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Culture

Santa Monica Offers Grants for New Art Projects

August 7, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah
Two pilot projects implemented for Art of Recovery, a Molly Allis K-rail mural on Main Street, top, and physical distancing markers at the Annenberg Community Beach House by Urban Rock Design (Jeanine Centuori and Russell Rock), bottom. Image: City of Santa Monica

The City of Santa Monica’s Economic Recovery Task Force, Cultural Affairs has a new grant program that will pay artists to make work relevant to the city’s recovery efforts. The program is called the Art of Recovery and selected artists may receive up to $20,000 to create new works.  

Art of Recovery projects can fall into three categories: economic recovery, community connectedness and restorative justice, or public health and safety. Projects may fall under multiple categories, but only projects that address at least one category will be selected. Santa Monica has offered a few examples of each.

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Under economic recovery, projects could include art in vacant storefronts or murals on the barricades that the city’s set up to protect diners in new outdoor dining areas. The city also invites artists to come up with site-specific or immersive works, including the use of augmented reality. 

Under community connectedness and restorative justice, work could include neighborhood projects where residents are invited to create their own art to display on lawns or in windows, as some L.A. communities did over Easter weekend with illustrated egg displays. It could also include storytelling projects or scavenger hunts. 

Under public health and safety, ideas include creating physical distancing markers or art to remind people of safety protocols.

“The arts have the potential to transform our City and communities during these tumultuous times. By investing now in artists and creative solutions to our most pressing challenges, Santa Monica will come out of this pandemic revitalized and stronger than ever. This program seeks to have a major impact on the future of Santa Monica, the wellbeing of its community and health of its economy,” a release reads. 

The city will fund projects on a rolling basis through June of next year. The first round of funding is open for applicants now. 

If you’re an artist, you can send a Letter of Intent any time between now and September 1 at 5 p.m. for projects that will start by December 1. If selected, you may receive between $100 and $20,000. If you’re not selected, your project may be considered in later rounds. 

Artists must be based in L.A. County and proposed projects must be located in Santa Monica. Projects must also abide by Public Health’s current guidelines. 

If you own or manage a site that you’d like to be involved in an art project, you can email Allison Ostrovsky at allison.ostrovsky@smgov.net

A Q&A session will be held on August 19 at 1 p.m. on Zoom. Register for that here. For more info about this program or to apply, click here.

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