Former mayor Clarke named Culver Arts chair

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In this 2018 photo, former mayor and newly elected Culver Arts Chair Jim Clarke (right) stands with council member Göran Eriksson.

Culver City Arts Foundation (Culver Arts) has named Former Culver City Mayor Jim B. Clarke as Board Chair, effective July 1. Clarke played an integral role in the inception of the foundation when it spun off from the City of Culver City in 2018 and was established as an independent non-profit organization. Clarke served as Vice-Chair since 2018 and helped solidify a commitment to prioritize funding Culver City Cultural Affairs programming and projects.

Through Clarke’s dedicated fundraising, Culver Arts has been able to support the Artist Laureate program with almost $18,000, establishing Alexey Steele as the first official Artist Laureate of the City. Culver Arts also provided $40,000 in funds for the City’s Performing Arts Grant, which helped transition local performances to the virtual space during Covid.

Along with supporting the projects above, Clarke helped Culver Arts establish the Arts Resiliency Fund, to help local artists through this critical year of lockdowns and even longer recovery from the pandemic. “Culver Arts is providing grants to artists to pay for utilities and other basic expenses so artists can maintain focus on their creative work, “ Clarke said. “Artists are not only essential for our creative economy to thrive, they help Culver City remain resilient when so many factors are trying to pull us apart. The arts have the power to unite our community.” 

A second round of funds to deliver another $10,000 to local artists is already in the works. The Foundation’s goal is to raise $100,000 and distribute grants on a rolling basis to artists and arts organizations.

Clarke takes over for former Board Chair Kathy Sue Holtorf, who will remain an active member of the Board. Sehnita Joshua Mattison, who has worked as a Television Producer for Telepictures and Judge Judy moves up to the Vice-Chair position after serving as the Treasurer and Secretary in previous years. 

Eric Sims, Associate General Manager at the Kirk Douglas Theater, also remains on the Executive Committee returning to his role as Secretary after serving as Treasurer for the last year. Dr. Tony Spano, with the Culver City High School Music and AVPA program, will join the Executive Committee for the first time as the Treasurer.

The Board is in the midst of filling two previously open positions and expanding its Advisory Committee. For anyone interested in joining the Board or Advisory Board, please send an email to Jim B. Clarke at jimbclarke@gmail.com 

ABOUT CULVER CITY ARTS FOUNDATION 

Since its launch in 2018, the Culver City Arts Foundation has been a leader in supporting the arts in Culver City, providing major funding to programs such as the Culver City Performing Arts Grants and the Artist Laureate program. 

For the past year, Culver Arts has been partnering with the Helms Bakery District on #ProjectingPossibilities, a year-long project with the Helms Bakery District that highlights a local artist each week. Visit www.helmsbakerydistrict.com/projecting-possibilities for more information about #ProjectingPossibilities, and www.culverarts.org for more information about the Culver City Arts Foundation and the Arts Resiliency Fund.

Former mayor Clarke named Culver Arts chair