Commission fights on, for art’s sake |

Commission fights on, for art’s sake

The South Lake Tahoe Arts Commission’s future is a work in progress.

Since the City Council decided not to renew Arts Coordinator Phylise Walker’s contract in 1999, the commission has been preoccupied with developing a direction for the future. Now, it’s meeting those objectives head on.

“We’re doing two things: we’re each putting together a report on what similar cities have done, plus a basic outline on the role of the arts commission,” Commissioner Sheila Jacobs said. “We want to get everybody’s report and then meld those together so we can present a completed (work) plan to the council.”

Jacobs said the commission is studying art programs in other tourist-oriented cities such as Sedona, Ariz., and small communities outside of Sacramento, San Diego and Reno.

In addition, the commission hopes to define the job description for the arts coordinator should they choose to hire one.

James Shewbert, who has served on the arts commission since its inception in 1991, said he believes all of the members agree that a paid, full-time coordinator is needed to implement the commission’s goals and write grants.

“We want to resolve our arts coordinator goal so we can all go back to being a commission,” he said. “An arts coordinator is something that is needed for the city’s benefit.”

The commission will meet today at noon in the airport lounge to discuss the work plan, the coordinator position and a request for $10,000 from the City Council for the heritage mural committee.

Jacobs said they will be taking their plan to the council in June.

“We’ve all put a lot of time and energy into this and we feel strongly that art and culture can be a strong part of this area and will work to draw people here and keep them here longer,” Jacobs said.

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