The Birds of Valencia is a public art piece at Bridgeport Marketplace that can bring nostalgia for the beach. Weather officials expect SCV to heat up in the coming days. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Council approves new Civic Art Policy

Locals will soon be seeing more art around Santa Clarita.

With unanimous support, the city council approved a Civic Art Policy, which will take one percent of city funds from public projects to create an art piece.

“It is important that we are having a plan that says, ‘This is what we’re doing, this is what we’ll do,” Councilwoman Laurene Weste said. “I think this is very important for our citizens’ quality of life. I’m glad to see us move forward.”

The art budget is maxed at $1 million for each project, but Santa Clarita’s Arts and Events Manager Phil Lantis said costs will never get close to that expensive.

This would be reserved for only city-funded capital improvement projects such as parks or bus stations, not private projects.

Most often, the art piece will be located on site of the project. If the location is not suitable for an art piece, the funds will be put into an in-lieu account to be utilized for a project at another location.

“It creates an ongoing funding source and a consistent approach,” Lantis said. “We believe we will see a flourishing of art across the city.”

Through his many years in his role, Lantis said this is the first time the city has been equipped for this type of policy.

“This is perfect timing,” he said. “It really is a huge step.”

Through the policy, the art commissioners hope to enhance city spaces, increase property values, create tourism opportunities, provide access to artistic experiences and acknowledge artists.

The arts commission has grown in the time it has existed, according to Councilman Bob Kellar.

“What a phenomenal job they’ve done with this city,” Kellar said. “You’ve got to walk before you run, and this commission is running these days.”

Considering the commission’s growth, Councilman Bill Miranda said it is time to build a museum in the city.

“Let’s make sure that everything we do with the arts district and the arts commission, everything is headed toward having a culture and arts center in Santa Clarita,” Miranda said.

The program will become effective in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Commissioners will develop their civic art procedures manual by the end of this year.

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