The Coast News Group
Arts Carlsbad Cities

Carlsbad creating arts & culture plan for next decade

CARLSBAD — Aside from its reputation as a picturesque beach town, Carlsbad is also known for an ever-changing collection of murals, breathtaking flower fields and summer nights filled with the sounds of the TGIF concerts in the parks. The city of Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts office is currently developing the arts and culture plan for the next 10 years that will identify city priorities and create an implementation strategy. A key part of this yearlong process has been gathering community input.

“We’ve been very focused on getting feedback from the community as it’s imperative to hear what community members enjoy,” Cultural Arts Manager Richard Schultz said.

Since March, the city has conducted stakeholder interviews, focus groups and community meetings in order to reach out to the community for feedback. A community meeting at the Dove Library on June 22 attracted a range of attendees from dancers to builders to young mothers. These community meetings have also brought together a combination of longtime residents and newcomers alike.

“Arts in Carlsbad is about bringing people together, which is not something I hear from other places,” meeting moderator Liz Osgood said.

The city has also released an online survey that can be found on the Arts and Culture website and will be available until mid-July. Several themes from community input have already emerged including the desire to support art as a part of daily life, expand learning opportunities and promote a thriving business sector with the arts.

“Community input has already begun to have an impact and is changing how we look at arts and culture,” Schultz said.

Many people have expressed that they would like to see more multi-tiered events featuring a combination of arts, music and food. For the upcoming reception for the “Americana” exhibit at the William D. Cannon Art Gallery on July 29, the Cultural Arts office has planned to incorporate a hands-on art project for families led by the artist Ted Diamond, a talk with the audience about his creative process and a live country music performance. Carlsbad is ahead of many similar-sized cities in this type of in-depth planning for the arts.

“People are so proud of the community and that really translates over to arts and culture,” Schultz said. 

The Cultural Arts office will solidify the plan later this year and implement it in winter of 2018. To take the online survey and find out more information about the plan, go to