Morning Report: Arts Funding Under the Microscope   - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Arts Funding Under the Microscope  

Arts commissioners will weigh whether to make changes to how the city doles out arts funding. Some say places that aren’t nonprofits, like Bread & Salt in Logan Heights, should be considered. / Photo by Sam Hodgson

The Commission for Arts and Culture is running on a skeleton crew. Only two out of the eight staff positions at the commission are filled, and the city has yet to replace the executive director who stepped down earlier this year.

One of the community volunteers who sits on the board that governs the Commission for Arts and Culture is hoping to use the leadership vacuum as an advantage. For years, Vernon Franck has wanted the commission to take a critical look at how it funds local cultural nonprofits.

And on Oct. 18, in the first of a series of upcoming meetings, the commission will do just that.

I think the whole funding system needs to be blown up,” Franck told VOSD’s Kinsee Morlan in a new story about the potential changes coming to city arts funding.

How much city money are we talking about here? The city funds arts and culture through a percentage of the hotel tax. In fiscal year 2019, the city gave out $14.5 million to local nonprofits that provide residents and tourists with arts and culture.

What sort of changes might occur? The city’s current funding algorithm means the bigger the nonprofit’s budget, the more money it can get from the city. There will be talk of funding caps, or only allowing a certain award amount for organization no matter how big their budget, and methods in which smaller nonprofits can get city funding.  

Terminal 1: No. 1 Priority, or Public Enemy No. 1?

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is trying to renovate Terminal 1. But nearly every other neighboring bureaucracy has made stern and even exasperated comments criticizing the airport’s approach to transit and continued growth.

To shed more light on that debate, we’re running dueling op-eds from County Supervisor Greg Cox and City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.

Zapf is critical of the airport’s plan for Terminal 1 because it “threatens nearby neighborhoods, leaving them with more traffic, more noise and more air pollution, and little in the way of plans to eliminate or minimize these impacts.” She says the renovation is going to result in more cars, trucks and taxis snarling up traffic.

Cox takes the airport’s side by looking back to how, 51 years ago, when the terminal opened, it served as many passengers in a year as the airport now serves in a month. Of course there are challenges but they’re a sign of regional growth, he writes, and the airport is looking for “better ways to access the airport, such as a dedicated entry road allowing airport traffic to bypass Harbor Drive. They also need improved transit options.”

A River Runs Through North Park

It never rains in San Diego. When it does, if it rains long enough there’s usually some flooding. But the massive flooding in North Park Thursday was not, in fact, related at all to the few droplets of rain that sprinkled across the region.

water main break
A water main break floods the streets of North Park. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

The river running down Idaho Street was a water main break close to the iconic North Park water tower.

Some residents experienced low water pressure because of the break, according to 10News.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Ry Rivard and Kinsee Morlan, and edited by Sara Libby.

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