“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen,” ~ Leonardo da Vinci Since incorporating in 1987, the City of Santa Clarita has been committed to creating and supporting a vibrant local arts and entertainment community. The City’s first cultural arts plan, created in the ‘90s, produced several popular events which are still enjoyed by residents today. The two largest are The Cowboy Festival in the spring and the summer favorite, Concerts in the Park. These key events give our community a chance to enjoy a cultural experience locally in Santa Clarita. In an effort to continue this commitment to local arts, the City established the Arts Commission in December of 2009. Since then, the Arts Commission has helped outline a variety of arts programs including the Arts Master Plan, a 10-year roadmap for arts, entertainment and cultural development in Santa Clarita. The plan encompasses topics such as public art, arts funding, the Old Town Newhall Arts and Entertainment District, arts facilities and the City’s creative economy. Supporting the creative economy is a key element of the Arts Master Plan, encouraging creative enterprises in designing, film making, music and even landscape architecture. In step with the goals of the Arts Master Plan, there is a new arts hub on the revitalized Main Street in Old Town Newhall. The City Council recently approved a lease of the former Repertory East Playhouse, which is in the heart of the City’s Arts and Entertainment District. This City location will now be known as The MAIN, an acronym for Municipal Arts In Newhall, and will allow for more cultural facilities and arts spaces as planned in the Arts Master Plan and the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan. Already, the City utilizes the venue for Thursdays@Newhall events and as a performance space as part of the annual Cowboy Festival. In addition, The MAIN’s lobby functions as a versatile art gallery, bringing the City’s total art display spaces to eight. For the month of April, The MAIN will play host to Western themed works by Jorin Bossen. He is a contemporary, figurative painter residing in Downtown, Los Angeles. Bossen has participated in multiple exhibits across the United States. His large scale paintings possess a cinematic quality reminiscent of old Western movies; combining the use of composition, texture, detail and lack of detail, drips, and lines to achieve his unique look. An artist reception will be held at The MAIN on Thursday, April 20 from 7-9 p.m. The remaining seven galleries are spread out through the City at The Old Town Newhall Library, Canyon Country Library, Valencia Library, the First Floor Gallery at City Hall, Newhall Community Center, the Town Center Art Space at Westfield Valencia Town Center and The Community Wall at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Many of the exhibits are developed through a Call to Artists, where the City will request artwork centered on a theme. All submissions will be reviewed and a variety will be selected for exhibition. To receive these calls, sign up for the City’s eNotify at santa-clarita.com/Enotify. I want to encourage residents and local artists to remain active in our vibrant arts community. Please take part in our local cultural events such as the Cowboy Festival starting April 19. Come experience the amazing talent of local artists at the eight galleries in our City and be amazed by the wide range of mediums used – from gun powder to pool noodles! By being part of arts and culture in our City we can maintain, create and enhance our inspirational and entertaining arts community. The City has a convenient way to stay up to date on local arts with one central website SantaClaritaArts.com. Be sure to take a peek! Councilwoman Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.