Bringing local performing and visual artists together in Malibu through programs and events will be at the center of the mission of the city's first Cultural Arts Commission.
"[Malibu] should be an arts mecca and it’s not right now by any stretch," said Cultural Arts Commissioner Richard Gibbs, a film composer who has scored music for up to 70 films and TV shows.
Commissioners Graeme Clifford, Suzanne Zimmer, Daniel Stern, Eric Myer, Scott Hosfeld and Gibbs met for the first time Tuesday at Malibu City Hall. As part of the meeting, each commissioner laid out their vision for the upcoming year.
"Ever since my family moved here in '92, it struck me right away how Malibu must have the highest percentage of artists per capita in the world. Let me qualify that as the most successful artists in the world," Gibbs said. "It struck me how those artists are not really involved in the civic part of Malibu. Their art is not expressed here. That’s a real shame."
Hosfeld, a classic musician, said he would like Malibu to have a physical place for artists to come together.
"For me being a performing artist, whether it is indoor or outdoor, I would love for us to take a look to provide a 'there' for the arts here in Malibu," Hosfeld said.
Stern, an actor and sculptor who was elected as chair of the commission, said he first became energized about bringing the arts together in Malibu while he was involved in the Malibu Arts Task Force.
"I really got a great feeling during that Arts Task Force of how much of the community is hungry for this. It is a very crucial thing. I was inspired," Stern said.
Zimmer, a Malibu native who was elected as vice chair, said she has seen the city evolve.
"When I was a little kid there was this part of Malibu and the rest was sort of wide open and we were sort of a tiny, tiny town," Zimmer said. "... Now people are here full time and I firmly believe if we bring the arts to Malibu, people will want to stay in Malibu and support their community."
Clifford, who will be resigning as an ex-officio member of the Malibu Parks and Recreation Commission, said he has several short term goals to bring events to Malibu. In the long term, he hopes the city can build a cultural arts center.
"It’s a place where the community comes together and gets to know one another. It enriches everybody. It’s enriches the community as a whole. That’s my long-term goal," Clifford said.
The Cultural Arts Commission will make recommendations to the Malibu City Council about cultural arts policy, facility rental fee policies for local cultural arts organizations, use of city parks for cultural-arts related events, purchase of art by the city, cultural arts programs sponsored by the city, outreach to Malibu artists and cultural arts organizations at Malibu City Hall.
All commissioners expressed interest in getting more members of the community involved in the arts in the coming months.
The next meeting is set for March 26.