San Diego outlines next steps for development of cultural plan

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–The City of San Diego is creating its first-ever comprehensive cultural plan to guide investments in arts and culture in neighborhoods across the city.

This week, staff published a framework that will help facilitate the development of the cultural plan, Creative City, which will advance arts and culture in every community, and foster greater opportunity and sustainability for all San Diegans.   

The Creative City cultural planning process will result in a seven to 10-year plan aligning art and culture with the priorities of the City with a focus on goals outlined in the framework. Residents are encouraged to get involved in the planning process and share insights to capture San Diego’s cultural traditions and creative assets. Ultimately, the plan aims to propel San Diego and the entire San Diego-Baja megaregion forward as a more equitable place of inspiration and prosperity.   

“This is an important milestone in our work toward the cultural plan,” said Jonathon Glus, Executive Director, Arts and Culture. “Developing the plan involves listening to individuals and communities, gathering and analyzing information, and building consensus on a shared vision for arts and culture. The framework outlines our phases to build an ambitious and achievable cultural plan to serve our entire City and the creative communities for years to come.” 

San Diego’s arts and cultural ecosystems are vital in their vision and impact. Yet, they face ongoing challenges related to the pandemic and the rising cost of living and doing business. With the right plan, the San Diego creative economy will power growth and success led by creatives in every industry and by artists from visual and performing arts to film and music.  

The framework and project website provide information and an overview of the planning process. Starting with pre-planning and research, which began last winter, the process moves into listening and engaging sessions with San Diegans. The final plan is expected to be completed by March 2025. 

“The cultural planning process is an unprecedented opportunity for residents to get involved and plan San Diego’s creative future together, charting a course for how our city can continue to grow as a cultural capital,” said Christine E. Jones, Chief of Civic Art Strategies, Arts and Culture. “This Creative City cultural plan will help us align arts and culture with City priorities, and San Diegans will have multiple opportunities to inform the aspirations and objectives for the plan, from participating in Creative City forums to hosting their community conversations with our toolkits.” 

The City of San Diego is leading this effort in collaboration with an industry-leading consulting firm based in San Diego and serving the fields of arts and culture, Cultural Planning Group, LLC. Topic areas for the citywide cultural planning effort include analyzing existing conditions and identifying opportunities for city programs and initiatives, creative economy investments, City-owned cultural facilities, cultural equity, and tourism.  

Starting in June, the engagement process will include two Creative City public forums. Public discussion pop-ups will be held in nine City Council districts through July, along with the launch of a public survey. Visit the project website, follow the City on social media, and sign up for ongoing updates to learn more.  

The City of San Diego advances and drives an equitable and inclusive creative economy and cultural ecosystem by investing in the work of artists and creatives and the institutions and systems that amplify creative work and experiences. To learn more, visit



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