top of page

City of Santa Monica Celebrates Arts Month and Announces the 2019 Arts Leadership Awardees

For the third year in a row, the City of Santa Monica is partnering with ArtsforLA to celebrate ArtsMonth, a regional initiative that demonstrates how the arts, culture, and creativity contribute to a better Los Angeles County for everyone. This year, ArtsMonth expands statewide as California aligns with the inaugural statewide Californians for the Arts’ Arts, Culture and Creativity Month, which focuses on connecting, advocating, and mobilizing efforts to advance the arts in California.

To highlight the importance of the arts to the fabric of Santa Monica, the City will be heralding ArtsMonth at the April 23rd City Council meeting. The meeting will feature an ode to the role that the arts and creativity play here in Santa Monica. A presentation of a special ArtsMonth proclamation written and presented by Santa Monica Artist Fellow Laila Lalami, will be followed by a contemporary dance performance by the Santa Monica High School Dance Company and a preview of the 2019 Arts Leadership Awards. All of these artists illustrate the significant value of the City’s support for artists and the arts. The presentation is planned for sometime between 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. and the meeting will be live streamed on the City of Santa Monica’s YouTube channel.

The following night, on April 24, the Santa Monica Arts Foundation, a 501(c)3 private/public partnership with the City of Santa Monica, will honor the recipients of the 2019 Arts Leadership Awards at a ceremony at the Annenberg Community Beach House. Honorees are local leaders whose efforts support Santa Monica’s vibrant artistic, creative, and cultural communities.

This year, the event has been expanded to feature performances by local artists, and videos about the awardees. Shannon Daut, Executive Director of the Foundation notes, “We are particularly pleased to have a new awards category that will honor young Santa Monicans who have already shown great leadership in the arts, as well as adding artistic performances to the event to spotlight the richness of the arts in Santa Monica.”

Elected officials will present the awards, original artworks by renowned Santa Monica artists David McDonald and Bruria Finkel, to the honorees. Senator Ben Allen and State Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s offices will also be presenting the honorees with additional Certificates of Recognition.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. with a public reception and the awards ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, space is limited and attendees must RSVP through the Eventbrite link, available via

The awardees are:

Marisa Caichiolo is being recognized with the Arts Patron Award for her work as Director and Curator of Building Bridges Art Exchange. For over a decade, the cultural programs, including contemporary art exhibitions, lectures, workshops and educational activities, have provided the community with engaging experiences, created opportunities for international and local artists through residencies, and established international relationships.

The dance company Jacob Jonas The Company is being honored with the Artist in the Community/Bruria Finkel Award for creating a platform for local and international artists to present new and exciting work in Santa Monica through To the Sea: Dance Concerts on the Pier, as well as offering artists exposure via their savvy social media outreach.

Laemmle Arts, led by Greg Laemmle and Sheryl Myerson, is receiving the Creative Community Innovator Award to recognize the dynamic arts programs that are presented at the Laemmle Monica Film Center. Laemmle Live is a performing arts series where emerging artists and professional performers from local schools and organizations celebrate our diverse community with live performance. Art in the Arthouse connects audiences with visual art by turning part of the Monica Film Center (and other Laemmle theaters outside of Santa Monica) into art galleries.

Carmen Casillas is being honored with the Youth Leadership in the Arts Award for her work as captain of two of Santa Monica High School’s dance teams where she teaches and trains students to express themselves through dance and further improve their dancing and artistry skills.

Isabelle D’Amico is being honored with the Youth Leadership in the Arts Award for her work as a youth representative as part of the 18th Street Arts Center’s Gallery Advisory board, where she advocates for diverse youth involvement in community art projects. At SAMOHI she is producer of the SAMOHI Film Festival and Executive Producer and Technical Director of the student run, SAMOHighlights, a school TV news show.

The Santa Monica Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement and support for the local arts and cultural community. The Foundation believes that arts and culture are integral to civic life and make Santa Monica vital, exceptional, and economically competitive. The Santa Monica Arts Foundation is the nonprofit arm of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Division and Arts Commission and works to support the City’s artistic and creative community.

Submitted by Constance Farrell, City of Santa Monica, Public Information Officer

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
bottom of page