Report-Out: Culver City Cultural Affairs Town Hall

Wed, 01/11/2012 (All day)

Jen Mulder of Vox FeminaCollaboration and partnership was the theme at the annual Culver City Cultural Affairs Town Hall, held at City Hall on January 10th, 2012.  The Cultural Affairs Commission invited members of the public to provide public comment and updates about Culver City cultural organizations.  Over 20 community members spoke, encouraging their Commissioners to continue to support Culver City's rich cultural resources and sharing information about artistic projects happening citywide.

Many speakers described collaborations with other organizations, corporations and public entities, highlighting the city's outstanding commitment to integrating its cultural resources with the business community and public sector. 

The Commissioners began the meeting by showing video highlights from the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region, which makes the connection between economic and cultural vitality.

Actor and Actors Gang Artistic Director Tim Robbins provided opening remarks, describing his organization's challenges after the financial crisis.  "We realized the way to survive a crisis is to expand... and lower prices," said Robbins, who praised the Commission for their support of local arts & culture. 

Culver City Cultural Affairs Town HallSubsequent speakers voiced concerns over the city's budget and the potential effects of the dissolution of community redevelopment agencies.  Local artist and advocate Meghan Sahli-Wells underscored the connection between arts and the economy: "In the heart of Screenland, there's no doubt that the arts are a vital part of our economy," she noted. 

The Commissioners shared information about the Cultural Affairs Department's 2011 activities and plans for 2012, including grants, community festivals and Cultural Affairs Foundation goals.  Cultural affairs staff members Susan Obrow, Jeremy Green and Christine Byers were in attendance to answer questions and listen to stakeholders. 

At the close of the meeting, Commissioner Ronnie Jayne encouraged artists and organizations to let the Commissioners know about their activities, and Commissioner Michelle Bernardin mentioned the importance of utilizing social media to connect to patrons.  Commissioner Marla Koosed, Vice Chair Marlyn Musicant, and Chair Gayle Smashey thanked the attendees.

Culver City Cultural Affairs Town HallOrganizations and businesses represented at the Cultural Affairs Town Hall included the Actors Gang, Culver City Historical Society, Culver City News, Culver City Public Theater, Culver Events Center, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Planning Committee, the Helms Bakery, the Kirk Douglas Theatre/Center Theatre Group, Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, ReDiscover Center, United States Veterans' Artist Alliance, Vox Femina, Wende Museum and West LA College

Deputy Lauren Pizer-Mains attended to represent California State Senator Curren D. Price, who chairs California's Joint Committee on the Arts.  Also in attendance were Janice Pober, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Sony Pictures, Culver City historian Julie Lugo Cerra, and Yosi Sergant, arts advocate and former Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about the Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission, please visit



Culver City Cultural Affairs Town Hall


Photos: Jen Mulder of Vox Femina provides public testimony; a stakeholder fills out a comment card; the meeting agenda; a speaker from the Wende Museum addresses the Commissioners.