Cultural Arts

The City of Encinitas recognizes that arts and culture are essential elements in the character and quality of life in a vibrant community. The City's commitment is evident by the many opportunities for residents, visitors, artists and arts organizations to share in our City's cultural expression through the arts. Collectively, these efforts result in a broad range of artistic opportunities for the Encinitas community.

A survey by the San Diego Foundation, A Portrait of San Diego Artists, found that Encinitas had the 2nd highest concentration of artists in San Diego County. The creative sector is the engine of urban economic development. Designers, musicians, actors, artists and other creative professionals are a catalyst for growth, creating new businesses, enhancing existing ones and attracting new residents with their performances, designs, murals and other contributions to urban vibrancy. An investment in the city’s creative economy is an investment in its long-term growth and vitality.

Commission for the Arts

The Arts Division works in partnership with the Commission for the Arts to carry out the vision of the City’s Arts Master Plan in 7 strategic areas: 

  • Advocacy 
  • Visual Art 
  • Performing Arts 
  • Public Art 
  • Arts Education 
  • Arts Venues 
  • Marketing and Audience Development 

Arts & Culture Organizations

Encinitas is home to more than 80 arts and culture organizations, along with numerous arts presenters: nonprofit organizations, businesses, community groups, mainstreet associations, and others. 

Click here for the complete list.

Encinitas Arts & Events Calendar

The monthly calendar is a service of the Cultural Arts Division and Cultural Tourism Committee.  To subscribe to "Encinitas This Week," the arts and events e-newsletter sent every Sunday morning to more than 17,000 subscribers, click HERE. To see a sample e-newsletter, click HERE

Encinitas Arts Festival 

Sunday, April 23, 2017 - FREE!
12:00 - 4:00pm - San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Center, 
800 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024

Click here for the flier. Click here for photo's!

The festival theme “Passport to the Arts” offers dance, theatre and music performances live on the outdoor amphitheater stage by students and professionals, art-making workshops, give-aways, student art exhibit, an Artist Expo with artists selling their work and offering demonstrations, community group booths, and food trucks. The festival is free of charge. Bring blankets or low back chairs for lawn seating. Sorry, no pets allowed.


Sene Africa - 12:00pm  (dance, drums and music)

Fern Street Circus - 12:40pm  

Ovation Theater - 1:15pm (youth theatre)

Ballet Folklorico - 1:50pm    

Encinitas Ballet - 2:25pm

Vocalocity Show Choir - 2:55pm    

The Parkdale Players - 3:20pm (children's theatre) 

Kehulili O Kailani – 3:45pm (Polynesian dance)

Since 2012, the City has presented the Encinitas Arts Festival, in recognition of the critical role the arts play in schools and in the community. In 2014, the festival moved to the San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Center, 800 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024 through a partnership with the San Dieguito Academy Foundation. 

“Encinitas is a city filled with art and artists. An arts festival is an important way to showcase student and professional talent and celebrate their artistic accomplishments,” said Jim Gilliam, Arts Administrator.   The focus of the festival is to highlight arts education in Encinitas public and private schools. “Research shows that the arts are vital to student success. Arts education is linked to higher test scores across all subjects, as well as lower dropout rates. They foster creativity and imagination, hallmarks of careers in the 21st century. Beyond the classroom, the arts are shown to nurture collaboration and civic engagement in young people,” said Dr. Tim Baird, EUSD Superintendent.