Malibu Arts Commission addresses Malibu Arts Center results

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Commissioners propose to name the Malibu Arts Center after longtime resident and actor Dick Van Dyke 

The Malibu Arts Commission reviewed the Malibu Arts Center survey results on Feb. 28 and received 512 responses; 441 responses were from Malibu residents; 383 were from full-time Malibu residents; 51 percent were from individuals over the age of 60.

The survey was collected from Dec. 6 through Feb. 6.

Ninety-five percent of responses want an arts center in Malibu. Eighty-six percent want a theatre/auditorium; 78 percent want a film and screen; 71 percent want an art gallery; 65 percent want an event space; and 52 percent want an art studio. 

As for operating the arts center, 214 respondents were in favor of a nonprofit with board members; 194 of respondents were in favor of the city with oversight by the commission. 

Acting Community Service Director Kristin Riesgo said the next step would be to provide a recommendation to City Council and hope to add their 2023-2024 work plan. 

Riesgo said City Council will have a special meeting on March 22 and will review work plan prioritizes. 

Malibu Arts Commissioner Vice Chair Fireball Tim Lawrence said he has spoken to City Council members Doug Stewart and Paul Grisianti and said in an effort to encourage an arts center, he proposes to name the arts center after longtime Malibu resident and actor Dick Van Dyke.

“I think that this could solidify the direction and the desire for the community to have this and that’s to attach Dick Van Dyke’s name to the Arts Center,” Lawrence said. “I don’t think there’s a person on the planet that doesn’t love what Dick has done in his career and what he has done for this community in many ways.”  

Commissioners agreed with naming the Arts Center after him.

During public comment, Planning Commissioner John Mazza addressed the survey and said the survey doesn’t cover the entire Malibu population.

“We can’t force people to do the survey, we can’t control how many people do it, the best we can do as a commission, is put out there a general what it is that people want, and the response that we got is not from everybody, but we can’t move forward without anything, there’s no way to do a survey and get everyone’s opinion in Malibu,” Lawrence said. “We’re a Hollywood town that has no theater, no movie theatre — none of that, and we want to bring that back; and we felt that putting out a survey was a smart direction to go.” 

Mazza said the Arts Commission needs to push the proposal and get “general acceptance.”

Commissioner Julia Holland said the survey was an initial survey until the council does a real survey.

“I know I was admin about it but I said ‘let’s just do one,’ just to get the conversation out there and get peoples awareness and I feel like we accomplished that,” Holland said. 

For staff updates, Riesgo said the upcoming items include the City Council’s review of the commission’s mid-year report and commission assessments for fiscal year 2023-2024.