Celebrating the breadth and diversity of California’s extensive cultural assets

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A collage of culture

California is a land rich in resources. As the most populated state in the United States, California’s economy rivals that of most countries, the sixth largest in the world. Hollywood, redwoods, deserts, mountains, and fertile farm country all make their home in the Golden State. But with its impressive size, geography, and economic diversity, California’s cultural landscape is the strongest signifier of its identity.

California Cultural Districts highlight the cultural legacy of our state's most valuable resource—its diversity. From larger, urban areas to uncharted rural locations, each district helps grow and sustain authentic arts and culture opportunities, increase the visibility of local artists, and promote socio-economic and ethnic diversity through culture and creative expression. 14 districts will serve as California’s inagural state-designated Cultural Districts, highlighting some of the thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities within local communities across California.


Fostering culture, creativity, and diversity


About the program

A Cultural District, as outlined by the program, is a well-defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities. Each of the 14 districts will receive the designation for a period of five years, per state legislation. 

Originating with the adoption of Assembly Bill 189 in 2015, authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, the California Cultural Districts program aims to leverage the state’s artistic and cultural assets. Aligning with the mission and values of the California Arts Council, the districts will celebrate the diversity of California while unifying under an umbrella of shared values—helping to grow and sustain authentic grassroots arts and cultural opportunities, increasing the visibility of local artists and community participation in local arts and culture, and promoting socioeconomic and ethnic diversity. Districts will also play a conscious role in tackling issues of artist displacement.

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