Decisions must be made as to what the purpose of the council would be and how it would function.
By Andrisa Anderson/Special to The Malibu Times
Ideas flowed freely at Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich’s Friday meeting to create a Malibu Arts Council. About 30 Malibu artists of various types- including dancers, tile makers and painters-showed up for the discussion to create a commission that Conley Ulich said she hoped would establish Malibu’s own art identity and highlight resident artists. During her campaign for City Council, Conley Ulich said the creation of an arts council was one of her major goals.
Most of the meeting’s participants said they would want the arts council to be an independent body from the city, unlike the Planning or Parks and Recreation Commissions. But the organization could receive some funding from the city like the Malibu Labor Exchange does. The participants agreed it would be beneficial for the proposed council to register as a 501c3 nonprofit group, so that it would be able to raise funds.
One of the issues discussed at the meeting was how to get more residents interested in an arts council. An idea proposed was to start a buzz by informing people about a movement to start an arts council at the Malibu Arts Festival, which takes place at the Civic Center area later this month. Conley Ulich said, in addition to distributing information on the concept of creating the council, the council organizers should introduce a contest for Malibu residents to create a logo for the commission. She said this would get people involved as they try to come up with a symbol, and if an excellent one is turned in, it could be used for future fundraisers on t-shirts and other products.
The logo could be used to market and generate money for the council. The money received could go to funding art in the city and a grant program where financial assistance would be allocated to support artists and art organizations.
Another issue discussed at the meeting was how art should be defined.
“Art is so broad,” said Michael Zakian, a Pepperdine art professor and director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art. “I could easily see it spinning out of control unless there’s an effort to try and define specific functions [of the committee] and be very concrete about what we’re going to accomplish in each area.”
What exactly the council would want to accomplish was not agreed upon, but Conley Ulich had so far created a tentative mission statement for the council.
Included in it were ideas of enriching citizens and promoting local businesses and artisans while developing innovative art programs.
Not envisioned at the meeting was the answer to an important question for those present: What does Malibu want and what is it willing to support?
It was suggested that a survey or a communication network be used to ask Malibu residents what is desired of the group. Another meeting is scheduled to take place Friday at 10 a.m. at City Hall.