As Patch , the Culver City Music Festival received a temporary reprieve from the city council Monday night, after a vote to pull funding for the festival was postponed until Jan. 23.
The festival is just one of scores of cultural programs that to date have been funded by the city’s Redevelopment Agency. However, once the agency is abolished on Feb. 1, , many of those cultural attractions will find themselves struggling to survive.
At Tuesday night’s , some of the speakers took the opportunity to bring the issue to the commission’s attention, in the hope that something might be done to save the festival and raise the $75,000 required to produce it before the Jan. 23 deadline.
At this stage, outside sponsorship is likely the only way to raise the funds and community activist Meghan Sahli-Wells told the commission she started working towards that goal immediately after Monday night’s council meeting ended.
“A lot of people have a tendency to think of the arts as a luxury,” she said. “But we are in the heart of screenland and with Sony as one of our biggest businesses, there’s no doubt this is a huge and vital part of our economy.”
She urged the community to engage in “hard core community dialogue on how we are going to fund the arts going forward,” adding that it was “fairly clear” the council will not fund the concert series from the city’s general fund.
“We have until the 23rd to decide how we will make it live,” she said, adding that she personally contacted two people from the Downtown Business Association and both pledged to donate $500 each if other local businesses pitch in to help save the music festival.
“It’s not much,” Sahli-Wells confessed, but said it could possibly work with a good Kickstarter campaign. She also said she would be interested in activating the commission’s foundation to bring it on a par with the education foundation. “Maybe that’s one of our answers,” she said.
Jonathan Weiss, a music supervisor for film and television said he couldn’t understand why during the music festival’s 17-year history, the organizers of had not been tasked with seeking out sponsorships as part of their job description.
Weiss suggested that performing rights organizations such as The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) should be contacted in an effort to sponsor the festival.
“[These organizations] sponsor a lot of festivals around the country like South by Southwest (SXSW),” he said. “Sony has also contributed a lot of help in the past [to local projects],” he added.
As the music festival was not an agenda item at Tuesday night’s meeting, the commission could not discuss possible solutions to save the music festival. In an effort to try and expedite the process and with the Jan. 23 deadline looming, Commissioner Ronnie Jayne asked staff to call a meeting of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee (comprising Commissioner Jayne and Commissioner Michelle Bernardin) as soon as possible to follow up on the direction from Monday's City Council meeting. That meeting will be held as soon as staff coordinate schedules.
Commissioner Jayne said, “Hopefully we can get something done and we can all be happy again.”
Correction: A previous version of this article attributed this final quote to a different commissioner. The error has since been rectified.