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Panel seeks artists for grant awards

Posted: March 11, 2010 10:25 p.m.
Updated: March 12, 2010 6:30 a.m.

The Santa Clarita Arts Commissioners, from left to right: John Dow, Michael W. Millar, Sandra Fisher, Paul Strickland and Eric Schmidt.

The Santa Clarita Arts Commission is looking to hand out $50,000 in grant money to some deserving artists.

At its meeting Thursday, the commission will receive grant applications for the "Santa Clarita Presents" grant program.

"The commission's ratings (of the applications) will determine the funding for this cycle of funding," said Phil Lantis, director of the city's Arts and Events office. The "Santa Clarita Presents" grant program provides financial assistance to local nonprofit arts organizations that stage productions at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.

Qualifying organizations can receive up to $7,500 each.

The Arts Commission was formed late last year for the purpose of promoting the arts in Santa Clarita.

"We are in the process of drawing up a blueprint for the arts," said commission Chairman Michael W. Millar. "We are establishing important arts initiatives for 2010 to help foster growth in the following key areas: education, leadership, economic development/fundraising, marketing and communication, facilities, and public art."

Commissioners were appointed by City Council members; each is heading up a committee to establish an "arts blueprint."
John Dow, president of the Santa Clarita Symphony, heads the marketing and communications committee.

Millar, who is a music industry professional and member of the Cal Poly Pomona faculty, is heading up the leadership and fundraising committee.

Eric Schmidt, composer and a member of the USC Thorton School of Music faculty, is chairing the facilities committee.

Paul Strickland, Hart board president and animation arts professional, heads the education committee.

Sandra Fisher, local artist and former president of the Santa Clarita Artists' Association, has taken the helm of the public arts policy committee.

"A sound public art program will not only provide aesthetic benefits, but economic ones," Fisher said, "by creating a city that attracts residents, tourists and business; raising home values, providing an educated work force, increasing retail sales and spurring investment."

Anyone interested in participating on one of the committees can contact the arts commissioners via e-mail at or in person at the Art Commission meetings.

The Art Commission meets the third Thursday of every month beginning at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, first floor of City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd.


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