The creation of a private-public partnership to help San Diego artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was announced by the city on Thursday.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the program called The San Diego Arts + Culture Challenge Fund. It will offer financial support to the individuals and organizations that make up San Diego County's creative workforce, Faulconer said.
The mayor said $1.25 million has already been secured for the effort to sustain local artists, with a goal of reaching at least $2 million. Initial funding sources include the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, the San Diego Foundation, the city, and private donors.
The announcement comes one day after Faulconer unveiled a proposed budget that included cuts to a number of city sectors due to the COVID-19 crisis, including reducing next year's round of arts and culture grants by half, accounting for $5.8 million.
Faulconer said that despite the cuts, "Make no mistake, arts, culture
are incredibly important under the fabric of really who we are in this
great city of ours."
He said the partnership would secure grants for local artists, have the city purchase artwork from local artists to add to the city's civic art collection and expand public art investment.
For more information about the San Diego Arts + Culture Challenge can visit the website.