By Mayor Cameron Smyth
The City of Santa Clarita has long been known as a City of the Arts. With public art pieces on display throughout the City, as well as free art galleries in City facilities with rotating exhibits, residents of Santa Clarita enjoy a wide variety of engaging and enriching opportunities on a daily basis.
In Old Town Newhall — the City’s burgeoning Arts and Entertainment District — crowds have been entertained weekly with comedy, theatre, concerts and more at The MAIN. However, in the time of COVID-19, these opportunities for residents have shifted online.
Since March, the staff at The MAIN and in the City’s Arts and Events Division have worked to expand their offerings of one-of-a-kind entertainment and programming so that it is accessible to Santa Clarita residents online. As many of you have seen, The MAIN is continuing to host both fun and interactive events for our community for free, even though the theater itself is currently closed. Monthly shows have been recorded and shared on The MAIN’s Facebook page, including the 10 by 10 variety night and the You’re The Best community talent show.
I want to say thank you to the residents and performers who have worked with the City to record performances to share with viewers. Not only have your talents been seen by a large segment of Santa Clarita, but you are also bringing laughter and comfort to friends and neighbors during a time that has been extremely uncertain.
The MAIN has also resumed production on its New Heights Artist Development Workshop series. One of the reasons why Santa Clarita has become a City of the Arts is that our residents are musicians, painters, animators, graphic designers, filmmakers and more. New Heights supports the personal and professional development of these artists by presenting a topic each month that helps these individuals further their careers. Topics have included tips for songwriters, how to set up a home recording studio and a discussion on art as a business.
I also want to highlight a new and unique offering from The MAIN: virtual plays as part of the Stage On Screen Theatre Fest. The SOS Theatre Fest is the Santa Clarita Valley’s live online festival featuring local performers. Each week, the cast gets together for a question-and-answer session and to give a preview of the play that will be performed that week.
Each Friday during the festival, residents have been able to access a special Zoom meeting where the cast provides a live, virtual performance. At the conclusion of the play, the public is invited to participate in an audience talkback to ask questions, provide feedback and interact with the performers. The City thanks the local theatre companies and staff at The MAIN for collaborating on this unique and creative series.
The performers you see as part of the SOS Theatre Fest, also stage productions in Santa Clarita at The MAIN and other venues. As restrictions lift on public gatherings and these shows are able to go on with live audiences in person, I ask that you show them your support by purchasing tickets.
If you have not done so, I encourage you to connect with The MAIN on Facebook and plan a family watch party for the next virtual event. It’s safe to say that you may see something that you never have before!
For more information about virtual events put on by The MAIN, connect with The MAIN on Facebook at facebook.com/themainnewhall or visit atthemain.org.
Mayor Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]
clarita.com. The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.