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Dana Point ROCKS by Anthony Small

2019 Is On the Scene

Many people share their resolutions or predictions for the new year, but I’d like to start my first article of 2019 by thanking God, my family and this beautiful community for helping me find my purpose and encouraging my passion for music and the arts, so I can then nurture that same passion in others. Last year, I earned a certificate in Arts Management from UC Irvine and one from National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Nonprofit Management Institute and also joined the Association of Fundraising Professionals and their mentor program. I added structure to my passion and will put that to good use in Dana Point and beyond.

I have the honor to serve on the City of Dana Point Arts and Culture Commission, and was recently named chairman by my fellow commissioners. Nancy Jenkins, Karin Schnell, Janie Raub, Maria Elena Banks and ex-officio member Kimberly Williams are all wonderful examples of community service, creativity and encouragement. Our Deputy Director of Community Services, Brian McClure, keeps us on task and gives us a realistic view of timelines and resources.

Did you know the City of Dana Point has 28 parks? TWENTY-EIGHT! I know that, because last year we commissioners scoped out each of them as potential locations for art inclusion in the master plan or otherwise. This year, I’d love to help facilitate at least one major art installation, with the city council’s approval and direction, using the Art in Public Places Fund. Imagine, just as an example, the extremely popular running steps of Lantern Bay Park becoming a brilliantly colorful, usable tile mosaic piece, representing our prominence of marine life, surfing heritage and musical identity. Those steps being lit up, could reach out and connect the city proper to the harbor. That’s just one of many exciting ideas the Arts and Culture Commission is considering.

One of my favorite things about being on the commission has been engaging young artists, most often students from South Orange County School of the Arts at Dana Hills High School. We feature their photography in the city’s quarterly Lookout magazine and display their art at the Community Center. This year, it would be cool to feature their art and performances even more prominently throughout town.

Recently, the Arts and Culture Commission has produced one of the Sundays of the famed City of Dana Point Summer Concerts in the Park series. In 2019, if possible and again with the approval of city council, we could put on our own separate event, maybe at Heritage Park or one of many other gorgeous Dana Point locations. World class jazz, blues, symphony, SOCSA? Maybe a Holiday Art Walk in the Lantern District? The possibilities give me goosebumps!

All are welcome at our next City of Dana Point Arts and Culture Commission meeting on Wednesday January 23rd at 6 p.m. in the Public Works conference room at City Hall. Additionally, all are welcome to my band Small World’s show at Swallow’s Inn on Saturday January 26th, 2-6 p.m.

Anthony Small is Chairman of the Dana Point Arts and Culture Commission, frontman for local rock band Small World and a solo singer-songwriter. Small and his family have lived in Dana Point for 22 years.

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