Reminder! Show Up at 5:30pm to Help Our Arts & Culture Commission

Vice Mayor Terry Scott served as the Chair of the Benicia Arts and Culture Commission before his election to office in 2022. Thanks to Scott and the commission’s Public Art Committee, traffic light boxes, benches, and more got colorful makeovers in service to street beautification and boosting Benicia’s identity as a cultural arts center. | Adrienne Rockwell / Benicia Magazine.

Message from Benicia’s Arts and Culture Commission Chair Neema Hekmat, received July 7, 2024:

I would like to invite Benicia residents to attend a special Arts & Culture meeting this Monday, July 8, where we will be ideating on a new structure to more efficiently and effectively support arts and culture in Benicia.

You are all aware that ACC is at risk of being dissolved with the budget pressures.  There is a new structure on the table that would consolidate three commissions into one; however, there have been significant concerns raised around loss of focus on arts and culture in this new structure and less interest to invest resources into it.  (For more on this, click here.)
The Benicia Arts and Culture Commission, in partnership with Vallejo Shakespeare, presented  William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Benicia Marina Pavilion in 2022. The performance was free and open to the public. | Benicia Magazine.
We want to put something on the table that addresses the budget needs without creating more issues.  If anything, I am hoping that we can find a structure that negates existing challenges and barriers and allows us to serve the community more effectively than before.  So this challenge may be an opportunity for a true WIN-WIN.
The commission can’t do this alone and we need everyone who cares about arts and culture to step up and be actively involved.  City council may make a decision soon and we need your support to prevent a decision with major repercussions.
This is the time to be LOUD.
Participating in this session is one key forum where you can make a difference.   Please forward this message to anyone you think would like to be involved.  More info on the session is available at this link.
Hope to see you tonight!

There are two ways that you can get involved:

  1. Attend a special commission meeting this Monday, July 8th, 2024, at 5:30pm, where we will be ideating concepts for a new structure. More information can be found here:
  2. If you cannot attend this meeting but want to express your idea/opinion/thoughts, please submit a public comment in writing by emailing it to Helaine Bowles at

If you want your comment to be considered during the session, please submit your comment by noon PST on July 8.

Artist Josie Grant’s ‘Jungle’ piano features a rainforest lush with plants and vibrantly populated by colorful animals. This and other pieces of public art were sponsored by Benicia’s Arts and Culture Commission, which faces a reduction in financial support from the City. | Photo by Will Stockton.