May Arts Advocacy News


Executive Director Julie Baker

Greetings Arts Advocates!

In today’s e-newsletter, you’ll find the latest information on the California State budget and legislative news pertaining to the arts and creative sectors. Please contact us should you have any questions or need further information. There are no action alerts at this time but we are monitoring several legislative items for the field. Executive Director Julie Baker, pictured right, has been invited to serve on a task force for a creative economy incentive program to represent the voice of the arts community.

Although our primary mission is to advocate for arts funding and legislation at the State Level, we also provide programs and services for local advocacy across the State. If you think your community needs to build its advocacy muscle, let us know. We offer “10 ways to be an effective advocate” and “How to develop an effective advocacy message” trainings and workshops and can customize to your immediate needs.

Contact Julie Baker for more information.

Thank you for all that you do to advance arts, culture & creativity in California!


Julie Baker, Executive Director


Victoria Hamilton, Board President


On May 9 Governor Newsom released his May revise of the budget
The Governor’s Budget included $10 million ongoing General Fund to expand grant programs that offer support for public access to the arts, arts education, and the state’s cultural infrastructure. Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates have attended the relevant budget subcommittee hearings and testified in public comment in support of the funding. There has been no opposition to the appropriation.

AB 5  Worker Status: Employees and Independent Contractors.
Introduced by Assemblywoman Gonzalez

We are monitoring this bill and the impact it has on the arts and creative sector. If you are currently working in the arts as an independent contractor and have concerns that becoming an employee would cause hardship to your livelihood, your rights to owning intellectual property or any other ramifications, please contact us. We are working on proposed amendment language and building our case statement, your voice is important, please send us your story.

SB 736 Creative Economy Task Force
Introduced by Senator Umberg

Senate Bill 736 establishes the California Creative Economy Incentive Program (CEIP), to be managed by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), for the purpose of administering loans to cities, counties, and joint powers agencies to provide assistance in financing a creative economy event. The first step is to create a Task Force. Julie Baker, CFTA ED has been invited to be on the task force to represent the voice of the arts community.

SB 748 California Youth Poet Laureate
Introduced by Senator Stern

5/9/18 Passed in the Senate


Riding the Wave of the Creative Economy:

Growth Challenges and Building Education Equity into the Jobs Pipeline
Wednesday, May 15th, 9am-12pm
State Capitol, Room 2040, Sacramento

Being an effective advocate means we must show up and demonstrate our collective strength and let our voices be heard. Here is an opportunity to show legislators how much the arts matter to you and your community.

Don’t miss the Joint Committee on the ArtsHearing, May 15, Sacramento!

We want to there to be a full hearing room with passionate arts leaders, join us! Please share and invite friends.


190515 Create CA Event Speaker CompositeCREATE CALIFORNIA WEBINAR

Reach for the Stars:
Arts-based Pedagogy as a Pathway to Excellence & Equity

Wednesday, May 15th, 11:00am, Online

We think of the stars as beyond our reach, yet each of us carries within us, both figuratively and literally, the same stuff that stars are made of. The arts, by tapping into our students’ most powerful inner selves, allow their brilliance to shine forth and make it possible for them to define their full potential and to live their true lives. In this way, the arts are a path to both excellence and equity.

Speakers: Dr. Yvette Jackson, Adjunct Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and Senior Scholar for National Urban Alliance; author of “Pedagogy of Confidence; Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools.

Join the Webinar on Wednesday, May 15th at 11 am.
RSVP to register.


190510 Your Voice Matters Comp.jpgTake the California Arts Council Stakeholder Survey

As part of the process of developing our new strategic framework, we want to listen to as many new voices as possible. There’s a seat at the table for anyone with a rooted interest in the future of arts, culture, and community in our state. Click here to take the survey and help spread the word.

Participation is requested by June 10.


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The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) convened a briefing for policymakers on Capitol Hill on May 2, 2019, on Arts and Rural Prosperity. Endorsed by the Congressional Arts Caucus, the event shared new research and vivid examples demonstrating the power of creativity and culture to help rural communities thrive. Watch the archived webcast

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The 2019 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention is heading to the Twin Cities!


We will be there, will you? Let us know so we can meet up!



Arts, Culture and Creativity Month

We love reading the survey results from Arts Advocacy Day. Please take 5 minutes to let us know what you thought of the day!

Here’s a wonderful testimonial from a participant:

“Participating in Arts Advocacy Day 2019 was truly eye-opening for me, as it was my first time engaging in advocacy or lobbying of any kind. I enjoyed being part of the political process and knowing that I have a voice at the state Capitol. The rally in the morning was inspiring, and it was so wonderful to see different types of arts represented from across California. It motivated me to continue advocating for the arts. Thank you Californians for the Arts!” – AMMC Arts Advocacy Day Participant

Pictured above, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins meeting with San Diego Delegation led by CFTA Board President Victoria Hamilton.

Pictured above, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins meeting with San Diego Delegation led by CFTA Board President Victoria Hamilton.

CFTA Executive Director Julie Baker was recently invited to speak at a panel on art advocacy in Sacramento with Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Niva Flor, and Jack Mitchell at The Atrium – Art, Tech & Events and to lead an advocacy training in Truckee, CA with the Truckee Arts Alliance and Nevada County Arts Council.

Although our primary mission is to advocate for arts funding and legislation at the State Level, we also provide programs and services for local advocacy across the State. If you think your community needs to build its advocacy muscle, let us know. We offer “10 ways to be an effective advocate” and “How to develop an effective advocacy message” trainings and workshops and can customize to your immediate needs. Contact Julie at for more information.

Arts Advocacy Day a “Huge Success”!

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Pictured above, arts advocates gather on the south side steps of the Capitol on April 23rd as part of Arts, Culture and Creativity Month’s first annual Arts Advocacy Day.


State Senator Scott Wilk receives the 2019 Legislative Arts Star Award Pictured here with Julie Baker, the Executive Director of  Californians for the Arts , Keasha Dumas Heath, Board Member of the Museum of African American Art and artist, Christie Fields.

State Senator Scott Wilk receives the 2019 Legislative Arts Star Award Pictured here with Julie Baker, the Executive Director of Californians for the Arts, Keasha Dumas Heath, Board Member of the Museum of African American Art and artist, Christie Fields.

On Tuesday, April 23, 2019 we officially inaugurated ArtsAdvocacy Day by gathering over 200 people on the South Side of the Capitol in downtown Sacramento, California and scheduling over 65 visits with legislatures led by Captains from across the state and Californians for the Arts outstanding board. Over 50% of the legislature received visits from arts advocates asking for support for Governor Newsom’s $10 million funding increase to the State Arts Agency as well as a number of bills supporting arts education, museums, a youth poet laureate and recognition of our cultural districts pilot program and the success of arts in corrections.

With impeccable weather, this day full of events, presentations, speakers and artists, united of all walks of life as we took a stand together as arts advocates in the spirit of advancing arts, culture & creativity in California. It is with great thanks to each of you who attended that day and those supporting from afar for contributing to the community that is dedicated to that which changes lives, the arts. With great enthusiasm among all and an incredible turn out for our first year, we want you to know that through your participation and engagement, we are inspired and energized to continue the work to build public awareness of the value and importance of the arts in California.

So, with that we are eager to support you in ways to continue engaging as well as receive your feedback through a survey so we can better learn about your experience as we plan for next year and as well as activities throughout the year! But before that, let’s take a look at all that contributed to Arts Advocacy Day being a ‘total success’, as we were told by many throughout the day!

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In the morning we celebrated April as Arts, Culture & Creativity Month, shared stories and data to show the impact arts have in California (these impact stories are being shared on social media and will be collected and developed into an ongoing blog) and it is beyond inspiring and staggering how impactful the arts truly are! From homelessness to corrections and recidivism rates, to healing and mental health, to confidence and social peer support, housing and public safety, arts changes lives- and gives a voice and a place of belonging to so many from students, artists, musicians, elected officials, parents, and community members alike.

Our line up was full of these moving stories from speakers such as Miss Central California Dana Harrison on the value of her arts education to give her confidence and a voice, Safiya Neal of Sacramento on arts housing transforming her life, and Jennifer ‘JayBee’ Beasley, Founder of Compton Open Mic on arts creating a positive identity and safe space for her community. Students from San Diego Youth Symphony and San Diego Opera, Nevada Union High School theatre students, Colin Regan from George Washington Carver High School and many more highlighted the transformative power of the arts in the face of adversity and otherwise.

Speakers such as Steven Dilley of Veterans Arts Project, Erin Dorn of the Crocker Art Museum, Naj Wikoff of Creative Healing Connections, Alma Robinson and Jody Prunier of California Lawyers for the Arts and Yvonne Soto, CEO of Developmental 

Disabilities Service Organization introduced Jenny an artist in their program also shared the life changing and healing power of arts in veterans, education, health, aging, wellness, corrections and programs for people with disabilities.

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Artist Stan Padilla opened the event with a land recognition followed by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg presenting a proclamation for April as Arts, Culture & Creativity Month. Over a dozen elected officials stopped by during a very busy legislative day to share why arts matter to them. Rousing and inspiring speeches about the transformative and transactional power of arts, culture and the creative economy were shared by Senator Ben Allen, Senator Robert Hertzberg and Senator Anthony Portantino, Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember’s Kansen Chu, Ian Calderon, Sharon Quirk Silva, Tasha Boerner Horvath, Luz Rivas, Mike Gipson, Connie Petrie-Norris and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. Anne Bown Crawford Executive Director of the California Arts Council illustrated the value of the over $20 million in grants they distribute throughout the state and how additional support allows the arts to be accessible for every Californian. The day concluded with a enthusiastic speech from Arts Data Guy Randy Cohen, Americans for the Arts Vice President of Policy and Research.

The 3 hour morning presentation on the South Side of the Capitol featured different presenters every 5 minutes and highlighted all the arts disciplines including 2 poets laureate; Mighty Mike Mcgee of Santa Clara and Molly Fisk of Nevada County, Brazilian music and dancing from Mestre Caboclinho, Amazing Grace on the Native American flute performed by Linda Michelle Hardy, monologues from Nevada Union high school thespians and a peace song in Sanskrit performed by Harini Krishnan Vikas. The Crocker Art Museum and Sol Collective were on hand with art making and snacks were provided by Sacramento Co-Op and Milk Money and Artist Kirti Bassendine displayed photographs from her moving Homeless Voices project.

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In the afternoon, delegations trekked through the Capitol halls sporting their bipARTisan buttons and speaking to Senators, Assemblymembers and staffers. Some of them were doing this for their first time, and walked away with encouraging encounters. We wrapped up the day with a wonderful reception at the Sheraton where we featured our Legislative Arts Star award, granted this year to Senator Scott Wilk and Assemblymember Richard Bloom. We thank them for their leadership in supporting and advancing the arts!

It is because of your voice and your advocacy that we’ve begun to gather this army of “Arts Advocates” across the miles of California for the undeniable reason that each person deserves access to the arts.

Thank you for joining us at Arts Advocacy Day. We invite you to stay engaged because this is just the beginning! California is THE State of the Arts!

Photos by Alan Sheckter Photography, Mark Freeman and Arts Advocates.

For more great photos go to Californians for the Arts “Arts Advocacy Day” page

Head over to Californians for the Arts NEWS BLOG for more on Arts, Culture & Creativity Month progress and other important breaking news!

California Arts Council interviews E.D. Julie Baker on our state’s new springtime celebration

April is Arts, Culture and Creativity Month!

The month of April is officially Arts, Culture and Creativity Month in the state of California. Arts, Culture and Creativity Month, or ACCM, is a month dedicated to connection, advocacy and mobilized efforts to advance the arts across the state. The campaign, led by Californians for the Arts, features multiple opportunities to participate through trainings, storytelling, events, public action and more, culminating in a big event on April 23 at the state Capitol in Sacramento for Arts Advocacy Day.

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Californians for the Arts Executive Director Julie Baker at the California state Capitol with ACCM Project Manager Whitney Kear.

We (California Arts Council) recently sat down with Julie Baker, Executive Director of Californians for the Arts, to get some background on the motivation for the monthlong celebration and the hope for what lies ahead.

In a few sentences, tell us about Californians for the Arts and your vision as its new Executive Director.

Californians for the Arts (CFTA) is California’s statewide arts advocacy organization. Our mission is to increase public awareness of the importance of the arts. We plan to do this by ensuring that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue, and to encourage Californians to care about the arts as a critical component of their own lives, and the lives of their communities. We want arts to be accessible for every Californian. We advocate for increased public funding for arts and arts education while tracking and working on legislation that benefits artists and the creative industries.

As the first Executive Director for CFTA, my vision is for arts, culture and creativity in California to be valued, funded and recognized for its social and economic impact on our lives, our communities and our state. I want to see California heralded nationwide as the leading state of creativity with funding to match. I want to empower and encourage arts supporters to become arts advocates and to build our political “Artmy” so that arts are seen by all forms of government, both state and local, as necessary and integral to a sustainable, vibrant and healthy California.

What are the key goals of Arts, Culture and Creativity Month (ACCM)?

ACCM was created to celebrate, inspire and recognize the impact the arts, culture and creative sectors have in California. The goal is to train people across the state to be advocates for the arts in their local communities and at the state level. In addition, we showcase Arts Impact Stories and illustrate the arts as a unique driver for social change and share data to impress that the arts and creative sectors are indeed leaders in our state’s economy. It is also about empowering arts leaders and organizations across the state to organize around a singular vision and messaging campaign. As a united voice, we are much more impactful.

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You’ve been traveling the state holding local community meetings. What have you been learning from your time on the road?

My greatest takeaway has been that everyone we meet and speak with understands the need for a staffed and professional arts advocacy organization in California. Until October of this year, CFTA had been quietly working behind the scenes on a solely volunteer level, which is not sustainable to meet the need of this diverse and large state. We are pleased with the progress our efforts have achieved to increase arts funding in our state, but there is plenty of work left to be done. There is legislation to be tracked, managed and introduced that impacts our field. There is also support needed to advocate for funding and support for rural, smaller populations and communities of color as well as continued training to build our next generation of arts leaders. We want to be the voice and go-to resource for the arts and creative sectors in California. We are eager to build our capacity to support the needs of this state.

Tell us about the recently proposed ACCM resolution from the state Legislature.

SCR 33 is a Senate concurrent resolution introduced by Senator Ben Allen and co-authored by Assemblymember Kansen Chu to designate April as Arts, Culture & Creativity Month. The resolution legitimizes and recognizes the value of the arts in California. We are thrilled to have our first measure introduced, and we hope it will receive bipartisan support!

Click here for more information on Californians for the Arts and how you, your organization, or your community can participate in Arts, Culture & Creativity Month.

March News

Arts Advocates gather in Speaker Pelosi's office during the National Arts Action Summit in Washington D.C.

Arts Advocates gather in Speaker Pelosi’s office during the National Arts Action Summit in Washington D.C.

March 2019

Dear Friends,

When was the last time you met with your representative and shared why you think the arts matter? Last week we participated in the National Arts Action Summit in Washington D.C. presented by Americans for the Arts. Brad Erickson, CFTA treasurer and Director of Theatre Bay Area and Executive Director Julie Baker led a delegation of ten eager advocates to eighteen meetings on Capitol Hill including a meeting in Speaker Pelosi’s office. We asked Congress to support an FY 2020 budget of $167.5 million (an increase of $12.5 million each) for both the NEA and NEH.

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In addition, we asked our members of Congress to fully fund at $38.6 million the Office of Museum Services, support an appropriation of $40 million to fund the Assistance for Arts Education program and fully fund the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Well-Rounded Education Program and federal after-school programs.We also introduced members to the CREATEact, intended to recognize artists, entrepreneurs and non-profit arts organizations as contributors to the small business community. We called attention to supporting the creative economy through federal programs and actions, a need for a universal charitable deductions, protecting net neutrality and supporting public broadcasting. We were encouraged by the reception we received on the Hill and celebrated that arts are a bipARTisan issue.
Not a claim most issues can make, especially now! There were many special moments over the two day summit but our highlights include a flawless lecture/performance by Rita Moreno, introduced by her friend Justice Sonia Sotomayer, visiting the Speaker’s office and meeting her brilliant legislative aides, gathering Arts Impact Stories from Congresswoman Jackie Speier and from Kendrick Davis, a legislative fellow in Senator Harris’ office. Davis recounted his childhood growing up in a low income neighborhood outside of Pittsburgh where he told us about his love for playing the trumpet in high school band. He reminded us why we must continue to fight for arts funding in schools and the public sector when he shared “No one could take the music away from me and the pathway it opened up for me for my future.” He concluded that his principal delivered the trumpet he still plays now to him before he left for college because she knew he could not afford one himself. This is the impact the arts make in our lives.

What do we need to do to make our case so legislators will listen?

Let’s start with the data. Nationally the arts are a $764 Billion dollar industry representing a 4.2% GDP share of the economy ahead of agriculture and transportation. In California, the U.S. Bureau of Analytics reports the arts & creative sectors contribute

1903-arts-ad_advocacyday_2019.jpg$176.4 billion and represent 7.1% share of GDP ahead of construction and education services. We know arts in communities, corrections, education, hospitals, transportation, housing, mental health and more makes a measurable and valuable impact on our economy and in our lives.

Want more specifics? Contact us and we can help provide data for your district and more.

How do we make the data “sing”?

We need to tell our stories and share the emotional and transformative impact the arts make in order to effectively advocate for increased public funding for the arts. Got a compelling video or narrative about your public arts program?

Share your “Arts Impact Story” and answer:

How has having access to public funding helped an arts program, artist or organization make a difference in your community?

How can the arts create a meaningful outcome on some of our state’s most pressing issues?

Your submission will help us bring public awareness of the importance of the arts; to ensure that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue.

Watch Congressworman Jackie Speier and Kendrick Davis, Legislative Fellow, office of Senator Kamala Harris share their Arts Impact Stories below.


Join us in April as we launch the first annual Arts, Culture & Creativity Month.

ACCM Transparent Transparent Final low resOver 200 people are already registered to participate statewide and you should too! Let’s show our legislatures our political might and ensure the budget passes with the $10 million in increased permanent funding for the state arts agency. Don’t know what it means to be an arts advocate? Sign up for our FREE trainings across the state and webinar. Soon the training materials will be available in Spanish too.

Not sure how to participate? Check out our Ways to Engage guide.

Don’t have the time to participate but want to support the efforts to make our case to legislators about the value and impact of the arts? Donate or become a sponsor of ACCM today.

What are we advocating for?

  • Support Governor’s Newsom permanent funding increase of $10 million in the 2019 budget.
  • Recommend continued increased and permanent funding for the arts.

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    Your California Delegation at National Arts Advocacy Day

  • Value arts and culture as creative solutions to pressing societal issues.
  • Ensure all students have access to arts education and the ed code is enforced.
  • Support programs that provide for well rounded early childhood resources and to include arts & creativity.
  • Show our support for the Youth Poet Laureate pending legislation.
  • Build upon existing legislation for California’s Cultural Districts Program.
  • Budget request for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment’s Museum Grant Program.



Thank you for your passion and participation,

Julie Baker
Executive Director, CAA/CFTA
Victoria L. Hamilton
President of CAA/CFTA

February News

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Brought to you by Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates. Click image above for more info.

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Dear Friends,

What an exciting time to be an arts advocate in California! Over the last 2 months we’ve been touring the state and meeting with arts leaders to discuss what the state of arts advocacy is in California. We can tell you it is strong and we are feeling so optimistic and energized to lead the statewide movement. It was only 5 years ago that funding was at historic lows, hovering around $1 million for 10 years. In the last 5 years we’ve seen over 800% growth in the state budget for the arts and although this is a tremendous increase we are still not where we need to be to see arts accessible for every Californian.

With our new Governor showing early support for public funding for the arts, it’s our job to continue to press our representatives to increase permanent funding and to value arts, culture and creativity as transformational, impactful and just as worthy as any other social service providing solutions to our communities.

Just recently, Executive Director Julie Baker ran into Governor Newsom on a Southwest flight from LA to Sacramento. She had the opportunity to introduce herself and thank him for the $10 million in permanent funding for the California Arts Council he has allocated in his first budget. Gov. Newsom smiled and said, “But we still need to do more.” Stunned and smiling in agreement, he continued to encourage Ms. Baker, “Keep lobbying me, it works.”

At that point, she had to thank the Governor for validating her job, but in all seriousness, Gov. Newsom has opened the door and invited us to come in and build our case. So now it is up to all of us to show up, to advocate, to go from arts supporters to arts activists and build California as the leading state of creativity. In listening to his State of the State address there was no mention of the creativity economy so we need to make sure our voices are heard.

How can you help? Register today for Arts, Culture and Creativity Advocacy Day in Sacramento on April 23 where we will connect, educate and mobilize our efforts. Can’t make it to the Capitol that day? Join us throughout the month of April by partnering with ACCM, or host an event in your own community and download our “Ways to Engage”guide.

We want to hear your ARTS IMPACT STORY. How has access to public funding helped an arts program, artist or organization to make a difference in your community? How can the arts create a meaningful outcome on some of our state’s most pressing issues?


  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Health / Well being
  • Homelessness
  • Mental Health
  • Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Public Art
  • Student retention / graduation rates
  • Veterans
  • Feel free to send in more ideas!
  • Affordable Housing
  • Aging
  • Arts & Accessibility
  • Climate crisis
  • Corrections and re-entry programs
  • Cultural Districts
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Early Childhood / Arts Education
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Submit your narrative, a link to an article or blog post, a work of art or a video illustrating your arts impact and help us build our case. We will share these on social media and in our public awareness campaign throughout the month of April. We look forward to showcasing stand out examples as we take to Sacramento, our state’s capital, on April 23rd for Arts, Culture and Creative Advocacy Day.

We’ve always been told when you need to solve a problem, think outside the box and come up with a creative solution. Artists and cultural workers have always done just that. Now is our time to have a seat at the table and to be recognized for our contributions. As Shirley Chisholm said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Julie Baker, CFTA ED Gets Around! 


Leading this effort also takes a professional staff, a rockstar board and lobbyist and the organizational capacity to implement our programs. Please join our organization today as an individual, an organization, a sponsor or a funder. An investment in advocacy brings results that benefit all of our supporters.

We want to hear from you and we want to visit with you as we continue our tour of this great and diverse state so we can truly be the voice for our members. Contact Julie at and together we will advance Arts, Culture and Creativity in California.

Thank you for your passion and participation,


Julie Baker
Executive Director, CAA/CFTA

Victoria L. Hamilton
President of CAA/CFTA

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Originating with the adoption of Assembly Bill 189 in 2015, authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, the California Cultural Districts program aims to leverage the state’s artistic and cultural assets.

In July of 2017, 14 pilot districts were designated. Led by Peter Comiskey of the Balboa Park Cultural District, the focus of the Coalition is to unify California’s Cultural Districts to advance advocacy and collaboration in arts and culture.



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Creative California

Create CA is a coalition of dedicated and innovative leaders who understand that together we have the power to create lasting change for every California student.

Their mission is to ensure ALL students are able to reach their full potential by advancing an education model that promotes creativity and the arts for the workforce of tomorrow. Check out their public will campaign for Arts Ed!




San Jose Jazz Exeuctive Director Brendan Rawson.

Did you know authoring an Op-Ed in your local paper is a great way to demonstrate the arts impact in your community?

San Jose Jazz Exeuctive Director Brendan Rawson.CFTA member and San Jose Jazz Executive Director Brendan Rawson has written several including recently in the SJ Mercury News and a piece in the Sacbee from 12/31 about California taking the lead in many areas including Cultural Diplomacy. We love this idea!

“Develop a strategy of cultural diplomacy, to include: a cultural ambassadors program sending exceptional California artists such as former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, musician Herbie Hancock (already a U.N. cultural ambassador), or California immigrant Gustavo Dudamel to important international gatherings; a cultural exchange program that sends California artists abroad and brings foreign artists here, particularly those from countries that the president has denigrated; and a program to assist California sites in securing Membership in UNESCO World Heritage status. Potential sites could include Manzanar, Angel Island and Monterey Bay.”
– SJ Jazz E.D. Brendan Rawson  OP-ED WRITING TIPS


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Started in 2007, the report is an invaluable tool to assess the tremendous economic impact and influence of the area’s creative sector on the economy.

“Against the backdrop of these innovations stands the underlying truth that this report helps illuminate: Los Angeles and California are home to rich and vibrant creative communities with robust and growing economies that deserve to be taken seriously in their own right. It is critical that leaders from public, private, and non-profit sectors work together to support this type of examination in order for the larger creative economy to continue to flourish and thrive.” said Bruce W. Ferguson, President of Otis College, in his written welcome to the Otis Report.  READ THE REPORT


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  • Thank Governor Newsom for proposing $10 million in permanent funding for the California Arts Council. Tag him in your social media posts, send a letter, let the administration know you care and want to see funding for the arts continue to increase.
  • Write letters to newly elected or re-elected officials, offering congratulations, thanking them for past help, urging support for state funding for the arts. Include your organization’s brochure.
  • Read CFTA’s monthly emails and and respond to calls-to-action.
  • Download our “Ways to Engage” pdf and recruit friends and family to attend Arts, Culture and Creativity actions with you!
  • Send us your Arts Impact Story.

  • Learn about your representatives: what district are you in; where is the nearest local office; what are the relevant phone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses?

Helpful Contacts

Find out who represents you here:

California State Capitol Switchboard
(916) 322-9900 |

U.S. House of Representatives Switchboard
(202) 225-3121 |

California State Capitol Switchboard
(916) 322-9900 |


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  • Do you believe arts being accessible for every Californian is imperative?
  • Do you feel California should be the leading creative state?
  • Do you think arts and artists can play a vital role in solving some of California’s greatest challenges?
  • Do you want to see funding to match these goals?

Then it is time to support Californians for the Arts, your statewide arts advocacy organization.

As we gear up to actively work with a new administration to publicly fund the arts at historic levels and build our delegate programs with trainings across the state, your support for our organization is needed now more than ever. Please join online today!


EVENT: 2019 Otis Report on the Creative Economy

February 1, 2019 10am – 1pm
Los Angeles, CA



This year marks the eleventh annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy, an invaluable tool commissioned by Otis College of Art and Design and authored in 2019 by Beacon Economics. The program will include a presentation of findings by Beacon’s Executive Director of Research Robert Kleinhenz, Ph.D., who authored several prior editions in his previous role as chief economist of the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

The keynote speaker is Bettina Korek, executive director of Frieze Los Angeles and founder of ForYourArt.

The event will also be live-streamed on Otis College’s Facebook page.

The report will be available for download online at on February 1, 2019 at 10am. Follow updates on social media using #OtisReport.

Please RSVP above.
or Livestream HERE


Date and Location: 
February 1, 2019 10am – 1pm
Mark Taper Auditorium
Richard J. Riordan Central Library
650 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

9:30 a.m. Check-In
10:00 a.m. Program Start
11:30 a.m. Networking Reception

524 South Flower Street Garage, Parking Info.


Funding for the 2019 Otis Report on the Creative Economy has been provided by the California Arts Council; Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Endeavour; City National Bank; and Moss Adams. Media partners include Californians for the Arts, Arts for L.A., and Arts Orange County.

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January News – Stand Up for the Arts


Dear Arts Advocates,
Welcome to 2019! Good news coming already from Sacramento with the release of Governor Newsom’s first budget but our work here is still not done. Although the proposed funding increases the permanent allocation by $10 million, it effectively replaces the $8.8 million one time put into the May revise by Governor Brown. We are grateful for Governor Newsom’s pro active call to increase funding but overall we are still spending less than $1.00 per person on the arts in California.
Join us in our movement to advance arts, culture and creativity today. Now is the time to move from being an arts supporter to being an arts activist!
Julie Baker Sig
Julie Baker
Executive Director, CAA/CFTA
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Victoria L. Hamilton
President of CAA/CFTA

news from the field


California Arts Council welcomes newest council member Jodie Evans who was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown on January 3, 2019. Evans has been a peace, environmental, women’s rights and social justice activist for over forty-five years. She is the co-founder of CODEPINK that works to stop US Military interventions overseas, promotes diplomatic solutions and Peace. She served in the administration of Governor Jerry Brown and ran his presidential campaigns. Esteemed Council member Louise McGuinness was also reappointed by Brown to serve an additional four-year term.

Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman completed their appointed terms on January 1.

Who do you want to see on the California Arts Council?
Perhaps some rural representation?
Let your voice be heard or apply here!


The search continues for arts and culture field experts to serve as part of a California Arts Council peer-review panel for the 2018-19 grant season. For the first time this year, panelists will receive an honorarium for their service in Sacramento. Young professionals and experienced cultural workers, artists, and arts policy makers are encouraged to apply by January 15. Complete details can be found HERE.


From Grantmakers in the Arts: CREATIVE PLACEMAKING:

Rethinking Neighborhood Change and Tracking Progress 

creative placemakingA white paper released by Kresge Foundation explores creative placemaking initiatives and the assessment of community development strategies. The latest white paper on creative placemaking, penned by Maria Rosario Jackson, PH.D, makes the case on how the field could benefit from a more nuanced understanding of the roots of urban inequality, and improved ways of tracking change in communities.      READ MORE


Government Shutdown and the Arts

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A sign posted outside the National Zoo earlier this month declares its closure, along with the closure of all Smithsonian museums. They were all on the wish list for Jill Rorem, whose family plans were undone by the shutdown. But she’s not alone: The shutdown’s ramifications on the arts have been felt far beyond the Beltway. Carolyn Kaster/AP

As Shutdown Crawls On, Artists And Nonprofits Fear For Their ‘Fragile Industry’

“It’s a fragile industry. It’s not a rich, money-making thing,” Robert Lynch, head of Americans for the Arts, says of the landscape of arts workers and organizations. “So any little crack — whether it is the elimination of money from the National Endowment for the Arts or the slowing of it down, like a shutdown does — it potentially affects people and their planning and their ability to attract other funders, all of that kind of thing.
It’s a ripple effect.”  *Source- NPR  READ MORE


Artist proposes solution to Bay Area housing crisis

Berkeley artist and activist Alfred Twu has come up with a novel idea that would not only recycle old BART cars, it would add options to the tight Bay Area housing market. READ MORE

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T_Action Items Red

  • Thank Governor Newsom for proposing $10 million in permanent funding for the California Arts Council. Tag him in your social media posts, send a letter, let the administration know you care and want to see funding for the arts continue to increase.
  • Volunteer to help CFTA with the current session and Arts, Culture and Creativity Day and month of activities.
  • The California State Legislature and United States Congress convene.
    Learn about your representatives:
    What district are you in?
    • Where is the nearest local office
    • What are the relevant phone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses? 

    Helpful Contacts
    Find out who represents you here:

    California State Capitol Switchboard
    (916) 322-9900 |
    U.S. House of Representatives Switchboard
    (202) 225-3121 |

    California State Capitol Switchboard
    (916) 322-9900 |


T_Legislative_Gray+Lt+Blue2Besides working to increase permanent funding for the arts, here is some of the proposed legislation that may have implications for our field:

AB 5 Worker status: independent Contractors
California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation intended to strengthen employee rights and define the role of an independent contractor.
The bill (A.B. 5), would add to state law the “ABC test” regarding independent contractors. The test was adopted unanimously by California’s Supreme Court in the case of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex) in an April decision.

The court ruled in favor of workers when Dynamex, a package and documents delivery company, converted all of its drivers to independent contractors to save money.

In its decision, the court sided with the drivers and established the three part “A-B-C” test, which requires workers to be classified as independent contractors if:

A) The worker is “free from control and direction” of the employer as it relates to performance of the work.
B) The work is performed “outside the usual course” of the hiring entity’s business.
C) The worker engages in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

It’s time to review who you have classified as an independent contractor vs an employee based against the above criteria. If you think this could have a significant impact for your organization, please let us know. 

If you have questions or concerns, an excellent resource is California Lawyers for the Arts.


White+Gray5Arts Day 2015

  • Do you believe arts being accessible for every Californian is imperative?
  • Do you feel California should be the leading creative state?
  • Do you think arts and artists can play a vital role in solving some of California’s greatest challenges?
  • Do you want to see funding to match these goals?

Then it is time to support Californians for the Arts,
your statewide arts advocacy organization.

As we gear up to actively work with a new administration to publicly fund the arts at historic levels and build our delegate programs with trainings across the state, your support for our organization is needed now more than ever. Please join online today!


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Registration Deadline: Feb 11 at 3pm

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$35, free to GIA Members.
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Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 6.21.26 PM.pngRegister online to participate or download the pdf.


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