Arts Commission to review ‘unfinished business,’ Regional Strategic Arts Education Plan  

Santa Clarita residents have a new temporary public art piece to enjoy following the recent installation of “Endangered Fossils,” which is the latest sculpture to join the city of Santa Clarita’s Public Art collection. Courtesy photo
Signal file photo.

The Santa Clarita Arts Commission is slated to provide an update on the Santa Clarita Regional Strategic Arts Education Plan, including relaying information on the delay in the plan, according to its agenda packet for Thursday’s meeting.  

The city of Santa Clarita adopted an Arts Master Plan in March 2016 and one of the sections focused on arts education. The Arts Education Collaborative formed in July 2019.  

The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture presented the Santa Clarita Regional Strategic Arts Education Plan in December 2021. The plan was designed to enhance arts and creative education in the Santa Clarita community.  

Patti Rasmussen, vice chair of the Arts Commission, said they felt it was very important to reach out to provide arts education to the youth in various mediums. “What can we offer the kids in our community?” 

The strategic planning process took place in two phases: pre-planning and the actual strategic planning phase. The pre-planning phase involved community leaders uniting to set objectives and expectations. The strategic planning phase established guiding principles to define the plan’s scope and intent. These principles included building a sense of community, fostering shared understanding of the importance of education, utilizing the arts to celebrate diversity and finding a unique model for arts and arts education in the community.   

Strengths of the plan were identified as ongoing community art initiatives, a well-developed city arts website, good marketing of arts events and various arts programs and events. Challenges included the need for focused vision, funding sources and re-educating the community about the importance of arts education.  

The city aims to achieve the plan’s vision elements – inspiring and innovative professional development, comprehensive and diverse arts education, dynamic career pathways in the arts and a commitment to inclusivity, accessibility and cultural responsiveness in delivering arts programs – in five years.  

“Having young kids in school and keeping arts alive is huge on our priority list,” said Rasmussen.  

The plan has three areas of focus: Infrastructure and sustainability, programming and professional development and diverse and inclusive community. There are 31 strategies with action steps under these focus areas.  

Thirteen of these strategies were prioritized for phase one. Phase one was originally slated to begin in January 2022 and end in December 2023. According to the agenda packet, progress has been made on the majority of the strategies, but several remain in the development process. They are expected to be completed in 2024.  

The plan is under the “unfinished business” section in the agenda packet. Rasmussen said this is due to the “ongoing and never-ending” nature of the plan.  

Phil Lantis, arts and events manager for the city, is slated to discuss the exact details regarding the plan’s delays and the timeline moving forward.  

The Santa Clarita Arts Commission is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.  

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