The North County Arts Network has been chugging along since the start of 2015 as a grassroots effort led by arts organizations in Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, Carlsbad, San Marcos and other communities in northern San Diego County.
Before the group sprang up, North County’s arts community was isolated and the organizations were even somewhat competitive, said Daniel Foster, the former executive director of the Oceanside Museum of Art and one of the group’s leaders. Now various organizations are working together, looking at how they can share resources, collectively brand themselves, go after funding sources and ultimately strengthen the North County arts scene.
“The cultural affluence in North County is strong,” Foster said. “But most of that money leaves North County and filters into downtown and La Jolla. Most of the arts organizations located here are under-funded in my opinion.”
So far, the North County Arts Network has been an all volunteer-led effort with zero funding. But in 2016, Foster said the group will get serious. It’ll be applying for nonprofit status, working to secure grants and other revenue streams and otherwise becoming more official.