Skip to content

It’s Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month in California! 

If you’ve seen a spike in arts advocacy content on your social media in the past week, there’s a good reason for it.

Last week kicked off Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month, an annual, month-long effort to highlight the work of artists in our state. Much of this campaign is spearheaded by arts advocacy champions CA for the Arts. As stated on their website, their goal is to “Empower arts advocates to take action, and to spur greater investments in our industry and workforce”.  

During the Covid-19 live performance shutdowns, our community saw the positive impact of significant government funding, and now we’re seeing the negative impact when that funding is abruptly ended. Too often, the arts are the first cut during times of financial downturn. This ACCM, CA for the Arts encourages us to emphasize the impact that creative work has on the California state economy and our communal wellbeing.  

According to the recent report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Arts and Culture industries have twice the impact on our state economy compared to their impact nationally. However, California has failed to meet that impact with sustained funding for our sector. California ranks 36th nationally in per-capita arts funding despite the arts bringing over $290 billion to the state economy. 

Next week, Theatre Bay Area will join CA for the Arts and over 250 arts advocates from across the state in Sacramento for the CA Arts & Culture Summit and Arts Advocacy Day. With a united front, arts workers will emphasize the importance of protecting, investing, and building arts opportunities in our state directly to state legislators.  

Protect existing funding.

It is vital to protect the baseline funding of the California Arts Council. Last year, nearly 54% of applicants were denied access to much-needed grant money because of lack of available funding. Funding for the CAC cannot drop below its current level of $.67 per resident and must have a plan to rise to at least $1 per capita if California wants to maintain the vibrant creative economy of our state.  

Sustain investment in the creative workforce.

The past few years have seen the passage of exciting legislation to support creative workers, now is the time to ensure those initiatives receive the funding they need to be successful. Keep your eyes on the Equitable Payroll Fund (SB1116), California Cultural Districts, Creative Youth Development, and the California Creative Corps in the upcoming state budget updates!  

Build our creative future.

According to the CA for the Arts 2024 Field Survey, two of the biggest challenges for CA arts workers are not specific to the arts! A lack of affordable housing and support systems for the self-employed put strain on the essential workers that sustain our region’s performing arts ecosystem. Engaging our legislators on creative solutions to these issues is critical to building our collective creative future. 

By joining together with other artists and creative industries, the voice of Theatre in the Bay Area can make a huge difference in state support for the arts.

Our value to our communities goes even beyond the economic impact on the California economy. During this Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month, write to your local elected officials and tell them about your creative work. Share the impact your productions make on your local community and remind them that Art Work is Real Work!