An Open Letter in Support of the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department

To the Honorary Members of the City Council, City Officers, Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department, members of the California Heritage Museum, friends and neighbors,

It has long been our premise that the soul of our community is its arts. Over the decades, innovative arts organizations have produced art, exceptional music and dance, theater and much more. Artists and arts organizations have gathered here because over the years, the City of Santa Monica has been noted for supporting creativity through grants and intellectual support from the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department.

It should be emphasized 100 times over that tourists flock to Santa Monica for its beautiful beaches, luxury hotels and yes, its arts programming. Programs that are designed and created here, on the West Coast, before they ever travel to New York and out of town venues. Creativity does not flourish without traditional financial support that we have come to expect from such a colorful and energetic Santa Monica art community. To that end, we thank city government for your past support of the Cultural Affairs Department and beg you to reconsider the rush to cut local budgets that may in turn devastate the arts as we know it.

An active arts program scheduled for the upcoming post pandemic months, can only bring a wealth of tourists to our community. Traditionally, our many hotels have pushed these visitors out their doors each morning to [travel] to our local museums to see young experimental work, as well as successful mature work of artists who display their art and inventive projects at venues such as the California Heritage Museum and exciting galleries at Bergamot Station. Additionally, visitors attend lectures, concerts on the pier, and summer surf movies on the Heritage Museum’s expansive lawn. Traditional theater and dance are among the hundreds of programs that are provided by the City of Santa Monica throughout its yearly schedule.

We expect the arts. We visit the arts. The arts have become a part of our soul that we truly cannot live without. Allow the arts to become a significant part of our city’s recovery. This is not a political issue. It is an issue about the fundamental rights of our community to expect the arts as an essential part of our daily lives. The California Heritage Museum is forwarding this letter to our “Arts” email list which is comprised of more than 8,500 people from this community: your neighbors.

Please do not disappoint us. Support the programming envisioned by our Cultural Affairs Department. Support the arts in our daily lives.

Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

Tobi Smith

Executive Director

The California Heritage Museum, The Heritage Museum Staff, The Heritage Museum Board of Directors, The Heritage Museum Advisory Board, The Heritage Museum Main Street Board of Advisors, The Heritage Museum LGBTQ Advisory Board, and the Museum’s newest support group, the Parent/Teacher Committee of “Young Women in the Arts”

Express Yourself: Mr. Potato Head-Style

I thought you might be interested in my latest money-making scheme.

So here’s the idea: A snap fastener at the center to attach the mouth accessory.

Rotated up or down, it will help replace other facial cues lost behind the mask.

Now you can be COVID-19 safe and still express your approval or disapproval.

Another version would utilize a Velcro patch and a “deck” of mouth attachments to suit any mood or message, all packaged in a handy stylish clip-on belt pouch.

Let’s find investors.

(Of course this is a joke, unless you can sell it to someone else. If you can, I want to keep 25%.)

Tim Tunks

Santa Monica