organizations throughout San Diego County,” the supervisors wrote.