Arts Master Plan a work in progress

by Gloria Locke, Staff Writer 562 views0

arts_summitHundreds of artists and arts patrons quickly filled the round table seating for the Santa Clarita Arts and Entertainment Summit hosted and facilitated by the City of Santa Clarita. As additional accommodations were set up for the overflow, city staffers and attendees were delighted with the huge response to the next step in the Arts Master Plan.

Mayor Marsha McLean opened the event with an enthusiastic welcome.

“I just happen to be the mayor of the City of Santa Clarita. I want you to know that if I were not the mayor, I would be sitting right out there with all of you because I love the arts,” said Mayor Marsha McLean.

The City of Santa Clarita Arts Commissioners and Councilmember TimBen Boydston took part in the discussion process coordinated by the Arts, Events, and Community Services Division.

An overview of the previous Master Plan and an outline of steps toward the next phase of planning was presented by David Plettner-Saunder, who helped pen the first phase in 1997-1998. The City allocated $75,000 toward the next phase slated for a ten-year plan. Summit attendees were invited to voice feedback in roundtable discussions, some in popcorn-style and others methodically going around the table, to ascertain three main points:

What does one like about the current arts opportunities in Santa Clarita
What are the challenges and
What solution(s) can one offer to address the challenges

These filters were applied to topics in rotating “breakout” sessions:
1. Arts education and lifelong learning in the arts

2. Public and private arts funding

3. Arts facilities

4. Next steps for public art

5. Arts programs for children and families

6. Arts and entertainment programming for adults

7. Newhall Arts District

8. Celebrating Western heritage

9. Advancing the arts community

10. Support for individual artists

11. Programming with/for Millennials

12. Other

Upon completion of the event, moderators were asked to announce a common theme voiced by the table participants. According to the table leaders, a repetitive concern was vocalized.

‘An affordable multi-use facility for gallery, performing space, workspace, office space for non-profits groups and artists – as well as a central website or app to provide better communication of arts happenings and providers.’

Going forward, the City requests residents to complete an online survey at www.santa-clarita.com.

“The City wants to hear from every single resident. We absolutely need to hear from you,” says Mayor McLean.

A follow-up summit is being scheduled for the summer.

Highlights of the event can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/WhzVMr4jpss