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Council OKs Cultural Arts Commission

Officials approve setting aside $50,000 from the General Fund to help with website development, start-up costs.

September 04, 2010|By Gretchen Meier, gretchen.meier@latimes.com

With the city's centennial celebration fast approaching, the Burbank City Council approved the formation of the first Cultural Arts Commission.

Mayor Anja Reinke, who pushed for an arts commission as part of her campaign platform, said she was excited to see it finally come to fruition.

"I think it's a little shameful that we're the media capital of the world and didn't have a cultural arts commission," Reinke said. "People were usually shocked to find out that we didn't."

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Included in the proposal on Tuesday was a request for $100,000 for the development of a cultural arts website and associated start-up costs, but the City Council only approved the creation of the commission and set aside $50,000 in General Fund money.

An additional $10,000 donation from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission will be used exclusively for website related costs, official said.

Most council members expressed concern over the $50,000 price tag for setting up the commission website when the redesign for the city's main site only cost $42,000.

"We need to get a handle on how many websites we have," said Councilman Dave Golonski. "At some point we are going to reach critical mass."

Just how many websites are included in the city's online portfolio will be addressed during a "strategic communications" presentation to the City Council in early November, said city spokesman Keith Sterling.

A Woodbury University student has already designed both the website and logo for the Cultural Arts Commission, but the programming and launch will need to be addressed when the arts commission meets, officials said.

"We want the website to be a revenue generator for the arts in our town," Reinke said. "We want it to be self-sustaining and a source of revenue."

The council also addressed the appointment process for the new commission. All commission members will be appointed by the City Council. The city is looking for a diverse applicant pool and individuals that have backgrounds in several areas of the arts. The application process will be opened in the coming weeks, officials said.

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