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“The Arts Commission shall have the power and duty, except as other- wise provided by law, to: advise the City Council in all matters pertaining to arts programming and public art, and to cooperate with other govern- mental agencies and civic groups in the advancement of sound arts development and arts planning and programming, and have and exer- cise all of the powers, duties, rights, privileges and authorities of an Arts Commission, as provided for by the

State of California. Each of the five (5) Commissioners shall be a resident of the City and shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the City Council.” The Arts Commission is currently comprised of: Paul Strickland, Chairperson Eric Schmidt, Vice-Chairperson John Dow Dr. Michael Millar Susan Shapiro


Another key organization in Santa Clarita’s arts scene is 661Arts, an alliance of artists and arts organizations working together to create and promote awareness of culture in Santa Clarita.

The group was originally formed in

1996 as the “Arts Alliance,” when the City of Santa Clarita began identifying ways to support


promote the arts in the SCV. As a result, the City saw the need to develop a community-wide cultural arts plan. With the financial support of a matching grant from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Cultural Arts Master Plan was developed, beginning in 1997. The focus of Phase I of the plan was to address the needs of local arts organizations and artists. Phase II called for creation of a local arts agency and developing facilities to support arts and culture in Santa Clarita. The Cultural Arts Master Plan was approved in 1999 and the Cultural Affairs Office was established. That department is now known as the Arts and Events Office.

Santa Clarita Film Festival A

fter the holiday decorations have been taken down and the winter chill has set in, there will be something to look forward to yet. The 7th annual

Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival will be held from January 5-8 at the Repertory East Playhouse in Newhall.

The Santa Clarita Film Festival was founded by Ramon Hamilton and Jennifer Fischer in 2005, both residents of Canyon Country. “We started it for a mutual love of film- making and we wanted to create a forum for independent films that didn’t exist in Santa Clarita,” said Hamilton.

The Santa Clarita Film Festival is divided into Professional, Collegiate, High School, and the Script to Screen youth programs. The first category is the Professional Standard Worldwide section, which is com- prised of several genres, including feature lengths, nar- ratives, shorts and animation. Applicants are accepted from all over the world. Films get filtered through a view- ing committee and the highest rated films get through to be viewed at the festival.

Most submissions at the collegiate level are from CalArts or College of the Canyons, but submissions are accepted from colleges all over the world.

By Kevin Basey

Script to Screen is an innovative youth program started by the festival’s founders in 2007. This program allows for kids as early as elementary school age to start getting some experience behind the cam- era, and the best get viewed at the festival as well. Clearly every age and skill level are represented in the Santa Clarita Film Festival. This is a unique festival in that manner, because it encour- ages young talent to excel and seasoned filmmakers to be noticed.

In fact, many films entered in this festival have reached commercial success. Some submissions have made it to television, and in the last three years some features have been noticed. One filmmaker in particular, Daryn Tufts, has seen success since his 2006 submission, “Stalking Santa,” a film narrated by William Shatner. Tufts grew up in Santa Clarita and graduated from Canyon High School. His most recent movie, which Tufts both wrote and directed, was “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” starring Alyssa Milano. It debuted to a sold out audience at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

28 Santa Clarita Living Magazine December 2011 Newhall - Valencia

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