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Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves the Reestablishment of the Arts and Culture Commission in San Diego County



The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the reestablishment of the Arts and Culture Commission paving the way for a more equitable approach to funding and support of arts and culture programs in the County. The board letter was co-docketed by Chair Nathan Fletcher and Vice Chair Nora Vargas and will direct the Chief Administrative Officer to reassess the County’s role for supporting the arts and culture and identify new opportunities for funding.


The Arts and Culture Commission in San Diego County will serve as an agency to elevate the county as an international and multi-cultural powerhouse in arts, culture, and design. It will also play an integral part in boosting the economy while helping create vibrant and thriving communities. From an economic standpoint, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector contribute $185.5 billion to California’s economy, representing 7% of our state’s GDP.


“Arts and culture are such an integral part of our community. Through programs that foster creativity and expression, we can help alleviate many of the issues that currently exist in our communities,” said Supervisor Nora Vargas, Vice Chair of the Board. “Additionally, arts and culture can be strong economic drivers that boost our economy and promote innovation. I thank my colleagues for their support of this initiative and for recognizing the importance of arts and culture in our County.”

Arts and culture are also a priority for Chair Nathan Fletcher.

“The arts play a vital role in showcasing the culture of many communities and give young people an outlet to constructively express themselves,” said Nathan Fletcher, Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Reestablishing the County’s presence as an active participant in the arts community will help to create greater equity in the arts, allow us to draw down more state and federal resources, and give us a stronger platform to support the many arts nonprofits and institutions in our region.” 

This board letter will direct the Chief Administrative Officer to:

  • Assess the role the County plays in arts and culture, including how Community Enhancement Grants are awarded to arts and culture programs
  • Identify opportunities to leverage state and federal funding
  • Look at how to increase equity in access to arts and culture in the region and capitalize on the economic potential of an increased arts and culture program throughout the county to build equity
  • And finally, to report back to the board in 90 days and recommend how to expand the County’s role in promoting and participating in arts and culture opportunities, including the creation of a Commission on Arts and Culture.

The Arts and Culture Commission links to San Diego County’s Strategic Plan through the regional support of Health Families and Safe Communities Strategic Initiatives in the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.