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City leaders support "Penny for the Arts" program

SAN DIEGO -- With hopes of restoring funding for arts and culture programming in the City of San Diego to a full penny of every dollar of TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) revenue, Mayor Jerry Sanders and District 6 Councilmember Lorie Zapf will host a press conference today at 11 am to announce their "A Penny for the Arts -- Five-Year Blue Print."

The plan was unanimously approved on Monday, Oct. 8. by the San Diego City Council's Economic Development and Strategies Committee, with members voicing their support to restore arts funding to previous levels.

Many of San Diego's arts and culture organizations, including LGBT groups like the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, San Diego Women's Chorus, FilmOut San Diego and Diversionary Theatre, rely on annual grant funding offered through the city's Commission for Arts & Culture's Organizational Support (OSP) and Creative Communities San Diego (CCSD) allocation programs.

The Commission reported that 68 arts groups received funding from its programs in 2011.

The plan, which is supported by the San Diego Regional Arts & Culture Coalition, contains four key recommendations:

- Restore Funding to the Organizational Support (OSP) and Creative Communities San Diego (CCSD) Allocation Programs.

- Re-establish the Arts and Culture Festival Revolving Fund with an immediate focus on the 2015 Celebration, including Celebration planning, exhibitions and performances.

- Support Special Projects and Initiatives:

Allocate funds for restoration and improvements of cultural facilities throughout the City. This is not limited to City-owned property!
Invest in cultural tourism marketing initiatives and partnerships

- Contribute annual allocations to the Public Art Fund:

New public artworks and improved access to the City’s public art collection

Funds to maintain and restore current collection

Featured speakers at today's 11 am press conference include Sanders, Zapf, Councilmember Carl DeMaio and City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture chair Vicki Reed.

The event will be held at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. More information is available HERE.

As a matter of full disclosure, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with Carl DeMaio. Their relationship in no way impacts the editorial decisions made by Ken Williams, SDGLN Editor in Chief, and does not influence our political coverage. Williams can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter or at (877) 727-5446, x713.