Santa Rosa, CA – June 24, 2014 – On the heels of investing $250,000 in the creative arts, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors adopted the County's first ever strategic Arts Action Plan (PDF), developed by the County's
Economic Development Board, intended to boost the county's creative economy.
The Arts sector has emerged as an important area for economic growth potential
in Sonoma County, and until now there has been no coordinated strategy for
supporting the creative economy countywide.
"The Arts not only enrich the lives of individuals," noted Board Chair Supervisor
Rabbitt, "arts enrich our community and economic vitality. This plan helps us
move our creative economy to new heights. Supporting our local artists,
businesses, and creative economy will help make Sonoma County a destination for
artists and tourists, while making the community even more vibrant for our
The report, prepared by the successful arts consulting firm the Cultural Planning
Group, involved more than 200 individuals and groups across the county with an
interest in the arts and the creative economy. Discussion groups and interviews
were held in nearly all communities in the County, involving local government,
elected officials, individual artists, non-profit arts organizations,
for-profit creative firms, educational institutions, and many more. The
report's central recommendation is for the County to establish a county-wide
local arts agency, called Creative Sonoma (PDF), which promotes development of
the entire creative sector of non-profit, for-profit, individual artists, and
"TheBoard of Supervisors has been a catalyst for reinvigorating the creative arts
community in Sonoma County," noted Pam Chanter, Chair of the Economic
Development Board. "We see this as a milestone for our County, for which
everyone should be proud."
Creative Sonoma (PDF) would initiate and support community cultural planning,
convene groups of importance to the arts community, develop information
resources for the public that supports cultural tourism, facilitate the success
of the county's emerging for-profit creative sector, inventory cultural arts
resources, promote arts education, and develop policy recommendations for
County government to supports the arts. The Economic Development Board will
begin to implement the report's recommendations, focusing first on incubating
the Creative Sonoma (PDF) model.