Civilizations are remembered by their culture and the arts are what define us within the human experience. As we face challenges in the world, our nation, state and community, the Santa Monica Arts Commission advocates an even greater need to come together as a community. In these tough economic times, we commit to continuing to provide access to the arts and culture that abound in our city.Indeed, the arts are uniquely central to the culture of Santa Monica where forty-three percent of our residents are employed in the arts. Beyond the economic impact, the citizens of Santa Monica see their city as center of creativity as evidenced by the emphasis on culture in the City’s recent planning documents (LUCE, Creative Capital and the Civic Center Specific Plan).The Arts Commission has long focused on programs that increase access and participation –Jazz on the Lawn, Airport Art Walk, Santa Monica Festival, GLOW and the programming at the Miles Memorial Playhouse to name just a few. Individual organizations have responded with programs like “pay what you can” at various venues throughout Santa Monica.The arts are not an extra, something beyond what we need day to day. They are a necessity: allowing us to keep our sanity in tough times, feeding our soul with culture, and providing a sense of community. The arts renew us and bring us together. In times of need we must sustain our investment in the cultural life of Santa Monica.Sincerely, Santa Monica Arts CommissionMaya Emsden, Arts Commissioner * * * *This note is a follow up to our very long conversation regarding the late posting of “No Parking” signs on Ocean Avenue – via permit #06644. The removal of about 100 parking places forces 100’s of cars (over the 10 hours) to find alternative parking on our local streets.While this is not an ideal situation for the citizens of Santa Monica, it is something we deal with. It brings in much need funds and makes Santa Monica a desirable place to shoot commercials, TV shows, movies, and host the occasional wedding.But it is only fair to the citizens of Santa Monica that the police and other city departments force those buying these permits to live up to the letter of the law. But I am hopeful that someone will address these concerns which are generated by a problem that has been ongoing since 1985 when I moved here.I ask only that the citizens of Santa Monica be given the same courtesy.All the best,Tom HallSanta Monica, Ca
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