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CDAC programs unify, empower, and promote the arts in the California desert.


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Armando Lerma puts the finishing touch on a mural for Coachella Walls. Credit: GPS CVB


Tourism is one of the most important sectors of our region’s economy, and art and culture play a defining and critical role in attracting first-time and repeat visitors.

The Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) seeks to grow annual visitation from the current 12 million people to more than 16 million people by 2026. To achieve this goal, we must grow and nurture the creative economy in a way that boosts tourism and raises the cultural profile of the destination.

CDAC, in collaboration with the CVB, is spearheading a multi-year brand and engagement campaign to differentiate, promote, and brand our region as a center for art and culture.




Greater Palm Springs: A World Festival & Event Destination

Greater Palm Springs earned the World Festival & Event City designation from the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) in 2016, joining other premier destination cities around the globe. CDAC prepared the 60-page application, detailing our region’s world-class events and the infrastructure and support systems that ensure their success. We encourage you to add the IFEA Award logo to your website, email, and promotional efforts to spread the word that Greater Palm Springs is a World Festival & Event City.  Download logo


Creative professionals, arts organizations, and businesses are invited to participate in CDAC’s training and networking events, which include salons and panel discussions featuring experts on each session’s topic(s).


Come to Our Next Arts Salon
Hear leaders share their experiences, ideas, and advice and join in the Q&A and network with your colleagues in the arts. The salon events are free, and we provide snacks and refreshments. Join us!


Art, Censorship, and Social Change
Friday, September 22
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Heather James Fine Art, 45188 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA
Chip Tom, curator at Heather James Fine Art, and CDAC's Steven Biller discuss recent art world controversies, including Dana Schutz's painting, Open Casket, which is based on photographs of 14-year-old Emmett Till and drew protests at the Whitney Museum, and Sam Durant's sculpture, Scaffold, a representation of seven gallows used in historic U.S. government executions, including those of 38 Dakota men in Mankato, Minn., that museum officials removed from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Chip will also relate these issues to the opening of Zeitz MOCAA, the new contemporary museum in Cape Town, South Africa. Join the conversation, share your experiences, and network with your fellow artists and arts professionals. The salon is free, and refreshments will be served.

Click to RSVP


We’re Here to Help!

CDAC and its partners, including the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership and Coachella Valley Small Business Development Center, are ready to assist arts entrepreneurs who want to learn how to develop a business plan, prepare financial statements, access capital, grow audience, manage operations and human resources, integrate technology, achieve sustainability, and gain information and advice about industry and local economic trends.

Contact us for a professional coaching referral


Technical assistance

Our team can help you navigate the process of event production, public art planning and programming, and more. Contact us for assistance or a referral

Big Strategies and Real Tactics for Connecting Artists, Audience, And Place

Joseph Yoshitomi (left) and Ben Stone

CDAC and Americans for the Arts' National Arts Marketing Project present a one-day workshop for arts and tourism leaders, marketers, and other creative professionals. Set for October 12 at UCR Palm Desert, the program focuses on branding, audience development, and high-impact/low-cost marketing tactics. The faculty includes Ben Stone, director of arts and culture for Smart Growth America in Washington, D.C., and Joseph Yoshitomi, principal at Straightforward Management & Consulting in Culver Cit, California.

Tickets: $75 per person


The success of the creative economy depends wholly on a robust community of creative professionals. To that end, CDAC works with local school districts, College of the Desert, CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, and UCR Palm Desert to assist with curriculum development and provide students with access to internships, mentors, and scholarships. CDAC is also the go-to resource for educators looking for creative professionals to speak about and demonstrate their work on and off campus.

Contact us to learn how we can work together.

CDAC partners with OneFuture Coachella Valley, whose mission is to help all students graduate prepared for college, career, and life — expanding and enhancing the local workforce so that our youth and economy thrive. CDAC participates in OneFuture’s Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME) Industry Council and serves as a resource for AME-oriented career academies in the region’s three public unified school districts as well as private secondary and post-secondary schools.


Our partnerships with public and business leaders will help shape cultural policy and gain funding and support for our region’s arts community.

Help support these partnerships by doing your part!



The following organizations provide resources and tools to help you speak up for the arts.


Funders Alliance of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties increases communication, collaboration, and coordination among regional funders.


Californians for the Arts increases public awareness of the importance of the arts and ensures that the arts are an ongoing part of the public dialogue.

California Alliance for Arts Education promotes, supports, and advocates for visual and performing arts education for preschool through post-secondary students in California schools.

The California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) is a statewide membership organization that brings nonprofits together to advocate for the communities we serve.


Americans for the Arts serves the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America.

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies unites, represents, and serves the nation's state and jurisdictional arts agencies.



In our effort to unify, promote, and empower local arts and culture communities, CDAC has begun establishing the Highway 111 Cultural District with several outcomes in mind:

* Brand the region as a world-class (and year-round) arts and culture destination.

* Foster collaboration between artists and organizations.

* Create professional and educational opportunities for local artists.

* Enable organizations to build and engage audiences through unified marketing.

* Provide a platform to expand the role of Hispanic, Native American, and artist communities to ensure an authentic experience and avoid displacement.

* Inspire greater pride in place.