DCCD is funded by the hotel occupancy tax and supported in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The department's policies and procedures are advised by the Cultural Arts Board (CAB), whose members are appointed by City Council and the Mayor.
The department comprises four divisions: Arts Funding and SA2020, Public Art San Antonio, Strategic Initiatives & Cultural Facilities, and the San Antonio Film Commission. DCCD oversees four historic facilities – La Villita Historic Arts Village, Historic Market Square, Spanish Governor's Palace, and Mission Marquee Plaza (formerly Mission Drive-In) – where arts and culture events are staged throughout the year.
The Department for Culture & Creative Development awarded $4.7 million in FY 2014 Arts Funding contracts that supported 49 local arts/culture agencies representing an investment in 761 of events benefitting thousands of San Antonio citizens and visitors.
The Fiscal Year 2015 Arts Funding Guidelines were revamped based on community input ultimately expanding funding opportunities for local organizations and artists from two categories to five. Guidelines were approved by City Council in spring 2014. Also with the Fiscal Year 2015 funding application process, which began in 2014, the entire application process became an online system with no hard copy submissions. The online application was built by the City’s Information Technology Services Department.
Another technological achievement for the department was a new website, launched in 2014. GetCreativeSanAntonio.com became the new official website of the DCCD and guide to arts and culture in San Antonio with a full event calendar, public art map, and resources for each cultural facility. Since its launch, traffic to GetCreativeSanAntonio.com has more than doubled from the amount of traffic on sahearts.com (DCCD’s previous official site).
A total of five public art projects were completed in FY 2014. A total of 18 artists were selected and approved for 11 different public art projects planned across the city, including Hemisfair and Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
Some of the more notable projects include:
- “Urban Porch” Westside public art bus shelters at the intersection of Guadalupe and Brazos Streets, completed by local design team Andrea Caillouet, Lisa Reese, and Jack Harrison
- Interior art installations at Café Commerce completed by local artist Ethel Shipton
- “Prairie Grass” completed by artist Beth Galston at Northwest Service Center
The department was also recognized nationally for its public art efforts. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded DCCD an Our Town Grant for the public art program, “X Marks the Art,” an initiative to activate vacant downtown storefronts with art and temporary installations.
As the SA2020 Arts & Culture lead partner, DCCD continued to incorporate SA2020 goals into its plans. San Antonio’s second Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero was appointed for the 2014-2016 term.
The Department for Culture & Creative Development implemented the arts education project Traveling Trunks with the San Antonio Museum of Art and Pre-K 4 SA. Traveling Trunks, available to schools free of charge, are intended for children ages 3-6 to develop literacy and numeracy skills by incorporating art into lesson plans.
In Fiscal Year 2014, DCCD’s cultural facilities (La Villita Historic Arts Village, Historic Market Square, Spanish Governor's Palace) continued to offer year-round event programming with improved, consistent marketing strategies. Two of the year’s popular events were Dia de los Muertos (La Villita and Market Square) and the San Antonio Coffee Festival (La Villita). Mission Marquee Plaza (formerly Mission Drive-in) officially opened with a summer schedule that began with Paletas y Poesia (Popsicles and Poetry) featuring Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero. A summer film series was also held at Mission that drew an average of 2,000 citizens to each screening.
Two Requests for Proposals (RFP) were released to attract tenants to La Villita Historic Arts Village – one RFP for shops/galleries, another for restaurants. The RFPs are part of an overall re-visioning for La Villita to be a part of the Decade of Downtown and reclaim its role as a downtown destination.
The department’s SA Film Commission also achieved notable success during FY 2014. San Antonio hosted NBC/Esquire Network Television series “Friday Night Tykes,” generating more than $1 million in local spending. The SA Film Commission awarded the second Local Filmmakers Grant to Mauro “Buddy” Calvo for his feature film “Stage V.” Locally-produced films “Sanitarium” and “My Dog the Champion” (2012 Local Filmmakers Grant winner) were release worldwide.