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Santa Clarita: Shaping an arts district

City commission working block-by-block to help enhance goal

Posted: March 18, 2013 5:11 p.m.
Updated: March 18, 2013 5:11 p.m.

Jordan Berger of Valencia twists glow sticks as disc jockey Victor Martinez plays dance music during the first "Art Slam" display of themed art in downtown Newhall earlier this month. The monthly celebrations of art are part of plans to turn Newhall into an arts and entertainment district. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre

More theaters, additional restaurants and open-air art galleries are all possibilities in the goal of turning downtown Newhall into Santa Clarita’s arts and entertainment capital, according to members of the city’s Arts Commission.

The Santa Clarita Arts Commission has been poring over aerial photographs and block-by-block assessments of the Newhall area looking for opportunities to meet that goal, said John Dow, chairman of the commission.

“We wanted to see what kind of amenities we currently have and then we brainstormed what some future potential ideas or amenities could be,” Dow said of the commission’s last meeting Thursday night.

The session was a preliminary one, Dow said, to get ideas flowing.

“We wanted to get some thoughts on future programs or amenities we would like to have that would enhance or enable the concept (of an arts and entertainment district),” Dow said.

The commission plans to come up with specific proposals for emphasizing the arts in Newhall, he said.

Meanwhile, Santa Clarita threw out the welcome mat Monday to potential sponsors of a planned art piece for the upcoming roundabout in Newhall.

Santa Clarita officials plan a roundabout where Main Street meets Newhall Avenue. A large work of art is planned for the center, though no one has said what it would be.

“Encompassing all the charm and modern sophistication of a premier cultural arts hub, Old Town Newhall offers exclusive and unsurpassed cultural and dramatic expressions, and I am inviting you to be a partner and help us make this specific public art project possible,” Mayor Bob Kellar said in a statement.

Plaques bearing the names of agencies, businesses and individuals who make the public art possible through donations will be located inside the roundabout, the statement said.
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