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Arts & Culture Planning


The city is kicking off a planning process for arts and culture in the community that will: 

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

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.  

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 yearround.
  • 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 approved 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 approved by the City Council in 2016.  

The Arts & Culture Plan will further operationalize the General Plan goals and policies. 

Public Input

It’s important for the project team to make sure that the Arts & Culture Plan reflects the values of the community. There will be opportunities for the community to get involved in the development of the draft Arts & Culture Plan. Here are a few ways to stay in the loop through the plan development process: 

  • Sign up to receive email updates through the Cultural Arts Office (select “Cultural Arts News & Events”)
  • Check back on this web page periodically to see the latest on the plan 
  • Email or call with questions or comments along the way 
  • Provide input at a community meeting or through an online survey 

What’s The Schedule? 

Stakeholder interviews and focus groups
Winter 2017
Community meetings
Late Spring/Summer 2017
Online input gathering
Late Spring/Summer 2017
Development of implementation plan and budget
Summer 2017
Final plan presented to decision makers
Fall 2017
Arts & Culture Plan adopted
Winter 2018


For More Information