A Victory for Arts Advocates!

State Budget Passes and Arts Funding Increases

California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, signs a budget bill as he is joined by Assembly member Phil Ting, from left, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and budget chairs Senator Holly Mitchell, June 27, 2018. Jae C. Hong / AP Photo











Today let’s take a moment to celebrate a victory for the arts
California and recognize California Arts Advocates’ contribution
to restoring funding to the California Arts Council!

Thanks so much to the Governor and our devoted champions in the Legislature for recognizing the great value of arts and creativity to our state! This effort was driven by California Arts Advocates, a 501(c) for advocacy organization that hires a lobbyist and is led by a dedicated volunteer Board from all around the state. Yesterday, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a state budget that includes a $8.8 million one-time increased funding allocation for the California Arts Council, California’s state arts agency.

The overall California Arts Council budget for fiscal year 2018-19 also includes approximately $1.1 million in annual federal support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and approximately $2.5 million in annual funds from sales and renewals of California’s Arts License Plate and voluntary state tax return contributions to the Keep Arts in Schools Fund. With all sources combined, the Arts Council’s total 2018-19 budget will be approximately $27.53 million. The budget also includes an additional, separate $8 million state allocation for California’s Arts in Corrections program, administered by the California Arts Council.

Recent California Arts Council State General Fund Allocations

California’s investment in the arts has been steadily increasing since fiscal year 2013-2014.


CAA has an impressive track record over the last six years in gradually restoring CAC funding but we are not back to the historic $32M peak from 2001 and California is still ranked 38th out of 50 states in per capita state arts funding for 2017-18.

If you are a current member of CAA, THANK YOU, your support made these efforts possible! 

If you are not a member or it is time to renew, please do so today. We must continue to lobby for funding for the arts, the creative economy depends on it and all communities that receive CAC grants benefit from our work.
Please support CAA’s work through your personal or organizational membership.



CAA and CFTA names Interim Executive Director


Californians for the Arts and California Arts
Advocates names Interim Executive Director


Californians for the Arts (CFTA), a statewide network of arts organizations and California Arts Advocates (CAA), an advocacy organization, has named Julie Baker as Interim Executive Director. Founded in 1996 as a nonprofit 501c(4) statewide advocacy organization by leaders in the arts field, the CAA has been the collaborative force behind the battle to protect arts funding in California, as well as the successful passage of several bills that return arts programs to schools and laws that positively impact the arts.

Californians for the Arts (CFTA), was established in 2007 by California Arts Advocates as a partner organization to increase public awareness of the importance of the arts; to ensure 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. Board members are leaders of broad-based arts organizations such as Arts for LA, Theatre Bay Area and the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition and State-Local Partner organizations such as the Alameda County Arts Commission, Arts Orange County and the Shasta County Arts Council.

The organizations are seeking an Executive Director to represent state wide the unique and creative arts and culture industry in California. The position is currently open for applications. For more information click here.

“We are delighted that Julie Baker has agreed to step up to the challenge of becoming the Interim Executive Director of CAA/CFTA.’ said Victoria Hamilton, President of CAA/CFTA, “In addition, to being a skilled arts administrator she will come to the job as an enthusiastic, passionate arts leader who will navigate both boards through a smooth transition until a permanent director is hired in the fall.”

Until May 30, Baker served on the board of CFTA and CAA as chair of the membership committee. Baker, 51, is owner of Julie Baker Projects, a consulting firm specializing in arts  management and programming. Baker is a seasoned business owner and management professional with over 30 years of experience in art, service, retail and technology industries. From 2009-2017, Julie Baker served as the Executive Director of The Center for the Arts, a non-profit performing arts venue and organization located in Grass Valley, CA. In addition to presenting over 150 events per year and increasing revenue by over 70% in less than 5 years, in 2014 Baker led the  successful acquisition of California WorldFest, an 18 year old established music and camping festival. In 2018, Baker was awarded the first annual Peggy Levine Arts & Service award by the Nevada County Arts Council.

Earlier in her career she worked in New York City at several prominent art galleries and the international auction house Christie’s before becoming the President of her family’s art marketing agency, Gerngross & Company Inc. After selling the business in 1998 and moving to Nevada City, CA, she worked as a Senior Executive Producer for Tristream, a 20- person web development and marketing/branding company specializing in technology start ups. In 2001 she opened an art gallery Julie Baker Fine Art, located in Nevada County and New York City. Baker also co-produced and cofounded Flow art fair in Miami.

She is a former board member of California Presenters, a statewide coalition committed to connecting, engaging and developing performing arts professionals from organizations of different sizes and structures; and advocating for important issues in the presenting field; and the Arts Collaborative of Nevada County, the state local partner for Nevada County. Baker states,“I am thrilled to be working with the board and our partners to work on our transition to a staff person and to increase awareness of the important work we are doing to further the arts in California.”

CAA Elects New Board Members

At its March meeting, California Arts Advocates elected two individuals to join its Board of Directors:  Keasha Dumas Heath, Board Member, The Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles; and Eliza Tudor, Executive Director, Nevada County Arts Council, Grass Valley.  More about our new Board members below…

Keasha Dumas Heath is a member of the board of directors for The Museum of African American Art, a small nonprofit in Los Angeles, where she helps guide communications, member engagement, visitor experience, community outreach, and program development. Keasha is also a member of the board of directors for the California Association of Museums, a statewide museum advocacy organization, where she is a Vice President and serves on the Government Relations, Membership, and Executive committees. She is a past participant in the annual Museums Advocacy Day hosted by the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, DC, and her interests include arts education, museum/school collaborations, public/private partnerships in the arts, and issues affecting community arts organizations. Keasha holds an M.A. in English from Howard University, and she is an alumna of the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Internship Program.

Now Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, Eliza Tudor‘s experience as an arts leader spans the visual, literary and performing arts across three continents. From ten years producing film and theatre in Australia, to producing opera, Ancient Greek theatre and ballet in the Sierra, Eliza then moved to the UK to complete her MA in Cultural Policy. Working as a Senior Commissioner for the UK’s National Health Service in one of London’s most deprived areas, she then worked as Senior Development Executive – Arts & Humanities at the University of Oxford, while also serving on the Board of Trustees of Magdalen Road Studios and Rosetta Life – working nationally through the arts with people suffering life limiting illnesses. Eliza returned in February 2015 to direct Yuba Sutter Arts, then in 2016 accepted the role of Executive Director with Nevada County Arts Council. This implied simultaneous overview of three counties under California Arts Council’s State-Local Partnership Program. Since late 2016 Eliza has focused solely on Nevada County Arts Council, last year gaining state recognition for Nevada County through consulting two successful applications for California Cultural District designation.

Californians for the Arts Welcomes New California Arts Council Leadership

California Arts Advocates sister organization Californians for the Arts (CFTA) co-sponsored a reception (with Arts Orange County) to welcome Governor Jerry Brown’s newly-appointed Executive Director of the California Arts Council, Anne Bown-Crawford, at her first public meeting of the Council on January 25 at the OC Music & Dance Center in Irvine.  CFTA  Board members present that day included President Victoria Hamilton of San Diego, Past President Richard Stein (President & CEO of Arts Orange County) of San Juan Capistrano, Michael Alexander of Los Angeles, Tomas Benitez (Board Chair, Latino Arts Network of California) of Los Angeles, and Patrick Brien (Executive Director, Riverside Arts Council) of Riverside.  CFTA also celebrated the CAC’s “changing of the guard”–its election of a new Chair, Nashormeh Lindo of Oakland, and Vice Chair, Larry Baza of San Diego. Field Representatives David Taylor of Assemblyman Matt Harper’s office and Jose Martinez of Assemblyman Steven Choi’s office presented certificates to the new CAC director.

Pictured below: Image 1: Larry Baza, Anne Bown-Crawford, Nashormeh Lindo; Image 2: Anne Bown-Crawford, David Taylor; Image 3: Anne Bown-Crawford, Jose Martinez.

2018 Legislative Budget Cycle Begins for CA Arts Council: View the Presentation

At the September California Arts Council meeting at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, its Director of Legislative Affairs, Kristin Margolis, presented an overview of the process and schedule, as well as how the Council can play an important role in keeping the Governor and Legislature informed about the activities of the agency.

It is also a valuable road map for our Californians for the Arts constituents, and we encourage you to take a few moments to look through it.  CAC Legislative Overview – September 2017

California Arts Advocates Scores a Fifth Year of Gains for California Arts Council Funding – Help Us Keep the Momentum Going!

It’s a team effort, to be sure, but there is no denying that the intensive advocacy efforts by California Arts Advocates, our sister organization, played a major role in this year’s success: getting the Governor and Legislature to make permanent last year’s one-time only increase of $6.8 million.  After more than a decade of near-zero funding, the California Arts Council is funding over $15 million in grants to arts organizations, there is an additional $8 million being funded for the Arts in Corrections program, and the first round of official state-designated Cultural Districts will soon be announced. Support for arts education and opposition to the “non-profit warning label” bill have also been notable successes.

These activities cost money, and California Arts Advocates relies on membership dues to pay for half of its budget. Please celebrate our success and help us keep the momentum going by joining now or renewing your membership here.

Read the California Arts Council’s official announcement of its new budget, which includes its budget history, here.

CAA Elects Officers, New Board Members

Stein passes gavel to Hamilton

California Arts Advocates held its annual meeting on Thursday, June 15 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on the eve of the Americans for the Arts Convention. Victoria Hamilton, Arts & Culture Advocate at The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego, was elected President (seen above, accepting the gavel from outgoing President Richard Stein, President & CEO, Arts Orange County). Elected Vice President was Danielle Whitmore, Executive Director, Blue Line Arts & Arts & Business Council of the Sacramento Region in Roseville. Re-elected as Treasurer and Secretary were Brad Erickson, Executive Director, Theatre Bay Area in San Francisco and Rachel Osajima, Executive Director, Alameda County Arts Commission in Oakland. Elected to the Executive Committee were: Julie Baker (Membership Chair), Executive Director, Center for the Arts, Grass Valley; Sofia Klatzker (Advocacy Chair & Representative to State Arts Action Network), Executive Director, Arts for LA, Los Angeles; Debra Lucero (Communications Chair), Executive Director, Shasta County Arts Council, Redding and Friends of the Arts Upstate, Chico; Dalouge Smith (Representative to Policy Council of CA Alliance for Arts Education), President & CEO, San Diego Youth Symphony Orchestra; and Richard Stein – Immediate Past President.

Elected as new members of the Board of Directors are: Michael Alexander (above left), Executive Director Emeritus, Grand Performances, Los Angeles and a former member of the California Arts Council; and Ron P. Muriera, City of San Jose Arts Commissioner and Director of Development, San Jose Stage Company.

Federal Arts & Culture Funding Threatened! What you need to know & how you can help…

California Arts Advocates is vigorously opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Museum & Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

All arts-concerned Californians are urged to learn more about why this is such a bad idea and what a disastrous impact it would have.  And all arts-concerned Californians should immediately communicate to their Congressional representatives to voice their objection to this plan.

The California Arts Council has created a Save the NEA: California Arts Resource Center, which has excellent tools for learning more and taking action.  We encourage you to visit that site and to speak up now!

Thank you!

Know before you vote! School Board Candidates Survey Responses Released…

Know before you vote! California Alliance for Arts Education has released the results of its Board of Education candidate surveys for the following School District elections. Follow this link to review the responses from candidates in these districts.
Capistrano Unified School District
Centralia Elementary School
Chula Vista Elementary School District
Davis Joint Unified School District
Elk Grove Unified School District
Encinitas Union Elementary School District
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District
Fountain Valley School District
Fullerton Joint Union High School
Fountain Valley School District
Garden Grove Unified School District
Hollister School District
Huntington Beach Union High School District
Irvine Unified School District
Live Oak School District
Los Alamitos Unified School District
Moreno Valley Unified School District
Mother Lode Union School District
Napa Valley Unified School District
Ocean View School District
Orange Unified School District
Oroville Union High School
Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Ramona Unified School District
Redlands Unified School District
Saddleback Valley Unified School District
San Benito High School District
San Francisco Unified School District
Scotts Valley Unified School District
Val Verde Unified School District