The City Council voted unanimously Monday to establish a seven-member Cultural Arts Commission to oversee the arts community and help it grow.
Coronado boasts several galleries, two resident theaters and local artists and authors, according to a city report presented during the special meeting.
“The pieces of a puzzle are already here, but that’s just what they are, pieces,” Heidi Wilson, chair of the public arts subcommittee, told the council. “The establishment of a Cultural Arts Commission can bring puzzle together and put a frame on it.”
It can also raise funds more easily than individual arts groups and only cities with arts commissions have access to state and federal funding, Wilson noted.
Money was the only discordant note sounded all evening.
Councilman Al Ovrom worried that the resolution did not specify fundraising as part of the commission’s mandate. This is the “way Solana Beach and Encinitas started out, but it [the arts commission] still involves city money,” he said.
To ease Ovrom’s concerns, Councilman Mike Woiwode added “seeking outside funds as needed” to the resolution.
Wilson first proposed the idea in June and set about organizing support. She was soon joined by a host of arts advocates, including Doug St. Denis and Kelly Purvis.
In June they held a forum to discuss the state of the arts in Coronado.
Before the council meeting, Wilson held an “arts happening.” Council members and the community had an opportunity to meet and see the work of dozens of artists – including professionals from Lamb's Players Theatre and local craftsmen – and enjoy refreshments from eateries that support the arts.