As the executive drector of the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, I would like to address some misconceptions that may have resulted from Fabiola Santiago’s May 8 column, Pols should keep noses out of art.
Writing about the controversy over artist Lebo’s graffiti-styled mural on Young Circle in Hollywood, Ms. Santiago suggests that Hollywood’s elected officials neither support the arts nor appreciate their value to civic life.
This has simply not been the case since I began working at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood in 2002, first as assistant director then as executive director in 2005. In fact, city officials frequently attend contemporary exhibition openings and events in our galleries.
Thanks in part to the city’s support and vision, we exhibit more than 100 contemporary artists from South Florida annually at our main gallery facility. Many of these artists live in Miami-Dade County and exhibit in Wynwood’s cutting-edge galleries. These artists typically challenge our audience by pushing the boundaries of form and content. Not everyone “gets” every work we exhibit, though the city has never interfered in the exhibitions or artists we select.
In addition, our city leaders were instrumental in creating the 10-acre ArtsPark at Young Circle and continue to support its programming efforts. They have also encouraged more live music in downtown Hollywood.
Art is often in the eye of the beholder and some murals in downtown Hollywood are viewed more favorably than others.
But, while individual tastes may differ among commissioners and residents, please know that the arts play an integral role in Hollywood.
This has been the case for city leaders dating back to our incorporation 35 years ago and continues today.
Joy A. Satterlee, executive director, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood