The creation of a private-public partnership to help San Diego artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was announced by the city Thursday.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said $1.25 million has already been secured for the effort to sustain local artists, with a goal of reaching at least $2 million. Initial funding sources include the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, the San Diego Foundation, the city and private donors.

The announcement comes one day after Faulconer unveiled a proposed budget that included cuts to a number of city sectors due to the COVID-19 crisis, including reducing next year’s round of arts and culture grants by half, accounting for $5.8 million.

Faulconer said that despite the cuts, “Make no mistake, arts, culture are incredibly important under the fabric of really who we are in this great city of ours.”

He said the partnership would secure grants for local artists, have the city purchase artwork from local artists to add to the city’s civic art collection and expand public art investment.

Anyone interested in donating to the fund, dubbed the San Diego Arts + Culture Challenge, may do so at

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