Remember when I said the arts and culture infantry was likely just over that next hill? It’s getting closer.

A couple of emails have been making the rounds of the local arts organizations today about the news that Councilman Carl DeMaio proposes cuts to arts and culture in his financial plan.

• The first: A group of local arts and culture leaders put their heads together to respond to DeMaio’s proposed cuts. You can read their answer in the comments below our post, penned by Seema Sueko, artistic director of Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company.

Sueko touted the fact that the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture is funded entirely through the tax on hotel guests, not city residents. “The return on investment in arts and culture gives us a competitive edge when we promote San Diego as a high quality, diverse cultural destination,” she said.

Sueko will be discussing the proposed cuts on KPBS’s These Days show tomorrow at 10 a.m. along with Dalouge Smith, president and CEO of San Diego Youth Symphony. Smith is a longtime champion of public funding for arts and the outgoing chairman of the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition.

Previously, DeMaio’s spokesman Jeff Powell emphasized that the cuts are planned to be temporary, and that cutting the city’s arts and culture budget would be “appropriate and necessary” while the city faces making more cuts to police and fire.

KPBS invited DeMaio, as well, but he will not participate in the discussion due to a prior engagement.

• DeMaio will, however, be holding more public forums to talk about his budget plan in general and gather feedback to the plan from San Diego residents.

In an email, Alan Ziter, executive director of the NTC Foundation, called for representatives of arts and culture organizations to show up to Tuesday’s town hall meeting at the NTC Command Center. He touted the location’s ties to the proposed cuts. Many of the more than 40 “civic, arts and cultural organizations and artists” that call NTC home would be impacted by DeMaio’s proposed cuts, he said.

I’m the arts editor for VOSD. Have an idea for something I should write about San Diego’s arts scene? Please contact me directly at or 619.325.0531. You can also follow me on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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