The following is from the Dec. 10 meeting of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission.
Commission mulls arts center funding option
Commissioner Pat Kollenda proposed a set amount of funds from the Business Improvement District be allocated annually to a special trust fund for a future city cultural arts facility.
The proposed trust account would attract future donors and matching gifts, Kollenda said.
“It’s really important for the Arts Commission to have a long-term goal," she said.
“If we don’t get started, it will never happen," Commissioner Mary Ferguson said.
The commissioners unanimously agreed to begin pursuing the possibility during the next budget cycle.
Palette Exhibition winners awarded
The commission approved the palette committee’s recommendation of designs for the Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition, which will be displayed in City Hall.
Many of the young winners were present to receive certificates printed with their palettes’ images.
Sculpture pad location approved
The commission approved the site for a permanent sculpture pad where a birdbath currently stands at the Laguna Beach County Water District.
The site would house temporary sculptures on a revolving basis.
Frontage Road sculpture location discussed
The commission discussed the possibility of adding one or two permanent sculptures on the Laguna Canyon frontage road, near the bridge leading to Festival Center and the Sawdust Art Festival grounds.
The decision was postponed until planned road improvements in the area are completed next year.
Midwestern artist program discussed
Commissioner Suzi Chauvel reported on her recent trip to Paducah, Ky., which has created an artist relocation program in conjunction with its local bank to attract artists and arts-related businesses to the town.
The rural town began the program in 2001 by offering 100% real estate financing to artists and arts-related business owners in a neighborhood designated as the new arts district.
The plan allows artists to have their home, gallery and studio space under one roof at affordable pricing, averaging around $150,000.
Chauvel reported that for every dollar the city spent on the program, it has received $14 back.
The commissioners discussed how a similar program would fare in Laguna, with its much higher property values. Ferguson suggested waiving city permitting fees for artists, similar to the waivers granted to Bluebird Canyon landslide victims.
"” Candice Baker