RICHARD L. SCHULTZ
Cultural Arts Manager
City of Carlsbad
February and Valentine’s Day are about love. The arts and Carlsbad have been in a long-term relationship, even a long-standing love affair. The City of Carlsbad significantly sustain the arts with an active Cultural Arts Office, established in 1986, and one of the largest municipal teams in North County; a comprehensive ten-year Arts & Culture Master Plan, approved by the City Council in 2018; free arts programming like the William D. Cannon Gallery and TGIF Concerts in the Parks; and its ongoing support and collaboration with many arts organizations. In essence, the arts are at the heart of Carlsbad.
It is no wonder that NCAN, North County Arts Network, chose Carlsbad as its home. Focusing on supporting regional artists and arts organizations, NCAN was founded in 2015 and has participated in numerous arts events in Carlsbad. Their annual signature promotional campaign, Open Your Hearts to North County Arts (OYH) even debuted in 2018 at Art, Rhythm and Wine at the Forum and Artwalk-Carlsbad.
NCAN Executive Administrator and Carlsbad resident Amanda Ecoff remarked, “Carlsbad is the perfect home because the community not only embraces art in all its forms, the city actively promotes the arts and arts education to all its residents.”
NCAN was established to serve, advance, and lead the diverse network of organizations and individuals who work in the arts in North County San Diego. They look to invigorate the arts community and encourage prosperity in our region to maximize support for the arts. NCAN, the only large-scale collaborative network for North County artists, organizations and promoters of the arts in our region, is supported by partners in Carlsbad, including New Village Arts, Carlsbad Friends of the Arts and the Museum of Making Music. The current board consists of 12 arts professional and leaders from across North County guiding an effort to raise the profile of the arts in the area.
In the city’s Arts & Culture Master Plan, NCAN was recognized as a key component to advancing the arts. Through the city’s Community Arts Grants, NCAN was awarded funding for both capacity building and the 2020 OYH Promotion. With that support, OYH has grown in three short years from promoting approximately 30 events in 2018 to over 110 unique presentations with 950 opportunities for participation in a completely virtual OYH in 2020. Promotional support was provided by Smorgborg, SDVAN, Innovate 78, KPBS, Cal State San Marcos, ArtWalk-Carlsbad, the San Diego North Economic Development Council, the San Diego International Airport Arts Program, the San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, and the San Diego Union Tribune.
Ecoff states “The opportunity for NCAN to provide essential relief from Covid-19 through Open Your Hearts was made possible by the City of Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts Grants. We cannot say enough about how grateful NCAN is to have been embraced by the City of Carlsbad.”
Future plans include an expanded North County Arts & Economic Summit, based on the success of the 2017 event, a regional Economic Arts Impact Study and the NCAN board expansion. NCAN is currently looking to partner with members of the business community who believe in the impact of the arts on economic development and the quality of life in Carlsbad and North County.
For more information, visit sdncan.org. Editor’s Note: Richard is also the current board chair of the North County Arts Network.