Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ears to the Wall

Anyone attending last week's Public Art Subcommittee meeting would have noticed the front-row seats reserved for representatives of the Pasadena Center Operating Company. As was noted in the previous post, the meeting had been called for the purpose of having (to quote the agenda) "a Discussion of creating an Amended PCOC Artist Selection Process." But, as we saw, there was no discussion at all.

Last night, 58 days after the City Council mandated that the PCOC sit down in a public forum with the Arts & Culture Commission to discuss options, the PCOC Board met and passed a resolution to create an ad hoc committee to participate in those discussions. Seems unnecessary, as they already had an "expansion committee" in place to work on issues related to the new center...but before the creation of this new committee, Board Chair Tom Seifert remarked that his group had attended the March 18th Public Art Subcommittee meeting simply in order "to listen" to the conversation.

Representatives of the arts community in the audience at this board meeting were stunned to hear Seifert's representation of events. It was, as one arts supporter noted, supposed to have been a discussion, not an invitation to "put their ears to the wall to hear what was being said next door."

Efforts by the Pasadena Arts Council and others are being made to build a bridge between the arts community and the PCOC leadership in the hopes of avoiding the sort of collision that may result if PCOC continues to insist that the Art at Pasadena Center planning document be summarily dismissed -- a document that members of the PCOC Board themselves helped to create.

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