Meghan Sahli-Wells

City: Culver City
Position Seeking: Councilmember

Question 1: Please share the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up.

My Dad is a painter, my Mom did lots of theatre & worked with writers. I was born and spent my first 6 years in Laurel Canyon surrounded by art & artists. As a baby, my Dad held me with one hand as he painted with the other. I attended an Arts Magnet School from 1-9th grades, then LA County High School for the Arts (theatre program) & majored in World Arts & Cultures at UCLA. I’m married to a graphic designer. Art has been part of my daily existence from day one!

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?

Public art, city-sponsored performances & the creation of our Arts District have been key to our city’s renaissance & current success. The City Council must continue to fund & foster the arts, including the work of the Cultural Affairs Commission, Cultural Affairs Foundation, the Art in Public Places program, & support our local arts organizations: the Actors’ Gang, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Mayme Clayton Museum, Wende Museum, US Veterans’ Artists Alliance, the soon-to-come Jazz Bakery & more. I fought for city funding for our arts administrator (after we lost State funding) & will work to expand arts staffing moving forward.

Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in achieving that vision?

My vision: make Culver City the best city in the country to raise children. We have public theatre in our parks, public concerts at City Hall, robust arts programs in our schools, and are slowly transforming Veteran’s Memorial Center into a performing arts venue. The arts make life better for our residents of all ages, in addition to being the livelihood for many of them! The arts create a great environment in which to grow and thrive.

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)?

As the Heart of Screenland, the arts are critical to Culver City’s past and future success. Our Cultural Affairs Commission is currently working on a city creative economy report. I expect to find Culver City’s creative job ratio to be larger than LA County’s!
Our economic engine is a creative one – with Sony Pictures, Culver Studios, Beats by Dre, Maker Studios & some of the best architects in the world. We’re thrilled to host the LA Film Festival for the first time this June, and excited our Arts District just formed a Business Improvement District, too!