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Bloom Tries to Save Summer Concert Series
 
By Jonathan Friedman
Lookout Staff

March 8, 2010 --A Santa Monica Pier summer tradition could come to an end because of its shaky financial status. The Twilight Dance Series is facing a $92,000 budget shortfall this year. The City Council on Tuesday will consider a one-time $35,000 payment toward the program.

City Council member Richard Bloom put the item on the agenda. He wrote in a report that the payment should function as a “matching or challenge grant” to bring in more money for the program.

“The measures will not, alone, save the Twilight Dance Series,” Bloom wrote. “It is essential that new sponsorships be obtained and that a robust development plan be implemented as well.”
Bloom is also requesting that City staff work with Pier Restoration Corporation (PRC) staff to figure out how the budget hole can be filled. An opportunity for the public to donate to the concert series appears at www.santamonicapier.org.

The financial problem is blamed on reduced sponsorships and the cost of last year’s centennial celebration for the pier. At a meeting last week, the PRC’s Board of Directors voted to reduce the series from 10 concerts to seven. If funding is not found, the program could further be trimmed by featuring local acts rather than performers from throughout the world.

 

“The Twilight Dance Series is one of Santa Monica's most longstanding, successful and readily identifiable artistic performance series,” Bloom wrote. “Thousands of individuals and families turn out for each Thursday night event to enjoy TDS's eclectic, professional and high quality performances on the world-famous and historic Santa Monica Pier.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council will consider an appeal regarding the Planning Commission’s decision on operation changes for The Parlor.

In addition, the council will hear an appeal of the Landmarks Commission’s landmark designation for three homes on Ninth Street between Washington and California avenues. According to a City staff report, the structures are detached bungalows built around 1923 and “are early examples of a manufactured housing type that was once prevalent in the City.”

The appeal was filed by Marina Belokamenskaya, who owns the properties.

 


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