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February 27
1950 - Ex-Mrs. William S. Hart appears in court to challenge will that leaves Hart Park & Mansion to L.A. County [story]
Winifred Westover


Arts experts from outside the Santa Clarita Valley will have a say on who and how much grant funding local organizations can receive for community arts programs and services, following a divided vote by the City Council.

On Tuesday, council members voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Marsha McLean casting the lone “no” vote on approving a change in the rating process for the city’s arts grants program, a discussion that also led to the awarding of $180,000 for the 2020 grant cycle.

Over the last 30 years, the city has provided annual funds for community organizations through the Community Services and Arts Grants program. This year, a total of 19 organizations will receive funding from $90,000 for community services projects and 16 agencies with arts programs will receive from the other $90,000.

The rating process for who is chosen and how much each organization will receive fell in the hands of the cities “Grant Committee,” which includes two council members, city staff and Parks and Arts commissioners.

After Tuesday’s vote, however, the process will now follow a three-tier procedure, with a second tier that requires a review by the Arts Commission, and the third tier by the City Council. The first tier is what prompted a more thorough discussion.

The first tier, or a “peer review rating panel,” would include an arts commissioner and local arts experts joined by a regional arts advocate and art expert, who could come from other municipalities or organizations from outside the SCV. Panelists would change with each new grant cycle, according to Phil Lantis, arts and events administrator with the city.

The City Council first discussed the matter in December, asking staff to clarify who could join the panel as an art expert.

Standing behind what she had originally voiced, McLean said Tuesday, “Nobody knows our community like we (do) here. I cannot vote for this unless we take out the part where we have outside entities deciding what our local nonprofits are going to be getting.”

Those in favor thought that insight from outside the SCV might improve the process with a different perspective.

“We believe that this is going to make our grant process, stronger, more fair, better input for those applicants,” said Michael Miller, a Santa Clarita arts commissioner in favor of the three-tier system, “and we support it totally.”

Before seconding a motion to approve the change, Councilman Bob Kellar said not supporting the Arts Commission’s take on the ratings-process change would be a “serious mistake.”

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LATEST CITY HEADLINES
Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020
Tickets are now on sale for special events at the 27th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, to be presented by California Resources Corporation at William S. Hart Park in Old Town Newhall on April 18 and 19.
Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020
The city of Santa Clarita will host another public meeting for residents to discuss and provide feedback on biking and walking solutions in the community on Wednesday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020
While city and mall officials said as of Tuesday they’ve yet to hear from any members of Santa Clarita Safe and Strong, which was formed to appeal the proposed Patios Connection mall expansion, a lawyer for the group, who’s so far the only member to come forward, contends his numbers are growing.
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
As Election Day approaches, the city of Santa Clarita wants residents to be aware that Vote by Mail ballots are a convenient and cost-effective option.
Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
The discussion for a proposed Orchard Village medical building development returns to City Hall on Tuesday as the City Council is expected to vote on the project’s final map.

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