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Art committee wants a commission

Posted: October 15, 2008 7:57 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Committee or commission?

It's a question the City Council tried answering during Tuesday's meeting when the five council members were presented with the issue of whether the current Arts Advisory Committee should become an arts commission.

Recognizing the need for more research, the council unanimously voted to have city staff research the advantages and disadvantages of having an arts commission. City Manager Ken Pulskamp estimated that the staff would have the report ready in January.

The current Arts Advisory Committee was formed in 2001 and includes 12 members from the arts community.

The committee serves as the selection body for public art projects in Santa Clarita and selects recipients for city grants.

The advisory committee is also credited with local arts programs, including the Santa Clarita Street Art Festival and the California Bear Project.

During discussion, all of the council members offered their support for the local arts community, but were puzzled by the purpose of a commission.

"I need to know what the commission ultimately does," Councilman Frank Ferry said.

Councilwoman Laurie Ender wasn't so concerned about the name, but rather what the commission's impact would be.

While Mayor Bob Kellar believes the name change would be "significant," he sees the need for more research.

"This is going to take some time," he said.

Throughout the discussion, Councilwoman Marsha McLean remained enthusiastic about the commission.
"I am so much in favor of forming an arts commission," she said.

During the meeting, nearly 20 members from the local arts community showed their passion for the arts by wearing red items of clothing, urged the council members to approve the formation of a commission.

"You really don't need to leave the valley anymore to get your art fix," said John Dow, director of marketing for the Santa Clarita Symphony.

Dow read a list of local art organizations, ranging from the Santa Clarita Symphony to Santa Clarita Ballet.
"If any of this is new to you," he said. "Then we need an arts commission."


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