Arts and Culture Commission Discusses Upcoming City Events

The Arts and Culture Commission weighed options for next year’s Festival Beverly Hills, discussed the maintenance and expansion of the city’s public art collection and went over plans for upcoming events at its Oct. 10 meeting.

The city will be hosting its very first Día de Los Muertos celebration in conjunction with this year’s Fall Funtastic at the Farmer’s Market on Oct. 29. Attendees can learn how to create paper marigolds that they can add to their own ofrendas or a community altar designed by artist Ginette Rondeau. The latter is part of an interactive exhibit titled “Mailbox to Heaven,” which was scheduled to be on display from Oct. 19 through Nov. 2. The Oct. 29 event will also feature a carved pumpkin contest, carnival games and a performance by Cortines High School’s folklorico dance troupe.

Meanwhile, staff preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Fall Beverly Hills Art Show are in “crunch time,” Interim Recreation Services Manager Paul Paolone said. The two-day event begins on Oct. 21. This year, there will be an expanded children’s area featuring a variety of activities to spark creativity in the community’s youth. (Additional details are on page 6.)

Looking even further ahead, commissioners discussed Festival Beverly Hills. The cultural event made its debut on March 12 at the Farmer’s Market. Commissioners hailed it as a success during their meeting and brainstormed to come up with ways to make it bigger and brighter in 2024.

“I respect that the City Council wanted us to start small and grow,” commissioner Karla Gordy Bristol said. “One hundred percent, I’m grateful that they let us get it started. And we were able to do a lot with a small space. But I think we can definitely engage with a larger part of the community.”

Commissioners considered moving the event to a larger open area and the possibility of extending it over multiple days. Commissioner Liliana Filipovic floated the idea of scheduling the festival to coincide with Make Music Day, a worldwide celebration of creativity and unity on June 21. She said doing so would provide an organic way to attract musical performers to the city and would simplify planning and budgeting.

“If we assimilate this idea of the festival [Beverly Hills] being on Make Music Day, we could really grow bigger and have those two events together instead of brainstorming for each of them separately,” Filipovic said.

Discussion on the matter will be continued via ad hoc committee. “People I run into still ask about it and can’t wait for the next one,” Gordy Bristol added.

Crews working with the team of artist Yayoi Kusama were in the final phases of reconstructing a collection of whimsically painted flower sculptures that had been at Beverly Gardens. The firm Nous Engineering was in the process of repainting the rebuilt works of art, and they should be reinstalled by the end of the year, following a final inspection and certification by Kusama. 

Other pieces of public art slated for maintenance in the near future include the statues “Hunter and Hounds” by Henri Alfred Marie Jacquermat, “Takeaway” by Tom Friedman and “Peace and Love” by Ringo Starr. 

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