As “vision” is a noun, there is no such word as “visioning.”
Nevertheless, taking a leaf from the Planning Department playbook, the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division, in its words, “is embarking on a visioning process to discover the cultural needs and desires of the Santa Monica community.”
Through workshops and surveys, residents are being invited to take part in shaping Santa Monica’s cultural landscape for the next ten years. The process has been geared to increase participation in the city’s cultural life and identify short and long-term goals and priorities.
To that end, the Cultural Affairs division will hold two open workshops to solicit individual perspectives, visions and aspirations for the cultural future of Santa Monica. At the workshops, a range of topics will be covered, including ways in which the arts can enhance the quality of life in Santa Monica; what government can do to make the cultural landscape of the city livelier, the means by which arts and cultural programming can address troubling social issues; and the ways in which City Hall can support and invigorate the town’s artistic assets.
Workshop participants will not only discuss existing programs but suggest new activities.
The first workshop will be held on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. at the Santa Monica Museum of Art at Bergamot Station at 2525 Michigan Avenue.
The second workshop, on Wednesday, May 18, at 6 p.m. is scheduled for Miles Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Boulevard.
In addition to the workshops, the City is also distributing a survey on current cultural activities in the community. City staff and volunteers will hand out surveys at the Santa Monica Festival at Clover Park on May 14. Copies of the survey are also available at City Hall and in all branches of the Santa Monica Library. People who are unable to attend the workshops are encouraged to fill out surveys so that their opinions can be included in the final report.
The existing Santa Monica Cultural Arts Master Plan was developed in 1992 and updated in 1996.
Santa Monica has always been a kind of magnet for artists in all media – from painting to poetry, movies to architecture, theater to rock and roll, sculpture to dance, and its galleries and theater companies, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, 18th Street Arts Center, Highways and Bergamot Station, are bastions of new art.
For additional information on the City of Santa Monica Arts Commission and Cultural Affairs Division, please call (310) 458-8350 or visit the division’s website at www.arts.santa-monica.org.