Media · August 2017

Arts and Culture in San Rafael

Congratulations to the city of San Rafael in Marin County!
San Rafael has been selected as one of California’s premier state designated arts and culture districts, the California Arts Council announced today. San Rafael joins 13 other districts in a new program highlighting the state’s unique artistic and cultural communities within California, home to the country’s leading creative economy. The newly designated Downtown San Rafael Arts District is located along the spine of Fourth Street in San Rafael. The arts district provides a unique place to create and appreciate arts and culture – San Rafael arts partners provide programming for people to come together, make connections, and get involved in the larger community. 

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. A designation, under this pilot launch of the program, includes benefits such as technical assistance, peer-to-peer exchanges, and branding materials and promotional strategy. The Council has partnered with Visit California and Caltrans for strategic statewide marketing and resource support.

A strong advocate for the arts in Marin County is Gabriella Calicchio. Since August of  2014 when she arrived in her new office at the Marin Center to begin her job as director of the Marin County Cultural and Visitor Services, Calicchio has been unstoppable.
In a recent Marin Magazine article, she notes "And yet we know that we have more artists per capita than any other county besides L.A. So we are launching a countywide process that will look at all the data and the economic impact of the arts in our community, things like how many adults work in the creative sector. We will gather as much data to reinforce our case for a number of goals such as comprehensive arts education for elementary-age students or affordable housing for artists. When we have the data, we do the lobbying and advocacy to get something on the ballot to support the arts in a sustainable way. It’s not just about getting a singular funding source to spread out among hundreds of arts organizations; it actually means investing in education for our young people so there are adults a generation or two from now who understand the value of and appreciate the arts."