Mayor Kevin Faulconer has proposed slashing arts and culture funding by $4.7 million to help fill an $81 million budget deficit.
On Monday, over 200 arts leaders and supporters flooded the Civic Center Plaza in advance of this week’s City Council budget hearings. Speakers at the rally urged City Council members to push back on the mayor’s cuts and ask him to reinstate some of the funding for the Commission for Arts and Culture, which uses about 80 percent of the money it gets from the city’s hotel tax to fund local arts and culture nonprofits.
City Council members Lorie Zapf, Chris Ward and David Alvarez made brief appearances at the rally to voice their support for the arts. Alvarez called the proposed cuts too drastic.
“Now we’re seeing, I would say, the most devastating cuts in the history of our city to arts and culture,” he said.
Alvarez and others said the city should increase arts funding to fulfill the Penny for the Arts plan passed in 2012. The plan envisions putting 9.5 percent of the city’s hotel tax collections toward arts programs by 2017.
Essentially, the blueprint says one penny of every dollar spent at a hotel in San Diego should go toward funding arts and culture, which in turn works to attract more visitors to the city. If the city made good on its Penny for the Arts promise, the Commission for Arts and Culture’s budget would be $22 million this year.
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A city that can't even maintain it's roads has no business funding arts and culture. San Diego is essentially barren of arts and culture anyway.
Instead of funding Art and Culture, we are funding Cadillac pension plans supported by the unions and the Democrats on the City Council.