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The City of Ojai Arts Commission

Public Art Commissioners 2017 L to R: Bobbi Balderman, Stuart Crowner, Linda Harmon (Vice Chair), Michael Addison (Chair), Christine Golden, Marcy Toscher, Christine Beirne

Welcome. It is our belief that an active arts community is an integral part of what makes Ojai such a special place. There are over 20 active arts organizations in the Valley. Literary, visual and performing art groups fill the year with opportunities to not only observe but also to take part in the arts.

Our History

In the 1990s, Mayor Nina Shelley and potter Vivika Heino formed an art committee to assist the City in forming public art policies. The committee’s work was quickly seen as an asset to Ojai, and under Shelley’s leadership the City Council voted to establish an official Arts Commission that would be eligible to receive funding. This action acknowledged the importance of the arts to the local economy and was a first step in preserving the history of the arts in the Ojai Valley.

Today

The present day Arts Commission is guided by the same goals. Through its public art program, grant opportunities, and artistic achievement awards, the Commission recognizes and encourages artistic excellence and promotes professional development throughout the Ojai Valley.

The seven-member volunteer Arts Commission, four of whom must reside within the city limits, are appointed by the City Council to serve a two-year term.

As commissioners we strive to connect all these organizations and foster communication. Our committees include: Finance, Public Arts Program, Acquisitions, City Gallery, Public Relations, Media and Outreach, Performing Arts and Literary Arts, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, and Arts Grants.

A city staff employee serves as liaison between the Commission and City Council, with a City Council member assigned to attend each meeting. Commission meetings are held the third Thursday of every month at City Hall at 6:30 pm.

We invite you to become an active participant whether you live here or come to visit our beautiful valley.