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Arts & Culture Planning


The city has started a planning process to develop a new Arts & Culture Plan. In Carlsbad, we have a vision for arts and culture in the community. The Arts & Culture Plan will develop a road map to fulfill the vision and continue the growth of arts and culture in the community. The plan will: 

  • Identify community priorities for arts and culture over the next 10 years
  • Develop measurable objectives to support those priorities
  • Create an implementation plan that includes strategies, tactics and resources needs

Public Input

It’s important that the Arts & Culture Plan reflects the values of the community. The development of the Arts & Culture Plan will be a year-long process and will include opportunities for the community to weigh in and provide input along the way. Here's a few ways to get involved in the process:   

  • Read the Arts & Culture Plan Preview 
  • Review the list of Emerging Themes in English and Spanish: These themes will serve as the framework of the draft plan
  • Hear what other cities are doing: Watch the May 19 "Art in Today's Cities" presentation to hear how cities are approaching arts and culture
  • Stay in touch: Sign up to receive email updates through the Cultural Arts Office (select “Cultural Arts News & Events”)
  • Questions: Email or call with questions or comments along the way at arts@carlsbadca.gov or 760-602-2090 

Emerging Themes 

It is still early in the outreach process, but there are several themes that are emerging as goals for arts and culture in Carlsbad. These themes came up consistently in outreach with the community and will serve as a framework for a draft Arts & Culture Plan. The next step in the process is to develop specific ideas, priorities and measurable objectives to support these five themes. The themes are also available in Spanish


What’s The Schedule? 

Stakeholder interviews and focus groups
March and April 2017
Community meetings
May and June  2017
Online input gathering
May through August 2017
 Development of draft implementation plan and budget
 September through December 2017
Arts & Culture Plan Preview and surveys released
March 2018
Draft plan presented to decision makers and released for public comment
Spring 2018
Arts & Culture Plan adopted
Summer 2018

Why Is the Plan Important? 

A lot of work has already been done to ensure arts and culture is an integral part of the community, including establishing a vision for arts and culture in Carlsbad and creating planning policies to support this vision. The city is developing the Arts & Culture Plan to continue the growth of arts and culture in Carlsbad and to provide direction for future development of arts and culture in the community. 

Community Vision

In 2010 the Carlsbad City Council adopted the Carlsbad Community Vision, a set of nine core values developed through a two-year public involvement process called Envision Carlsbad. One of those core values sets forth a vision for history, the arts and cultural resources:

  • Emphasize the arts by promoting a multitude of events and productions year round.
  • Promote cutting-edge venues to host world-class performances.
  • Celebrate Carlsbad’s cultural heritage in dedicated facilities and programs.

Arts and culture play a role in the other eight values too, particularly the ones related to maintaining Carlsbad’s small town feel and beach community character, the local economy and tourism, preserving the natural environment, education and community services, and community design and livability.

In essence, arts and culture play an integral role in shaping the future envisioned by the Carlsbad community.

General Plan Policies 

In 2015, the Carlsbad City Council adopted an update to its General Plan. This plan, serves as a policy blueprint for how land will be used to help achieve the community’s vision for the future. The Arts, History, Culture and Education Element of the plan:

“…recognizes that an aesthetic environment and connections to culture and education are essential characteristics of a community that values its quality of life and wishes to be seen by its residents, neighbors and visitors as an attractive and desirable place, addressing the needs of the human spirit. This element is intended to enhance availability and accessibility of the arts for all residents, preservation of the important historic and cultural elements that make Carlsbad unique, and educational opportunities for lifelong learning.” 

The first step toward implementing this element of the General Plan was to create an updated vision for public art in Carlsbad.  This vision was accepted by the City Council in 2016.  

For More Information