By Pat Launer
The summer is shaping up to be a great season for the arts in California and San Diego.
Californians for the Arts, the statewide arts advocacy organization, announced that Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed the 2019-20 budget, which includes an ongoing $10 million increase in the general fund to the California Arts Council, the state arts agency. This represents an increase in state funding for the arts from $16 million to $26 million—the largest increase in funding since 1999.
In addition, the California Arts Council will provide a one-time allocation of $9 million for the NTC Foundation to kick-start renovation of the long-empty Building 178 in Liberty Station as a performing arts center. This is the largest grant in the history of the foundation, which oversees renovation, leasing operations and maintenance of 26 historic buildings. The foundation will supplement the state funds for the new performing arts center with philanthropic support to complete the project.
“This is great news for San Diego’s arts-and-culture community,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who requested the funds. Another San Diegan, state Senate President Toni Atkins, made it one of her budget priorities.
In other news, the San Diego Repertory Theatre was just named a Jubilee Cultural Architect. The Jubilee is a national movement that envisions a theatrical landscape celebrating the entirety of who we are as a country. The Rep is being honored for the work it does to feature historically marginalized voices and perspectives. The honor celebrates the theater’s work to unite, encourage and enrich the community.
“For over 40 years, San Diego Repertory Theatre has produced intimate, provocative, inclusive theatre,” said Rep founding artistic director Sam Woodhouse. “Our goal is to foster an interconnected community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. We are proud to report that, over the last decade, 56 percent of the plays we have produced have been generated by women and/or people of color.”
To help celebrate these achievements, why not attend a performing arts event soon?
Pat Launer, a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, is a long-time San Diego arts writer and an Emmy Award-winning theater critic. An archive of her previews and reviews can be found at patlauner.com.
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