As the California Desert Arts Council 2017/18 fiscal year comes to a close, we take the opportunity to share some of our successes.

Our organization did a lot of good work in FY 2017-18, and our Annual Report, due out on completion of the CDAC annual independent audit, covers our initiatives under our four pillars: advocacy, business and professional development, cultural tourism, and education.

Meanwhile, here are some highlights. In the past year, CDAC:

Formed an Advisory Committee to help implement the organization’s goals and initiatives. The committee, as now constituted, represents a cross-section of arts and culture, business, government, tourism, education, energy, media, and transportation.

Launched Arts Tank, an exciting platform for arts innovation that stimulates tourism, addresses a concern of a particular community, and engages residents and visitors in the Coachella Valley.

Hosted a workshop with presenters from Americans for the Arts on cultural districts, creative placemaking, and audience development at UCR Palm Desert Campus. The workshop drew almost 100 participants representing arts and culture, tourism, and economic development.

Partnered with OneFuture Coachella Valley to program a career exploration day for 160 high school juniors and seniors from the valley’s three K-12 public school districts interested in careers in arts, media, and entertainment.

Partnered with the Jordan D. Schnitzer Family Foundation, Palm Springs Life, and Palm Springs Art Museum to present Warhol in the Park community education events in Coachella, La Quinta, Palm Desert, and Palm Springs.

Launched Art Loan, a program to connect local artists with businesses seeking art solutions for their offices and venues.

Initiated and maintains online listings of jobs in the arts, calls for artists, artist residencies, and grants for the arts, as well as listings of arts and culture organizations, event and performance venues, public officials and art commissions by Coachella Valley city, and resources for free and/or low-cost legal, professional, and technical assistance.

Initiated and continue to publish monthly arts and culture itineraries for distribution to the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and local media as well as in CDAC e-newsletters and on

CDAC’s start-up agreement with the CVB expired, by its terms, at the end of March 2018. Under the agreement, the CVB had contributed $50,000 annually to support the creation of a nonprofit organization to grow and sustain the creative sector in the area. The CVB will continue to provide sales and marketing support to CDAC, and CDAC will also seek additional partnerships with entities that share our goals and objectives.

La Quinta Arts Foundation (LQAF), which provided the majority of the initial capital required to fund the startup of CDAC, has determined to increase annual contributions to ensure CDAC has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission.

We are proud to deliver on the promise of our organization’s mission. CDAC has emerged as the region’s go-to organization for information, resources, and collaboration in the creative sector.

In fiscal year 2018-19, we look forward to exploring large-scale events that will sustain CDAC and attract visitation by the largely untapped (and high-spending) cultural tourist, while also creating opportunities for the desert’s creative community.

And, we want hear your thoughts and ideas for the upcoming season and beyond.

Please send comments and questions to


Photo: From “Where There’s Smoke,” an April 2018 group exhibition at the High Desert project space Scranch.