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

FlickrPaul Sableman-PalmSprings_1.jpg

About the Program

The California Cultural Districts program aims to assist Californians in leveraging the state’s considerable assets in the areas of culture, creativity, and diversity, as initially set out in the enabling legislation, AB 189.  A cultural district is generally understood as a well-defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities.

The cultural district certification process, managed by the California Arts Council, will be the core of the California Cultural Districts program. It will start with a two-year pilot in which a small representative cohort will actively participate in shaping the final certification process and related benefits and services. Applications will be solicited in early 2017 with the goal of identifying a small well rounded group of communities that are diverse in make-up, geography and purpose, and that represent the many possible manifestations of cultural districts present in California. This initial group will be selected through an open application process.


Fostering culture, creativity, and diversity


Statement of Values

In implementing the certification of cultural districts in California, the California Arts Council will take actions that express distinct values such as the following. Read the complete Statement of Values >> 

  • We encourage the cultivation of a broad array of authentic and sustainable cultural districts that reflect the breadth and diversity of California’s extensive cultural assets
  • We support the retention of homegrown assets and actively work to mitigate displacement for groups such as artists, low-income residents, and arts organizations
  • We support the utilization of the arts as a tool for preservation in order to fortify and protect local socio-economic diversity, cultural diversity, and ethnic diversity
  • We seek to identify, support, and connect centers of arts and cultural activity throughout the state through the certification process