Arts Month 2020 Proclamation

Santa Monica City Council declared April 2020 as Arts Month. Santa Monica Artist Fellow Larissa FastHorse created an original proclamation in response to both Arts Month and the COVID-19 pandemic. This piece is presented by seven Santa Monica-based artists.

Whereas

I am writing this at a time when gathering for art is not allowed.

Before this, I wrote something about community and beauty. Inspiration and support.

But art is our recorder. Our interpreter. Our conscience. Our observer. Our memory.

Whereas

I am writing this at a time when people are scared of the unknown.

But today I remember that this land now called Santa Monica held people who made art long before the people who brought that name. The original people here made art to record their culture. Remember their past. Predict their future.

I remember that those people faced many diseases before this one. They faced the invasion of three different countries. They faced slavery and legal extermination.

The original people of this land were not able to gather, for generations. Then I remember that those people survived all of that. They are still with us.

Today that community is my inspiration and comfort. The beauty of their culture and art, and also their perseverance, should inspire us all.

Whereas

Art was made on this land long before it was known by the name Santa Monica.

Art is still woven into the landscape and culture of this place.

Art is valued and supported by this place now called Santa Monica.

Whereas

My husband and I are artists who have lived and created art in Santa Monica for nearly 30 years.

We are proud to be part of a city that has placed itself on the side of art. We are people in a long line who have made art on this land.

Art will survive past all of us.

Whereas

Today I hear the ocean waves crashing and feel the same rush of power that inspired people long before me and will inspire others long after.

Today I see the beauty of the mountains above us and know that same beauty inspired people long before me and will inspire others long after.

Today I walk through the dense fog of the marine layer and know that others dreamed of magical things just hidden from view long before me and will imagine more long after.

Today we cannot gather. Today is uncertain. But today I can make art so we remember the things that scare us and inspire us. Today I can make art that makes us laugh and cry. Today I can be part of a line of artists who were on this land long before it was called Santa Monica and who will be here in the time to come.

Today I can still celebrate art.

—Larissa FastHorse