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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Municipal Cultural Arts Commission Begins to Take Shape

•  Some of the Council Members Announce Their Panel Selection from Vetted Candidate Pool

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu City Council last week appointed three of the five voting members and the one ex-officio member of the newly created municipal Cultural Arts Commission.
Councilmember Skylar Peak, who attended part of the meeting via teleconference from Bahrain, did not announce an appointment.
Neither did Councilmember Joan House, who said she was deferring her announcement until the next council meeting.                 
The top eight candidates for the commission posts, according to a staff report, were Richard Gibbs, Scott Hosfeld, Mary Anne Keshen, Eric Myer, Robin Perkins, Daniel Stern, Scott Tallal, and Suzanne Zimmer .
The acknowledged top candidate for the ex-officio position, Graeme Clifford, received the nod for that seat from the council at large.
Mayor Lou La Monte appointed his colleague from the city’s now defunct View Preservation Task Force, Suzanne Zimmer.
Councilmember Laura Rosenthal tapped film and television actor Daniel Stern.
Councilmember John Sibert picked Scott Hosfeld, a musician who organizes and hosts musical events at his residence in Malibu.
This process was a break from tradition, as each council member got to appoint one commission member from a candidate pool created by Mayor Lou La Monte and Councilmember Laura Rosenthal.
As a rule, council members have made appointments from their own pool of eligible appointees.
In April, the council accepted the final cultural arts report prepared by the Arts Task Force. At that meeting, council members directed staff to bring back an ordinance establishing the arts commission.
By May, the council approved an interview process and began taking applications for the appointment process, according to a staff report.
By June, the city council had adopted the ordinance creating the commission, which is charged with making recommendations to the council relating to cultural arts policy, facility rental fee policies for local cultural arts organizations, cultural arts related general fund grant applications, 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 arts and cultural arts organizations, use of cultural spaces at Malibu City Hall, according to a staff report.
The five-member panel consists of residents of the city. The council may also appoint an ex-officio member, who lives in unincorporated Malibu outside the city limits, but within the 90265 zip code area. This member does not have a vote on the commission and is appointed at large by the council.
A total of 23 applications were received. Of those submitted, 15 applicants qualified for the full position, six applicants qualified for the ex-officio position and two applicants were ineligible because they did not live within the 90265 zip code, according to the report.
Last month, a five-member panel convened to interview the 18 candidates.
The panel was comprised of council arts ad hoc committee members La Monte and Rosenthal, included the city’s consultant and staff liaison from the Arts Task Force. It also included a member of the Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council.
“The interview panel noted that the candidate pool was very strong and ended up selecting eight exemplary candidates to recommend for Malibu’s inaugural Cultural Arts Commission. These candidates represent a diverse group of residents who demonstrated a blend of experience related to cultural arts,” the staff report concluded.

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