Oceanside is open to upping its art game, but city officials aren’t ready to throw more money at the effort just yet.
The city is working on a new arts master plan. Once complete, the document will guide the development of city-run arts programs, cultural events, potential funding sources and more.
But the city also recently denied extra funding for the Oceanside Arts Commission, whose members asked to double its annual $25,000 allocation in this year’s budget.
“We’re embarking on this big master plan for the arts,” said Ann Worth, chair of the Oceanside Arts Commission. “We really wanted there to be an immediate implementation on the highest priority items, so that’s really why we were asking for the additional money.”
Worth and the commission put together a report showing how Oceanside measures up to other cities in the region when it comes to arts funding. It found that Oceanside invests just 14 cents per capita on arts funding. The cities of Carlsbad and San Diego, in comparison, each invest more than $10 per capita.
Worth said while she was disappointed that the commission didn’t get the extra funding this year, she’s hopeful that when the plan is done, the city will see the value in investing more in its arts and culture community. She said the art scene is already flourishing in Oceanside, but it could use a boost.