Wende, Clayton, AmVets Unite on Proposal for 10858 Culver Blvd.

The Wende Museum, the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, and United States Veterans’ Artist Alliance are proposing a plan to renovate and reactivate the vacant City-owned property at 10858 Culver Boulevard as a Creative Community Center to honor veterans, provide a powerful resource for CCUSD students, ensure the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum has a permanent space in Culver City, and offer free social services as well as cultural and educational programming to the entire community. The proposal will be presented at a meeting called by the City of Culver City on Tuesday, September 24, at the Senior Center, to hear ideas for the future of 10858 Culver, which is directly adjacent to the Wende.

The Creative Community Center proposal has been developed with extensive community input over several months. The Wende hosted three community-input forums, a community open house, and a series of smaller outreach meetings and discussions with neighbors, nonprofit leaders, and other community stakeholders. In those discussions, the community shaped a vision for a “Swiss Army Space” type of Creative Community Center that would offer after-school programs, literary readings, performances, a demonstration garden, social services, an artist-in-residency for veterans, job and internship opportunities, and flexible gathering space—all offered to the community free of charge.

Private funding has been secured by the Wende to create the Creative Community Center, a 6,000-square-foot mixed-use space where multiple nonprofits and agencies would collaborate to offer free programs and services to the public.

While the agenda for the City’s September 24 meeting suggests that a community center and affordable housing are competing ideas, the Wende, the Clayton, and USVAA see these as complementary.

“Cultural and educational programming, social services, and affordable housing can – and should – coexist. They are all essential components of a thriving, sustainable community. Free literary and artistic performances, education programs, and social services at the Creative Community Center would complement nearby affordable housing,” said Justin Jampol, Executive Director of the Wende Museum. “In our vision, we will come together with other local nonprofits and the City to find a way to create visionary, holistic solutions that meet all of our community’s needs.”

The nonprofits and community members envisioning the Creative Community Center hope to work in partnership with the City on developing this concept.

“Working together and pooling resources to provide a greater public benefit while also demonstrating the value of arts and culture collaborations as a model is a win-win-win,” said Steven Fisher of the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum.

Chloe Ginnegar

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