Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a state budget that includes a
$7.1 million permanent increase in general fund support for the
California Arts Council.
The total fiscal year 2015-16 state general fund support for the
California Arts Council will reach approximately $8.3 million, which
will become a permanent baseline for state arts funding. The Governor's
budget gives the Arts Council the authority to
hire two new permanent staff positions to administer the funds.
"We are grateful to Governor Brown, who formed the California Arts
Council more than 40 years ago on the basis that the arts are central to
the lives of Californians," said Donn K. Harris, Chair of the
California Arts Council. "In this year's inaugural address,
our Governor pledged to ‘keep California creative' - and with this
historic investment, he has ensured that creativity and innovation will
continue to help our state thrive for years to come."
"Members in both houses and both parties of our state legislature have
demonstrated growing support for the arts over the past several years,"
said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "They have
listened to their constituents call for greater
cultural expression and creativity in their communities, and to
research that shows how an investment in the arts can boost local
economies, raise student achievement, stimulate community development,
increase public safety, and expand tourism, along with
many other critical state goals. We express our deepest thanks to those
legislators who champion the arts through their voice and their votes."
Momentum for increased state arts funding began in 2013-14, when
then-Speaker John Perez allocated $2 million in one-time assembly funds
to the Arts Council. The Governor's 2014-15 budget included a $5 million
one-time increase to the Arts Council. In the ten
years prior, the Arts Council received only $1 million in state funds
These two years of one-time funding allowed the Arts Council to pilot
new grant programs, which resulted in documented benefits for
California's communities and young people. With this permanent increase,
the Arts Council will be able to better meet the needs
and demand for arts programs across the state.
The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to
advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is
committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering
accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions
from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought
leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant
programs and services.
Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris,
Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Phoebe Beasley,
Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Nashormeh Lindo,
Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.