Not long ago, The Almanac newspaper ran a front page article on the topic of the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center (MA PAC). The date was June 20, 2012.
Part of the article addressed the need to better utilize this $30,000,000 facility in which Menlo Park taxpayers contributed approx. $2,600,000. Think how delightful it would be to have a more active, dynamic, viable theatre that would add to the culture of the community.
To help accomplish this, it may be helpful to reactivate the now dormat Menlo Park Art Commission. With a group paying attention to the details, the taxpayers would not only have an advocate for the arts, but the taxpayers would also have a place to contribute their time and talent.
When the Art Commission was originally created, the Performing Arts Center did not exist. As such, the City Council may wish to consider renaming the Commission in order to update it's important role in the community. One suggestion is to call it the Menlo Park Art & Theatre Commission (or MP ATC).
Please keep in mind that art comes in many forms, such as sculpture, painting, music, dance and theatre, to name a few. Enhancing the arts can inspire, can elevate the human potential and spirit and it can provide ways to think and appreciate history and the future.
Finally, if you ask the question, do other communities have an Art Program, one need only look to Atherton, Redwood City and San Carlos to the north and to Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale to the south. In addition, a large majority of the approx. 400 cities within California have an art program, approx. 58 counties in California have an art program and nearly all 50 states have an art program.
Placing this item on a City Council agenda may provide the community an opportunity to voice what type of role they would prefer the City to provide for an art and theatre program. If not, this concept may remain dormat and instead be addressed by other community organizations, such as the schools, churches, non-profit organizations and individuals interested in advancing art in Menlo Park.
Posted by taxpayer arts lover, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm
I am not at all happy that the City of Menlo Park is not taking full advantage of the investment we taxpayers have made in the performing arts center. Shame on current and past Councils for not ensuring that something good will come from the center. It's high time for an arts commission (including performing arts)to be established and empowered to develop some plans. Those plans ought to include identification of potential partnering groups.
Posted by Jim Lewis, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm
Hi "Taxpayer Arts Lover",
If you'd like to speak before the City Council on this topic, or if any other citizens wish to speak up, you may wish to consider attending the next City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at 7:00 pm. At the beginning of the meeting is an agenda item entitled "Public Comment No. 1" where topics not on the agenda can be addressed. This may be an opportune time to express to the City Council your thoughts and feelings on the topic. The little used Performing Arts Center has a wonderful potential. Whether this is a priority or not may be a function of who cares enough to stand up and be heard.