City: Santa Monica
Position Seeking: City Council
Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.
In 1979, at the Wax Museum in Victoria B.C., I experienced sculpting for the first time. There was a sculptor working on a wax statue in the hallway of the museum to detail the way that wax art is made. It blew my mind. The finest work, so – lifelike and amazing – I remember thinking WOW. This is really cool! Someone actually MAKES these statues??? Having walked past that display before going into the grand hall and winding from Never Never Land to The Royal Palace of the Taj Mahal, I had a completely magical experience having the knowledge that art is made by people too! I have never forgotten it, some forty years later. Awesome.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
As community leaders, we are charged with providing the same opportunities for the magic and wonder of creativity to our citizens as I experienced that day in B.C. Science tells us that creativity and self expression are the fabric of stable mental health, ideology, identity and peace. In Santa Monica, our civic center could easily evolve to an artistic space where people can participate in making art and contribute to our cultural infrastructure directly.
The underutilized Ice Rink can be replaced with an open space and community art facility ran by parks & rec that brings the public direct access to creativity, works of art, music and even dance.
As council member, I will take up the challenges and show up for the growing arts community; take time to rework the budgets, and enact the arts back into our communities one meeting at a time until we enjoy the community benefit of access to the arts.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
Santa Monica is a city of 12-month sunshine! Getting outside and making and celebrating culture and the arts is all that we have to commit to, the public will do the rest. I visualize a city where there are annual / monthly local arts festivals, art walks, street performances *besides the promenade wanna be Beyonce acts* and outdoor theatre and film.
I hope for community programs where locals and students, families, seniors, and underprivileged persons can all enjoy and participate in more than block-painting on paper plates at the local market.
We can work with art supply manufacturers, artists and develop sister programs with organizations like VENICE ARTS to make SAMO a more creative place.
Questions 4: A recent report by the Otis College of Design found that 1 in every 6 jobs in LA County supports the creative sector and economy in Los Angeles County. If elected, how will you aim to ensure the continued vitality and growth of the creative economy and the artistic community that it supports?
We can revitalize our city with arts programs – Enact the Green Hour to get kids and their families outside participating in art and nature an hour each day – We can invest our resources, steer volunteer efforts, invigorate parks department access and participation, and commit to sharing with surrounding communities to establish a stronger and more creative economy from Pico to Montana.
We got this. If we give the people room to make art and live a creative life, the people will foster our efforts and participate in a creative economy.