San Marcos,
09:52 AM

New Network Aims to Strengthen Regional Arts and Culture

By Margaret Chantung

For many in North San Diego County, an evening of art and culture might include a 45-minute drive south to the San Diego metropolitan area or a 90-minute drive north to Los Angeles. But a new coalition of artists, educators, art administrators and civic leaders want to change that, promoting North County arts and culture with the goal of attracting more residents to stay local and enjoy the museums, performances, exhibitions and historic sites that are plentiful in their own backyard.

Over one hundred individuals attended the launch of the North County Arts Network (NCAN) on January 15 at CSUSM’s School of Arts. The event included remarks from Director Craig Watson of the California Arts Council and two San Diego County Board of Supervisors who served as honorary co-hosts: Bill Horn and Dave Roberts.

“It’s our mission to be a hub for the arts in North County,” said Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, founding director of the CSUSM School of Arts. “We’d like to act as a nexus for the arts, and that’s why we were so pleased to host the first meeting of the North County Arts Network.”


The network aims to strengthen the arts communities of North San Diego County through quarterly networking and community building events as well as joint marketing efforts.

“From my vantage point, I think the time is now for North County Arts,” said Daniel Foster, executive director of the Oceanside Museum of Art. “There are wonderful individual personalities, institutions and talent that have developed in our region over the last few decades. I’m very excited because this starts a collaboration of community building – getting us out of our silos to leverage resources and generate new ideas.”

Among those also in attendance at the NCAN launch event were City of Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern, San Diego Visual Arts Network Coordinator Patricia Frischer, City of Encinitas Arts Administrator Jim Gilliam, CSUSM Community Liaison Marilyn Huerta, Cultural Arts Manager for the City of Carlsbad Vincent Kitch, Curator of Sculpture in the Garden at the San Diego Botanic Gardens Naomi Nussbaum, Director of the Lux Art Institute Reesey Shaw, and Executive Director of the California Center for the Arts Jerry Van Leeuwen.

“Our challenge as leaders is to take the arts and move them from a nicety to a necessity,” said Watson. “At our core, our citizenship is enhanced when more people are engaged in the arts. The evidence shows that our children learn better and our communities as a whole become more vibrant economies when the arts are enhanced.”

For more information on upcoming North County Arts Council events, contact the CSUSM School of Arts at 760-750-4137.