Illece Buckley Weber
City: Agoura Hills City
Position Seeking: Councilmember
Question 1: Please share the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up.
I grew up in Encino California. My family traveled quite a bit and my fondest memory at age 13 was our visit to the Accademia in Florence, Italy to see Michelangelo’s David. From that point on, I became a fan of art and my love of art has brought me to the 21st century’s live street art and everything in between. As a teenager, I became a lover of music and from the 1970’s through the present day, I frequent venues around the world for all genres of music.
Question 2: What do you think should be the role of City Council in the development and support of the region's arts and cultural infrastructure?
As Mayor of the City of Agoura Hills this past year, I successfully pushed for the expansion of our Cultural Arts Council. Among its many events this past year to highlight cultural arts in our community, the CAC purchased the City’s 21st piece of art for our Art in Public Places, held its first Celebrate the arts event with a tribute/film festival spotlighting screenwriters and continued its teen fine art competition and solo artist show. I am a strong supporter of the arts and am proud of highlighting the issue during my term on the City Council.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in achieving that vision?
My vision for Agoura Hills absolutely includes art and culture which brings the community together. From our Art in Public Places to our fabulous antique stores in the historic Whizin Marketplace, our residents support our programs that focus on art and culture We expect the development of the Agoura Village over the next few years and I will advocate for public gathering places for moving art installations. We are also looking at the necessary infrastructure to display art at our new Recreation and Event Center.
Questions 4: A recent report by the Otis College of Design found that 1 in every 7 jobs in LA County is supports the creative sector and economy in Los Angeles County. What strategies, if any, would you pursue to enhance the region’s creative economy (i.e. cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit organizations)?
During my term on the City Council we have established a Tourist Improvement District with the City of Thousand Oaks. We are marketing our two cities as a great place to visit and culture and arts in the region are critical to its success. Between our two cities, we have numerous venues to promote the arts and culture. We have a website, www.91301.org, specifically to inform visitors of what’s happening locally. I estimate that half of the working residents in the City of Agoura Hills are employed in the creative sector so it’s critical that we embrace it.