Friday, January 26, 2024

SDVAN Summary: Arts and Economic Prosperity 6 County-Wide Unveiling – Advocating locally for the Arts

By Patricia Frischer

Any 10 am meeting starts with networking and coffee. The meeting on Jan 25 at the Museum of Photographic Arts (lobby and theater) was a gathering of the great and good of the arts and culture world and both coffee and networking were flowing freely. This is a vital part of any gathering and is what greases the wheels of collaboration. The master of ceremonies  Lee Ann Kim did a brilliant job of continuing that intimate exchange with her knowledge of the arts and her natural charisma.

Lee Ann Kim

She introduced San Diego Poet Laureate, Jason Magabo Perez who with his very potent words represented the entire community that is unheard.  I love the idea of a poet always taking the place of a pledge of alliance or a blessing.

Jason Magabo Perez

The keynote speaking addressing the topic of the results of Arts and Economic Prosperity report in its 6 iteration was American for the Arts Vice President of Research and Policy Randy Cohen. Mr. Cohen is the arts cheer leader demonstrating that the arts mean business and he has loads of statistic and stories to show why that it is important. San Diego County's nonprofit arts and culture sector is a$1.4 billion industry, supporting 19,771 jobs and generating nearly $321 million in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments. You can see the summary of the national launch in our SDVAN report  Not a Nicety, a Necessity: The Arts & Economic Prosperity Report AEP6 by Patricia Frischer.

Just a side note: the entire creative community in our county generated $221 million which is 7.7% of the Gross State Product. And for the first time the creative community in the entire USA passed the $1 trillion which is 4.4% of the Gross Domestic Product.

He added a nice story in this talk about the disappearance of the Mona Lisa when it was stolen and not recovered for 2 years. More people went to the Louvre during that two-year period to see the empty space then had attended the Louvre in the last 5 years together. People do miss art when it is not there and we are grateful to everyone who has come back to the arts since the pandemic. But that is the big economic down turn...attendance, not the money the arts spend to create jobs. And attendance, hopefully is now on the rise.

Randy Cohen

The very well-respected Kelly Purvis, the very first contract Arts Administer for the city of Coranado, produced a video (coming soon) promoting many of the statistic and the entire county’s arts and culture programs.

Jonathon Glus, ED of the City of SD Commission for Arts and Culture and Maria Mingalone, director of the Oceanside Museum of Art reminded us all of the huge effort to collect all the data and how that was spread between 7 cities and 2 cultural districts. Suggestions were made to do this more than once every 5 years in a very simplified way and a plea for the entire county to be involved 5 years from now.

Jonathon Glus, Maria Mingalone

The panel was ably moderated by one of the City of SD Arts Commissioner Abe Hughes who is also on the steering committee for SD/TJ World Design Capitol (launching next week). Leslee Gaul, CEO and President of Visit Oceanside gave thanks to the huge enthusiastic contingent from Oceanside who attended which included the star, Oceanside art commissioner Brigid Parsons. Ms. Gaul stated that she now has more proof that tourist come to Oceanside for the Arts. She intends to use the stories about the large military and Latinx communities to help create authentic experiences. She pointed out that education about different cultures breaks down prejudices and bring communities together.  

Steve Lockett, Deputy Director, Economic Development & Prosperity for County of San Diego has only been here for 18 months, but he had a refreshing take on the uniqueness of San Diego. He finds us friendly and vibrant. But he revealed that businesses don’t know yet how important the arts are. His department will be focusing on community and by community he means engagement. His great advice was that arts advocate need to join the non-art government commissions (like public safety and city planning).

The third member of the panel was Randy Cohen and when asked what sets San Diego apart from other arts destination, he said it was diversity, authenticity and enthusiasm.  

Randy Cohen, Steve Lockett, Leslee Gaul,  Abe Hughes 

There were some questions from the audience but on similar subjects: How do we get involved and where will the money for artists come from? I decided to write a whole separate article on this subject called Why weren’t we asked?  The approx. 19.5K volunteers generated about $22.1million in in-kind services.

Marti Kranzberg asking her question.

Felicia Shaw, ED of San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition --- yes, they are changing their name soon!....announced an Emerging Leaders Advocacy training program, events held by SDRACC for April Arts and Culture Month, and in her role as County Arts Commissioner, the presentation of the new strategic plan for the County Arts and Culture Commission. By the way, Jim Gilliam is the first official chairman of that commission. Congratulation to Jim who along with Naomi Nussbaum were so important in bringing back the county arts commission.

Felicia Shaw

Jonathan Glus did the thank yous and since I was on the confab that organized this day, I got a shout out which was very sweet. He arranged for the gracious venue at the Museum of Photographic Arts, part of the San Diego Museum of Art.

Lots of photo ops and more networking and we started January on a really positive note. Get involved and float your own boat on the rising tide. 

Power ladies in attendance, Karen Gilbert (Chair Institute of Contemporary Arts),
Naomi Nussbaum (Chair Synergy Arts Foundation), Cheryl Nickel (Space4Art),
Alessandra Moctezuma (Director, Mesa College Gallery and SD City Commission for Arts), Jennifer de Poyen (Space4Art)

Read the full 
press release

No comments:

Post a Comment