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Phil Lantis talks about art in SCV at ARTree meeting

Posted: May 18, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 18, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Like many of us here in Santa Clarita, Phil Lantis was born and educated somewhere else. A farm in a small Oregon town was his home, and he studied film at State University of New York in Purchase, which, according to census data, has just over 27,000 people. That makes Santa Clarita a metropolis by comparison, but Lantis’s small town background is a good fit for staging art and events in this growing community.

Lantis started working part-time for the city in 1993, leaving for a brief time in the late 1990’s to serve as the Executive Director of the Theatre Arts for Children Foundation. That project was dedicated to restoring the historic Newhall Elementary School auditorium, as well as offering arts education programs to local schools. This background was good training for Lantis’s current position as the city’s Arts and Events Administrator. That also makes what Lantis has to say about art in this city worth listening to at the May 21 ARTree meeting.

Lantis will talk about how arts and events are seeded, incubated, and hatched by a combination of the Art Commission, the City Council, and like-minded individuals who get their hands dirty staging the events that we enjoy. From concerts in the parks, sculptures on our boulevards, and street parties in Newhall, Lantis is the liaison with people from both inside and outside city government to stage these events. By coordinating permits, ordering equipment, arranging for staff, and using the history of what does and does not work in this city, Lantis puts an invisible but important mark on each event he is involved with. One excellent example is that Lantis was part of crafting the partnership with the Ford Theater Foundation to sponsor JAM Sessions, the newest event on the Thursday @ Newhall calendar.

Art is an important part of this city, and is also a personal part of Lantis’s life. He is a working artist who has written, directed and/or produced ten theater productions and created a number of short films. One of those films will be screened at the meeting, where Lantis will also talk about his passion for, as well as his rants and raves, about art and arts events to Santa Clarita. The ARTree Meeting will be held Wednesday, May 21, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm in the Community Room at the Old Town Newhall Library. If you have an opinion about art and events in the city, join us to share your thoughts with Phil Lantis, someone with a direct line from those visual presentations to you. You do not have to be an ARTree member to attend, and there is no charge for admission. For more information, contact Bob Hernandez at (818) 634-4180.


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