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Bob Kellar: Enhancing, advancing through the arts

Live From City Hall

Posted: February 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.

The arts make life better and a whole lot more beautiful.

The Santa Clarita City Council has long believed the arts enrich a community, and, to that end, has committed to supporting the arts and arts education in Santa Clarita in a variety of ways. Some of these include public infrastructure, arts education programs and cultural events.

In 2002, the Santa Clarita City Council supported the formation of the Arts Advisory Committee and, in 2009, supported the formation of the city’s first Arts Commission.

Both entities were founded on the idea of promoting, supporting and developing arts and culture for the benefit of citizens, arts organizations, artists and businesses of the Santa Clarita Valley, in addition to facilitating economic development of the city through the arts.

In our nearly 25 year history, Santa Clarita’s support of the arts has been instrumental in helping to create a unique sense of place. Events, from concerts in the parks and the new monthly Art Walk in Old Town Newhall, to the annual Cowboy Festival and Earth Arbor Day, provide opportunities for residents of all ages to enjoy the arts is integral to helping inspire conversation about culture, community and the world around us.

The following are some of the ways the Santa Clarita City Council supports arts in the community:  


Access to the arts and arts education

Santa Clarita is home to the beautiful Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, a facility that is instrumental in providing access to local and regional art experiences right here in our community.

As part of the City Council’s support of the center, community arts groups have the opportunity to use the center for rehearsal and performances, while the community at large is able to enjoy community theater, dance, music, and regional and national performances not otherwise seen in Santa Clarita.

In 1994, the City Council created the Human Relations Forum, which promotes cultural diversity and awareness in our community, making Santa Clarita a place where residents of all backgrounds are celebrated.

As part of this program, painting, photography and writing are used as tools to help students understand different cultures and backgrounds and support the diversity of the world around them.


Common spaces: art in public places

Many people believe one of the only ways to enjoy an authentic art experience is to visit a museum. But with family schedules busier than ever, opportunities for exposure to the arts are most successful when they become a part of everyday life.

The city of Santa Clarita has embraced the idea of a more organic and everyday art experience with several public art exhibits and offerings in common spaces.

The city’s Common Spaces: Art in Public Places campaign includes: the California Bear Project, which captures a bit of California history with six uniquely designed “Monarch of the Mountains” bears (the largest grizzly bear on record); galleries, including three rotating exhibits at Westfield Valencia Town Center and City Hall; more than six murals that can be found throughout Santa Clarita and include a variety of oversized painted canvas spaces depicting the beauty, culture, and historic points of interest in Santa Clarita; sculptures add life to parks, Town Center Drive and other common spaces in Santa Clarita, with each constructed differently raw steel, metal, plastic, wire, rock or marble; and integrated art, which includes art experiences and unique works on trash cans, at Veterans Historic Plaza, and through the new Art2Go program, through which one-of-a-kind art can be purchased at city events.


Enjoy Santa Clarita’s art

The arts not only improve learning, but also encourage children to develop skills. The arts encourage new ways of thinking about a problem and invite the audience to consider perspectives outside their own and allow the viewers to see new patterns and embrace things that are different, while inspiring a vision for something new. That’s why the arts have been a big part of our past, and will be an even larger component of Santa Clarita’s future. 

For more information about how you can enjoy the arts in Santa Clarita, please visit

You’ll find information about a variety of arts offerings in the community, as well as a comprehensive, downloadable map detailing public art.

So, the next time you have a free afternoon or even a few hours, why not check out a local, live performance or enjoy an art outing in your own community? I think you’ll be surprised by the amount and variety of art available right in your own backyard.

Bob Kellar is a Santa Clarita city councilman and can be reached at: 


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