Terry Scott For Benicia City Council Arts and Culture
The heart and soul of Benicia is our expansive arts community. A big part of Benicia’s core identity stems from the way we embrace all forms of visual and performing arts. Arts and culture is the spice that adds to our quality of life.
As Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission and Public Art Committee I was proud to witness the explosion of public art that was begun and then delivered. We forged unique relationships with the Benicia Unified School District as well as enjoyed the financial support of Valero Benicia Refinery.
This includes the remarkable Neptune’s Daughter sculpture on the waterfront. Then there’s the many whimsical signal boxes, decorated benches, the Tula-Sister City Mural and a number of other murals and cultural events that help make Benicia special.
In addition to adding spice, there is also measurable economic impact that comes from supporting this wonderful community. In our pre-COVID-19 days, the non-profit arts and culture sector was a significant industry, according to a commissioned study by the Americans for the Arts.
The study showed Arts and Culture activities generated more than $4.7 million in economic activity. Looked at differently, Arts and Culture in Benicia supported 149 full-time equivalent jobs.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit our galleries, enjoy performances by Benicia Old Town Theater Group, VOENA, Benicia Ballet, and many others.
But in the meantime, we need to work with Benicia Unified School District and other arts organizations to find ways to use art to help support positive mental health for our children suffering from the impact of COVID-19.