In 2017, the California Arts Council named 14 official California Cultural Districts representing centers of arts and culture in many different regions across the state. The collection of Cultural Districts is purposely broad in focus and scope to highlight unique artistic identities and the rich cultural diversity of California as a whole. To ensure that communication between Cultural Districts is enhanced and that shared opportunities are leveraged, all 14 of the Cultural Districts have joined to form the California Cultural Districts Coalition.
The new coalition will ensure strong communication and collaboration among the districts, with the sharing of best practices for successful activities, programs, marketing, and governance. The California Cultural Districts Coalition will also form strategic public and private partnerships to advocate for sustainable funding that will enable new and existing Cultural Districts to grow and thrive.
In supporting the collaboration between the districts, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins said, “California is vast and our communities’ histories and cultural experiences are unique. That’s why I thought it was so important for the state to create 14 inaugural Cultural Districts—including The BLVD Cultural District –-to celebrate our incredible diversity while promoting local artists and community participation in arts and culture. For me, art, culture, nature, and history are essential for a life well lived. I look forward to the new coalition’s work.”
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris greeted the news with excitement and pride.
“Fostering creativity and the arts is foundational to society – it creates a sense of community identity and pride by encouraging residents to engage with their surroundings, celebrate their differences, and connect with each other,” Parris said. “The BLVD Cultural District has long been our region’s hub for fostering arts and culture, from showcasing historic monuments and public art created by internationally acclaimed artists to hosting a myriad of cultural events which encourage tourism and enhance residents’ quality of life. We are proud to join this coalition of diverse and vibrant districts promoting and supporting California’s art and culture throughout our state.”
The BLVD Cultural District in downtown Lancaster is the cultural epicenter for Northern Los Angeles County, celebrating the rich history, creativity, uniqueness, and artistic endeavors of the region. Anchored by the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH) and the Lancaster Performing Arts Center (LPAC), the District showcases both local and international art. The BLVD is also adorned by stunning Pow! Wow! Antelope Valley and historic murals. Historic sites include the Cedar Center for the Arts, the Aerospace Walk of Honor monuments, and the Western Hotel Museum. Although the District features a number of historic attractions, the area is far from old-fashioned.
The BLVD offers electric vehicle charging stations, solar waste compactors and a public Wi-Fi zone to enhance visitors’ downtown experience. Locally owned businesses provide an exciting array of shopping, dining, and recreation experiences, from a boutique underground bowling alley to the newest fad, escape rooms. An impressive array of events are held in the District, including annual festivals that draw tens of thousands of attendees, outdoor summer concerts, open mic nights, and a weekly year-round farmers’ market.
“As one of California’s inaugural Cultural Districts, The BLVD District is proud to be a founding member of the California Cultural Districts Coalition,” said Tim Anders, president of the BLVD Association. “The Coalition not only unites the various districts, but also increases visibility and appreciation for the arts.”
Founded in 2018, the coalition represents the 14 inaugural California Cultural Districts identified by the California Arts Council. With arts and culture leadership from across the state working together, the coalition will advance awareness and support for arts and culture, as well as share best practices for sustainable growth.
For more information, visit californiaculturaldistrictscoalition.org.