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Long Beach Wants You to Participate in their Arts & Cultural Planning Process

An empty auditorium in Long Beach | Photo by jurvetson via Flickr
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The Los Angeles region is, if not the most culturally diverse areas in the country and Long Beach is no exception. Six months ago, some ten years after chartering a cultural master plan, the city finally set up a Cultural Affairs Bureau with one full-time staffer. Now, the city along with its mandated non profit, the Arts Council for Long Beach, is embarking on an update to the plan and is hosting a large public meeting this Saturday to gather input.

"Long Beach is pregnant with potential right now," said Justin Hectus, president of the Arts Council. Case in point, there's been more pubic art hitting the streets than any year in the past 20 years. This year alone, the city is looking forward to twelve new permanent pieces along with six temporary ones.

As for Saturday's big public forum, "this an opportunity for anyone who wants to be involved on the emergencing themes," as Lugene Whitley, project manager with the city's Create Long Beach program, puts it. Those themes go beyond the general buckets cultural affair plans tend to fit into--think public art, arts education, events, etc--and take it a step further. The forum will tackle more mature themes such as strengthening the current stock of cultural leadership, building on the city's diverse landscape and fostering a culture of creativity.

"The results of this process will only be as good as the input we receive from the people who live here," remarked Hectus. "So it’s critical that we have as many people as possible, from every neighborhood in Long Beach, participating.”

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The forum will take place at the Museum of Latin American Art on Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and noon. More details here.