Mayor’s Statement to Award Management Agreement for Airport Art Studios to 18th Street Arts Center

December 19, 2018

Mayor’s Statement to Award Management Agreement for Airport Art Studios to 18th Street Arts Center

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At tonight’s council meeting, City Council’s authorized 18th Street Art Center to manage the arts program at the Santa Monica Airport Studios (SMAS) for the next five-year period. 

“Santa Monica has a deep history of prioritizing the importance of being a haven for the creation of art” said Mayor Gleam Davis. “While change can be hard, we know the city’s selection process for this program was sound. Council is confident that the selection of 18th Street Arts Center will bolster our commitment to the arts and breathe new life into a program that allows our artist community to continue to thrive at Santa Monica Airport Art Studios.” 

City Council directed staff in 2016 to obtain thorough community input and planning process that was conducted during 2018. The process focused on best practices for implementing a new management structure that meets the requirements of the Council and the Consent Decree with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as exploring ways to expand the arts program offerings to benefit both tenant artists and the greater Santa Monica community.

Background Information

In March of 2016, the City’s revised its Airport Leasing Policy and eliminated the widespread practice of subleasing City property that resulted in windfall profits to many aviation tenants holding master leases. The provision was made in the revised Leasing Policy to support continued “opportunities for arts, education, and culture, including, but not limited to, the Artist Space Program administered in conjunction with Cultural Affairs Division.”

Establishing new lease terms for the existing SMAS facility necessitated a different business model for the arts program at the site, which allowed the City to consider how it might best utilize this public asset to enhance its support for artists and the public in the future. For more information, review the staff report presented to City Council.

About 18th Street Arts Center

Founded as a non-profit in 1988 and located in Santa Monica, 18th Street Arts Center has long been a space for artists. Currently, the organization provides a hub for contemporary art through its Residency Program as well as public events and exhibitions focused on engaging the public and revealing the art-making process through exhibitions, events, talks, publications and other opportunities. Its mission is to provoke public dialogue through contemporary art-making. For more information, please visit 18th Street Arts Center website.

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