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City Awards More than $500,000 in Arts Grants

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By Lookout Staff

August 7, 2023 -- Santa Monica has awarded 56 grants totaling $525,525 to local artists and arts organizations, City officials announced on Monday.

The funding is part of the City's "ongoing strategic investment to enhance community access to the arts and help Santa Monica-based artists and arts organizations flourish," officials said.

Recovery Justice by Lola del Fresno
Recovery Justice by Lola del Fresno (Courtesy of the artist)

“Santa Monica Cultural Affairs invests in people and programs that enrich our lives through the arts,” said Cultural Affairs Manager Sofia Klatzker.

“We do this by making public funding accessible for local arts organizations and individual artists who reflect and serve the diversity of people and experiences across the City," Klatzker said.

"All of our grant programs are focused on supporting a healthy creative sector and prioritize equity and organizational sustainability. This is ultimately how we support the City’s resiliency—by building back and growing the creative economy.”

The funding -- which furthers the City Council's recently adopted "Priority of Cultivating Economic Recovery and Expanding Community and Cultural Offerings" -- addresses three areas.

More than $400,000 is awarded through an Organizational Support Program created in 1997 to 22 cultural agencies to ensure residents "have equitable access to a diversity of excellence in art, creativity, culture, and innovation."

Grants totaling $70,000 are awarded through the Community Access & Participation (CAP) program established in 2018 to all 29 eligible community programs that submitted applications.

A total of $15,800 is awarded to five individual artists in the form of two fellowship grants that focus this year on the literary and performance arts and three project fellowship grants.

The fellowship grants were awarded to writer and poet Cynthia Alessandra Briano and choreographer and interdisciplinary artist Ann Carlson. Project fellowships were awarded to digital media artist Lola del Fresno, writer Mia Alvar and choreographer Suchi Branfman.

Since 2009 a total of 62 visual artists, writers, choreographers, performance artists and musicians have received support from the program, one of the largest, public-sector, individual artist programs in the nation.

For the list of current grantees and artist fellows, visit

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