With one of the world’s great romantic cities as a model, the City of Santa Monica will be premiering its first all-night art event, Glow, in July of 2008.
Jessica Cusick, the City’s Cultural Affairs Manager, said the event was inspired by both the momentary glow local grunion create when they come ashore several times a year to spawn their eggs in the sand and the Parisian dusk-to-dawn cultural extravaganza, Nuit Blanche (white night).
Cusick explained to the Mirror that the anticipated budget for the event is $450,000, and the City is currently seeking sponsors from private foundations and corporations. So far, $120,000 has been raised, including $40,000 from the Santa Monica-based Peter Norton Family Foundation. The investment will be worth it, in Cusick’s view, because the event “will bring international attention to the City’s large creative sector” and “increase the number of cultural tourists” to the City.
Glow will include commissioned artworks by internationally known, emerging and local artists. The City will begin calling for artists’ proposals this fall. A curatorial committee that will include representatives from local museums will then make decisions on which artists will be commissioned. Those selected will receive funding for creating their art. Cusick also mentioned a “glow in the dark fashion show is also being planned.”
The theme for the event’s art, according to Cusick, is “interactive and glowing.” Major arts installations for Glow will be on the beach, the Pier, the Palisades Bluffs, in Palisades Park and on the Third Street Promenade. The free 12-hour event will also include youth artists and events that are family-oriented.
The City’s Cultural Affairs Division has partnered with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Downtown Business District and the Pier Restoration Corporation to put on the event. Organizers are currently working on creating a Glow website and an artist mailing list so artists can be notified of opportunities to participate.
Well-known local artist John Baldessari has given permission for the City to use his Intersection Series: Two Persons Dancing/Beach Scene for the event’s graphic identity. Glow’s artistic director Marc Pally stated in the City’s event press release: “We selected this particular image due to its spirit of festival celebration on the shore as well as its sly manipulation and artful playfulness…definite attributes we expect Glow to exude.”
Cusick emphasized, “It’s a project that is really in the early planning stages.” She also noted that the City’s recent cultural planning process helped highlight the need for an event such as this in the City.
The goal for the City is to host the event every two years. So far, the only two cities besides Paris that have had similar events are Toronto and Rome.
For additional information, contact Jessica Cusick at 310.458.8350 or Jessica.Cusick@smgov.net.