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Arts Month in SM Showcases the Essential Role of the Creative Community Through Challenging Times

April 6, 2021 9:00 am

Every April, Santa Monica celebrates Arts Month to spotlight the value of the arts in our community. This year, there are a number of self-guided opportunities the Santa Monica community is invited to explore to experience installations that represent the last year of challenges and the recovery we are embarked upon together.

“This year, we are celebrating with an even deeper appreciation for the power of the arts after having seen how artists and organizations adapted, created and shared their work to inspire thought and connection throughout 2020,” said the City’s Cultural Affairs Manager Shannon Daut.

Arts Month formally kicks off with past Santa Monica Artist Fellow and Artistic Director of Santa Monica Repertory Theater, Tanya White, performing her original proclamation for Arts Month at the Tuesday, April 13 City Council meeting. The proclamation is a testament to the ability of the arts to help us heal, process, and see things anew. The meeting will broadcast live on CityTV cable channel 16 and on YouTube.

There are various opportunities to engage in the arts in Santa Monica this April, including online and outdoor activities and exhibits. As part of the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force, the Art of Recovery initiative continues to fund artists in a wide range of work:

  • Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.’s (DTSM) Black History Month exhibit on Third Street Promenade has been extended through April and features the work of two local Black artists: SHpLinton and Mira Gandy.

  • Artist Marni Gittleman’s “What’s 6 Feet?” features creative responses to her interactive prompts painted on walkways and signage throughout the City. Follow @whats6feet on Instagram to see which submitted ideas will be featured at Santa Monica businesses.

  • In the Bergamot Station Art Center parking lot, the Building Bridges Art Exchange Rose River Memorial installation by artist Marcus Lutyens, features a hanging wall composed of felt roses made by community members that acknowledges someone from the Westside of Los Angeles lost to COVID-19.  Community members are invited to contribute by picking up a free rose making kit to add to the installation, on view throughout May.

  • On Friday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. watch the online screening of the film Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic and join a live conversation about the work and the nation’s school to prison pipeline. Artist Suchi Branfman worked with incarcerated individuals to choreograph dances that were then performed and filmed by professional dancers, community activists and formerly incarcerated individuals. The film is directed by Suchi Branfman with cinematography by Tom Tsai, narrated by Marc Antoni Charcas, Ernst Fenelon Jr, Richie Martinez and Romarilyn Ralston and choreographically interpreted by Bernard Brown, Jay Carlon, Irvin Gonzalez, Kenji Igus, Bri Mims and Tom Tsai.

  • Local artist Paula Goldman’s project, #SMhopes: An Archive of Hopes and Dreams, invites Santa Monicans of all ages to envision our post-pandemic world. What will you do the first day you can meet your friends? What will be different? Upload words, images, video or audio at Journal of The Plague year’s “Share Your Story”. Email questions to

  • SHINEOnline is a storytelling project by Santa Monica Repertory Theater that aims to gather and archive at least 100 stories of Santa Monica told by Santa Monicans. Free online Introduction to Storytelling workshops will be offered on three Saturdays in April: 3, 10 and 17, from 11am – 1pm to help craft and share Santa Monica stories.

The Annenberg Community Beach House has commissioned artist Yvette Gellis as part of its Out of the Blue program to create an outdoor mural that covers the 400-foot fence in front of the Beach House that can be viewed throughout the day, beginning the week of April 14.

View Camera Obscura Art Lab’s Artists-in-residence Final Exhibit - Jenny Ziomek and Laura Davis: New Works available online. Jenny Ziomek created a series of pencil, ink, watercolor and gouache drawings about anticipation, apprehension and transition. Laura Davis explored the dying process using repurposed and upcycled material to create wearable and functional art.

At the west end of the Downtown Santa Monica Station is Walter Hood’s artwork The Crying Rock and Saint Monica, the newest installation by LA Metro Arts & Design. Composed of stones, hand-formed glass tears, gold paint and a stainless steel trellis with climbing white roses, the artwork draws inspiration from the sandstone cliffs of the Santa Monica coastline, the city’s namesake, Saint Monica and the inter-related personifications of nature.

About Santa Monica Cultural Affairs

Santa Monica Cultural Affairs brings the City’s art scene to life for residents and visitors by supporting engaging and accessible cultural events for all ages throughout the year. Cultural Affairs nurtures local arts organizations, promotes artist engagement in the community, and is the steward of the City’s public art collection. Cultural Affairs also provides grants to local arts nonprofits and individual artists, as well as hosting a number of artist residencies at the Camera Obscura Art Lab and Annenberg Community Beach House, enriching Santa Monica’s reputation as an international cultural destination. | Facebook


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