Wednesday, October 21, 2015

North County Arts Network (NCAN) Arts and Economic Development

By Patricia Frischer

The North County Arts Network (NCAN) convened for its fourth time this year and made strides toward a structure to serve the arts and cultural community of this part of our region. The meeting was held Oct 20 at William D. Cannon Art Gallery and Schulman Auditorium in the Carlsbad City Library Complex. We were beautifully hosted by Karen McGuire, Gallery Director and Vincent Kitch, Cultural Art Manager and had a chance to revisit the Food exhibition which is outstanding. 

After networking which was facilitated into groups for committee, there was a panel discussion on arts and economic development. The panelists were: 

Carl Morgan, Chief Exec. Officer, San Diego North Economic Development Council
Daniel Foster, Moderator
Jerry Kern, Councilman, City of Oceanside/Candidate for California State Assembly - 76th District 

Patricia Frischer, Founder/Coordinator, San Diego Visual Arts Network and San Diego Art Prize

Each of the panelist made a statement. Since the first two panelist Carl Morgan and Jerry Kern are not members of the arts and culture community, they spoke of the importance of the arts to business and government and told us a bit about their own roles.

Carl Morgan came from Long Beach and is now working to bring the business community of North County together. Since his arrival he has gathered 7000 new contacts and found that 980 companies in North County which have 50 or more employees. He mentioned that size is really a problem for the area as it is so large and distances are so great.

Jerry Kern sees the role of art as a way to give us a sense of place. With higher density housing coming to a number of cities, there are opportunities for the arts for branding and community service.

Daniel Foster filled us in on some North County statistics. Although we have about 40% of the total number of county non profits in North County, they are well below the average in budget and donations. He believes there are many untapped resources that could help boast those figures and bring more money into the region. 

  • 190 out of 429 arts nonprofits are in north county… 44%. 
  • 77 million in revenue's from North County arts organizations.
  • 192 million in assets in North County arts organizations.
I presented some figures from a report that Naomi Nussbaum (Synergy Art Foundation) and I created together: "According to Americans for the Arts, 4.3% of our GDP is derived from the arts, which is more than tourism, more than transportation, more than agriculture. Arts events affect communities positively by attracting cultural tourist who spend more per day and stay longer than other tourist. People who come to these events get an authentic cultural experience, the community is helped in branding itself and all this works to build a stronger local economy. California is rated number one in the USA as the top cultural economy, but only 44th in how much funding is has to support this industry. Arts engage 95% of the population in the USA and the economic growth potential is unlimited. In 2014, Art attendance by these visitors was up 3.4%, where general attraction attendance was down 2.7%."

Anything that doesn't change always stays the same. We know that art is the catalyst for change and has traditionally been a harbinger for great scientific discoveries. So we make a plea for change and that means that people have to come together and collaborate. 

Joseph Juran who is a business guru says, "Change happens project by project and no other way." We know you can't convert people with words. You need action. And that is why we are delighted to announce the next set of meetings will be on the committee level and I am happy to host the first NCAN
Visual Art Programming Meeting on Tue. Dec 1, 10 to noon at SDVAN (2487 Montgomery Avenue, Cardiff by the Sea, 92007)  More info: Patricia Frischer 760.943.0148.

Further NCAN committee meetings are held as follows:
Art Education Tue. Dec 1, 1-2:30 pm, Studio One Theater CCA, Escondido, Leah Goodwin
Civic Arts/Public Art
Wed. Dec 2, 2 - 3:30 Encinitas Town Hall, Jim Gilliam
Arts Funding/Economic Development Thurs. Dec 3, 10:30 to noon SD North Economic Development Council, San Marcus, Carl Morgan
Performing Arts Programming Thurs. Dec 3, 1 - 2:30 New Village Arts Theater, Carlsbad, Kristianne Kurner
Arts Marketing/Audience Development Fri. Dec 4, 1 to 2:30 Artbeat on Main Street, Vista, Margaret Chiaro 

More info:Daniel Foster 951.334.5677 

What follows are my other notes on the conversation stimulated by the panel.

What are the current relationship between corporations and the arts in San Diego? 

  • Hospital understand the value of the art in healing and we are lucky to have massive art displays in our local hospitals. Sometimes this comes as they purchase work, sometimes vast donation like the Wolfstein Sculpture Garden.
  • Exhibitions in corporate headquarters can sometimes be a benefit to the artist but more importantly offer a role model to promote the value of the arts for the employees and an opportunity to start a dialogue about corporate identity.
  • Employees often have a requirement for community involvement and corporations want to know about arts and culture projects that have a volunteer component.
  • Larger corporation are often philanthropic and want to engage in the arts

How is the arts community being heard by the county and cities in San Diego/
  • Project proposals must come with a very succinct request showing the economic advantages, the cultural advantages, the use of best practices and the way a project brings a solution to a problem or need for the community.
  • The arts are often considered to have their hands out for funding. We need to demonstrate how the arts are serving the concerns and needs of the community.

What are the arts economic development strategies that have been the most successful?
  • John Eger has prepared a document about  tax incentives to encourage business development within local cultural districts. Examples of state incentives include sales, income, or property tax credits or exemptions for goods produced or sold within the district; or preservation tax credits for historic property renovations and rehabilitation. Maybe a state will offer an amusement or admission tax waiver for events within the district.
  • Fallbrook Avocado and Citrus Festival that draws 100,000 people and we are have a number of breweries, restaurants and wineries that are gaining popularity and could draw crowds. 
  • Encouragement of all cities to have arts representatives and for cities with art commission to pool resources and share best practices.  
  • Here is a link to Developing a Cultural District: Americans for the Arts

What are the opportunities to partner with the economic development business leadership and community?
  • I believe the biggest take away for this evening besides the announcement of the subcommittee and steering committee, was the idea proposed by Carl Morgan to hold an Arts Summit to connect the business community to the arts and culture community. The fact that Mr. Morgan stepped forward to host the Arts Funding/Economic Development committee meeting on Thurs. Dec 3,  10:30 to noon at SD North Economic Development Council 950Broadwalk, Suite 303,San Marcus, 92078 is a true testament to his commitment and respect for the value of the arts.

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