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Arts commission is up for approval

Second reading on formation could happen when council returns from hiatus

Posted: May 28, 2009 9:02 p.m.
Updated: May 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.
It looks like 2010 may be the breakout year for Santa Clarita’s still unformed arts commission.

Arts and Events Administrator Phil Lantis hopes to give the city council a presentation on the planned commission before the council goes on its summer hiatus in early July.

If the council approves the commission before going on break in July and August, the decision will be continued to a second reading at the end of summer, Lantis said.

The council approved the formation of an arts commission last January, directing the city’s eight-member Arts Advisory Council to develop a plan and return for approval.

“It takes a long time to do this sort of thing,” Lantis said Thursday.

Once the commission has received final approval, there will be an open application period for potential members, Lantis said.

Lantis could not talk about specifics, but said the hope is to see strong community involvement with the commission.

Sherry Klahs, chair of the advisory council, said she has concerns about the City Council’s response.

“It’s a little different,” she said. “We want to be a more hands-on commission. I don’t feel like you can do that with (a typical commission’s) five people.”

Lantis is hopeful commissioners can be selected by late fall.

Going into 2010, he expects the commission will be focused on building bridges between artists and the community at large.

The formation of a city arts commission comes more than 10 years after local artists first approached the city for assistance.

The Arts Alliance — now called 661Arts — was formed after local arts organizations approached the city in 1996.

In December 1997, the City Council approved the Cultural Arts Master Plan, or CAMP, which initially focused on assessing the needs of the art community. Phase two, adopted in 1998, recommended the city should serve as a local arts agency and focus on facilities.

Since then, the city invested in the Canyon Theatre Guild, the Repertory East Playhouse, restoration of the Newhall Auditorium and the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.


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