The newly formed Menlo Park Visioning Committee members are reviewing many forms of " brick and mortor". This is important in terms of structure, but may leave out the element and component of art in public places.
Menlo Park used to have an Arts Commission consisting of seven volunteer citizens, much like the Bicycle, Library, Parks and Recreation and other City Council Commissions. The Arts Commission ended in year 2004. Yet in Palo Alto, Atherton and a variety of other Bay Area cities, Art Commissions are thriving and have become active parts of the process of governance.
Why is this? Perhaps because art for many, adds to our lives. It may be considered the icing on the cake. It adds pazzazz, it adds fun and it contributes to our culture.
Some feels without art, life becomes sterile. With art, spirits are lifted with our eyes and ears filled with what only music and other forms of art can provide.
For my nickel, Menlo Park needs to re-activate its Arts Commission. Theater, concerts, museums and the like are found all around us. Perhaps with a little focus here in town on this topic, we won't need to drive as far and enjoy what only art can do in our own backyard.