California Announces 14 Cultural Districts in New Statewide Program

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Last Thursday, the California Arts Council designated 14 Cultural Districts as part of a new statewide program to celebrate artistic and cultural diversity and creativity in local communities around the state. The Council was authorized to create these districts through AB 189, a measure authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) in 2015.

“One of California’s great strengths is its artistic and cultural diversity. I authored AB 189 to celebrate that diversity and help it thrive in local communities,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “I am proud to see that vision realized and congratulate the Arts Council on successfully rolling out the program. From Little Tokyo in Los Angeles to the High Sierra Region in Truckee, this selection truly captures the diverse breadth of California culture.”

AB 189 empowered the California Arts Council to designate certain geographic areas as official state Cultural Districts. These districts would be well-recognized, clearly labeled areas of a city in which a high concentration of cultural facilities and programs serve as the main anchor of attraction and creative business development. Under the program, the Council provides technical and promotional support to the districts, as well as collaborates with public agencies and private entities to maximize their benefits to the local and state economy. Each of the 14 Cultural Districts will receive designation for a period of 5 years, after which the district may renew the certification every 3 years. Additional new districts will be eligible to apply for state designation in 2019 through a finalized certification process.

The creative economy is a powerful economic driver in California, generating over 7% of the state’s economic activity and approximately 1.4 million jobs. Studies have shown that creative economy jobs and businesses tend to cluster into particular regions where they can benefit from an exchange and sharing of resources and entrepreneurial dialogue. Additionally, arts and cultural districts in other states have facilitated economic growth though the creation of new business and increased cultural tourism.  

“State-designated cultural districts allow communities to become hubs for business development, tourism and economic growth, all while preserving culture, celebrating art, and building a local sense of identity,” said Bloom.


Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.