People painting on canvas at Paint:Lab

6th Annual Arts, Culture & Creativity Month

April 2024

Inaugurated by Senator Ben Allen in 2019, Arts, Culture & Creativity Month has spotlighted the incredible impact the arts have on our state, and the vibrant cultural and creative tapestry that makes California so unique.

Read on to learn some of the various ways Santa Monica values and highlights its artists and creatives, and join us in celebrating all they do to make our city and state colorful.

2024 Business Specials & Events

In honor of the 6th annual Arts, Culture & Creativity month, check out specials from the artists, galleries, and businesses celebrating creativity in its varying forms.

Arts Month Proclamation

Tuesday, March 26th @ 5:30pm

As a precursor to April’s annual Arts Month celebrations, City Council will introduce the month with a proclamation by Mayor Phil Brock. In addition, an artist-commissioned Cesar Chavez Day proclamation will be delivered by muralist and educator Carlos Rogel. Chavez Day this year falls on Sunday March 31 and honors the champion of El Movimiento, The Chicano Movement. Visit Council Chambers at historic City Hall 2nd floor to show your support.

Arts Month Kickoff Reception

Saturday, March 30 @ 2:00 – 4:00pm

All are invited for a kickoff reception celebrating Arts Month. Stop by the Annenberg Community Beach House to check out “Our Pico”, the exhibit featuring portraits of Pico Neighborhood workers by photographer Sam Comen, and enjoy light snacks and music.

Santa-Monica-Public-Art-Palisades-Park-424x504 Art Month Logo


Film Representation Seminar with Tatiano Detlofson

April 1, 11:00am – 12:00pm

A veteran of the entertainment industry known for her expertise in foreign cinema and international film and festival promotion, Tatiana Detlofson will talk about what it takes to get representation for a film in the international arena. Her company, MEDIAPLAN PR, specializes in representing films in competitions at leading international film festivals, and conducting theatrical distribution campaigns for foreign and independent films in Los Angeles. Detlofson — a voting member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the European Film Academy, and the Czech Film Academy — has also conducted Oscar campaign workshops at festivals in the U.S. and Europe.

The Other Art Fair: Opening Night

April 4, 6:00pm – 10:00pm

When the art world as you knew it went one way, we went the other. Where elitism is the norm, we dared to deviate. Art isn’t confined to convention or rule, and how you enjoy it shouldn’t be either.
We’ve created something different, and we want you to experience it. We combine affordable and original artworks and 140 independent artists with immersive installations, performances, DJs – and a fully stocked bar. Here, art is for everyone.
So why not do something impulsive, get excited, and revel in the creativity? You belong here.

Conscious Market

April 6, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Downtown Santa Monica presents Conscious Market on Third Street Promenade the first Saturday of every month. Come meet local designers, brands and new businesses!

Arte Chicano Pop-up Art Event

April 6, 11:00am – 3:00pm

Join California Heritage Museum’s Pop-Up Art Event, Arte Chicano, on the expansive lawn. Artists Abby Aceves, Emilia Cruz, Gronk, Ernie Lucero, Alberto Oropeza, Roberto Valdes and more will be there with prints, posters, arts & crafts, t-shirts, one-of-a-kind artworks and baked goods!

Conversation with Helena Sequens and Peter Sadofsky

April 6, 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Join Building Bridges Art Exchange for an Artist Talk with Helena Sequens and Peter Sadofsky Moderated by Marisa Caichiolo. Their exhibition entitled “By the Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin” explores the aesthetics and politics of contemporary reality through painting, sculpture, and multimedia installations.

Breaking Fast Screening & Panel Discussion

April 11, 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month with the Library as we screen Breaking Fast, a romantic comedy where a heartbroken Mo and a charismatic Kal get to know each other over nightly iftars. A 7:00 p.m. panel discussion follows with director Mike Mosallam, Lead Producer Seath Hauer, and Lead Actor Amin El Gamal. Runtime 96 minutes.

Batteries Included: A Stand-up Show

April 13, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Born of The Crow, Batteries Included is a murderous crew of freshwomen comics who take the stage once a season to share their wildest perspectives and most intimate stories. April’s headliner is NTHENYA, a two-time JFL Standup and Pitch winner (2019 & 2022) and NBC’s Writers on the Verge nominee (2021). You may have seen her on ‘Them’ (Amazon), ‘Shameless’ (Showtime), and ‘Loosely, Exactly Nicole’ (MTV). Featuring special guests each show, you will be guaranteed long lasting laughs. Make sure you come!

Amor Film Festival

April 18, 6:00pm – 9:30pm

Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of the Amor Film Festival that celebrates the universal language of love.

Santa Monica College Spring Jazz Series

Friday, April 19

The Santa Monica College Music Department is set to enchant audiences with the 2024 Spring Jazz Series, featuring the soulful performance and deep groove presented by the smooth jazz Lao Tizer Quartet.

African American Histories by the Sea Tour

April 20, 1:00-3:00pm

In honor of Arts Month, the Santa Monica Conservancy has teamed up with historian Alison Rose Jefferson, PhD to offer a special tour experience focused on African American Histories by the Sea during the Jim Crow era (1900s-1960). This tour includes the rare opportunity to explore Santa Monica’s Belmar History + Art (BH+A) outdoor exhibition with Dr. Jefferson, who worked as the project historian in collaboration with artist April Banks.
Once a thriving community, Belmar was razed through eminent domain in the 1950s, and residents were displaced to make way for construction of the Civic Center campus. The BH+A project incorporated elements of art, community, and history to creatively and collectively celebrate the past and future legacy of African American contributions to Santa Monica life. The tour begins at the BH+A exhibition at Historic Belmar Park. Jefferson will guide participants through the project as she shares hidden stories of local African American beach communities and how this unique applied history project came to pass. The group will then visit nearby sites featured in the project including the Bay Street Beach Historic District and Phillips Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for Conservancy members. Register now.

Inaugural Poet Laureate Workshop & Reception

April 20, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Meet Santa Monica’s first Poet Laureate at an introductory poetry workshop followed by a reception to celebrate the start of their two-year term.

Look What Fell Out De Mango Tree

April 20, 3:00pm-5:00pm

Santa Monica Playhouse and Jamaica Cultural Alliance presents Look What Fell Out De Mango Tree, a staged reading with Debra Ehrhardt and Chris Grossett. Embark on a story of a woman who opens herself to love.

Arts & Literacy Festival

April 27, 10:00am – 2:00pm

The theme for the 2024 Arts & Literacy Festival is “ROBOTOS”! At the Festival, families with young children will enjoy engaging arts workshops, performances, book readings, and a robot costume parade as well interactive activities presented by dozens of early childhood service providers. There will also be performances by Santa Monica Ballet Folklorico and many more. The Arts & Literacy Festival promotes the Santa Monica Cradle to Career Building Blocks for Kindergarten campaign. This event is presented by the City of Santa Monica’s Virginia Avenue Park, Santa Monica Public Library, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District-Child Development Services, and Venice Family Clinic.


Alexandria Hilfiger: Imperfect Harmony

Gallery 33 at The Georgian Hotel invites you to see the exciting exhibition of Alexandria Hilfiger. Through large-scale pieces, Alexandria delves into the transformative stages of human emotion, drawing inspiration from nature, exploring harmony within chaos, Hilfiger transforms perceptions of imperfection into beauty through her art.

Arte Chicano Hecho En Los Angeles

The current exhibit at the California Heritage Museum is “Arte Chicano Hecho En Los Angeles,”  a retrospective look at the beginning of Chicano artwork in L. A. County, its artists and growth over the past five decades. The exhibition speaks about the important connection between Chicano art and the fight for civil and political rights and the Chicano struggle for “equality” across southwest America.

Artists included within this show are: “Los Four” (Carlos Almaraz, Gilbert “Magu” Lujan, Frank Romero, Beto De La Rocha), Gronk, Patsy Valdez, Willie Heron, Jose Lozano, Margaret Garcia, Francisco Palmares, Leo Limon, Raul Guerrero, Judy Baca, Alberto Oropeza, and John Valadez among others. More than 70 artworks are in this colorful exhibit.

By the Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin

The exhibition entitled “By the Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin” explores the aesthetics and politics of contemporary reality through painting, sculpture, and multimedia installations. Symbolically, the artists engage with fundamental elements and narratives such as “sticks and stones,” and the lore of The Three Little Pigs. They have utilized discarded materials, both tangible and conceptual, sourced from the environs of their urban studio, in order to reimagine the often overlooked aspects of our world within a boldly expressive exhibition. In a deliberate endeavor to imbue each exhibition with a sense of finality, Helena Sequens and Peter Sadofsky espouse a concept they term “apocalyptic optimism,” positing that “the world is gradually evolving into its own cargo-cult of yesteryear, and the prospects that lie ahead are genuinely exhilarating in every sense of the term.”

Caroline Gray: Undercurrents Exhibit

Caroline Gray is a California-based visual artist, who works in the mediums of photography, painting, and mixed media. She gets inspiration in particular from her extensive travels, both locally and abroad. She was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was brought up in the UK.
Caroline came to California 25 years ago, and photographing the California coastline has been a constant theme:- the varying moods and emotions of the Pacific, scenes of life on the beaches above and under water. “The camera is for me another visual organ—a mode of sensibility in its own right. I can’t imagine exploring the world without it. I just go on learning, seeing things anew. This is for me the release of California. The landscape and culture just frees the eye to see and then see again ever fresh.”

From the Ground Up: The Life of Vernon Brunson

The Santa Monica History Museum presents a new exhibit, From the Ground Up: The Life of Vernon Brunson, an examination of Vernon Brunson’s remarkable life in Santa Monica and his impact on the community through his creative and scientific endeavors and commitment to civil rights. Born into one of the first Black families in Santa Monica, Brunson was a poet, playwright, and columnist for the California Eagle newspaper. Despite encountering barriers in aviation due to racism, he channeled his passion by becoming an electromechanical designer at Hughes Aircraft. Additionally, he founded a branch of the Black Wings Flying Club, championing inclusivity in aviation. Brunson was a vocal advocate for equality, contributing an accessibility ramp to the design for Santa Monica City Hall, emphasizing the intersection of his work with the broader social issues of his time. The exhibition positions Brunson within the context of Black architects like Paul Revere Williams, showcasing his collaborations and highlighting his impact on the architectural landscape. Visitors can expect to see a diverse array of his work, from architectural plans to paintings, furniture designs, and even a unique “selfie” mechanism he created for his camera. The exhibition will also delve into the personal aspects of his life, providing a holistic view of this extraordinary individual.

Karla Diaz: Wait ’til Your Mother Gets Home Exhibit

As a child, artist Karla Diaz would often get in trouble for drawing on walls. “Wait ‘til your mother gets home!” her aunt would exclaim.
Diaz still loves to draw and paint. ‘Karla Diaz: Wait ’til Your Mother Gets Home’ features recent works on paper and canvas that focus on American Mexican identity from the 1970s to the present, emphasizing a cultural context of social upheaval and justice through the artist’s explorations of recollection and imagination. Diaz’s vivid, narrative paintings and works on paper depict portraits and landscapes of people and places that inform her memories growing up in Los Angeles and México.

The Luminescence of Memory

“The landscape is what defines me. When I am somewhere new or familiar, I am constantly in dialogue with the past, present, and my future self. When I am thinking about landscape, I am thinking about those who had stood on this land before me. Whoever they are, hopefully, history recorded their markings on the land for us to study and contemplate” – Binh Danh, an excerpt from Reflections in a Mirrored Eye.
ROSEGALLERY is pleased to present The Luminescence of Memory, a presentation of daguerreotypes by Binh Danh. The Luminescence of Memory consists of a selection of daguerrotypes taken by Danh at various US National Parks, such as Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite National Parks.

Our Pico by Photographer Sam Comen

Our Pico, by photographer Sam Comen, is a portrait gallery celebrating the workers who invest their lives in Pico Boulevard’s economy, and that reveal the humanity behind the storefronts. Gallery hours for March are 9am-4m and April – May are 9am-7pm.

Paolo Ventura: The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

Paolo Ventura (Italy, 1968) is a multidisciplinary artist who uses different techniques (photography, collages, painting, sculpture, drawing) to tell cinematic visual stories. Galerie XII is pleased to present an exclusive exhibition of “The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls” an original series of fifteen new artworks.

Seguimos: Contemporary Art in Costa Rica

Craig Krull Gallery is pleased to present Seguimos: Contemporary Art in Costa Rica, a group exhibition co-curated by Hannah Sloan. An Artist Talk will be held Saturday, March 30th at 3:00pm, directly followed by an Artist Reception from 4:30 – 6:30pm. Seguimos features installation, video, photography, painting, prints and sculpture by an intergenerational group of thirteen Costa Rican artists, the majority of whom are highly regarded in Central America, but have never exhibited in the United States. The artists in this exhibition reflect a spectrum of interests and concerns facing Costa Ricans today and position themselves within the broadest developments of contemporary art, with particular focus on the topics of body, identity and place.

UnHoused: A History of Housing in Santa Monica

Explore the evolution of Santa Monica’s housing through the captivating exhibition, UnHoused: A History of Housing in Santa Monica. From the Tongva people to its contemporary beach town metropolis, the exhibition delves into the heart of Santa Monica’s housing legacy by providing perspectives on policy and development. It moves to poignant narratives of migration, affordability, redlining, restrictive covenants, and the ever-relevant topic of rent control. Addressing contemporary housing challenges faced by Santa Monica and the region, the exhibition further explores affordable housing, support systems for those experiencing homelessness, equity and inclusion, and the importance of historic preservation in maintaining the city’s cultural identity.


Aleichem Sholom

Proudly presented by the Santa Monica Playhouse Jewish Heritage project, this musical is performed in English with just a taste of Yiddish and follows the life of the beloved Yiddish story-teller Sholom Aleichem and his mespoche, spinning tales of his loves and losses, his fame and his failures, his travels, his travails and the tremendous joy and optimism that kept him going against all odds. This celebrated production with “Brilliant performances!” (Tolucan Times), having played to sold out houses since it’s world premiere in March 2018.

The Bald Soprano

This mad, crazy, wildly funny play is the comic masterpiece that launched the Theatre of the Absurd. It’s the story of an ordinary evening in the home of M. and Madame Smith that spins madly out of contol as they entertain their guests, the Martins. Dazzling in its linguistic acrobatics, the play is a comic masterpiece of joyful, irrational anti-logic and a looney parody of the stolid, thick-witted world of middleclass propriety. In an escalating battle of banalities, polite conversation turns to confusion, then mayhem, and finally explodes into cheerful, liberating chaos. Simultaneously comic and profound, it is a short, sharp ludicrous journey into a funhouse mirror version of the world we think we know—and the truth of what we do not.

Bergamot Comedy Festival

The inaugural Bergamot Comedy Festival is LA’s premiere week-long comedy event. Enjoy live comedy showcases each night featuring carefully selected comedians from nearly 1,000 submissions. Shows start at 8:00pm, doors open at 7:45pm.

Book of Mountains and Sea

Composer Huang Ruo and puppeteer Basil Twist reinterpret Chinese creation myths for the 21st century. A fantastical world of sunbirds, demons and hairy giants is evoked in Book of Mountains & Seasa fascinating work of vocal theater for 12 singers, two percussionists and six puppet masters. Composer/librettist Huang Ruo took his inspiration from a classic compilation of Chinese mythology first transcribed in the fourth century B.C. Over the years, these stories have become part of Chinese written and oral history, shifted and reshaped to match contemporary times.
First performed in 2021, Huang Ruo’s compelling new adaptation of these tales comes to BroadStage as LA Opera’s 12th collaboration with the groundbreaking Beth Morrison Projects. Told through the lens of our modern-day relationship with the natural world, the ancient stories of creation and destruction conjure a sense of respect and awe for the environment and the water stories challenge us to be good stewards of the natural resources we have been given. Book of Mountains and Seas contains timeless codes about the universe, creation, planet, nature, life, human ambition and fate, the relationship and interaction between mankind and the world we live in.


The beloved Rudie-DeCarlo musical Cinderella celebrates its 40th anniversary with a stunning multi-media makeover to kick off 2024. It’s Cinderella like you’ve never seen her before, with new songs, hilarious special FX, a silent movie segment that will have you falling out of your seat, dazzling costumes, amazing magical prestidigitation, and a story about being true to your dreams and loving yourself as you are that’s as meaningful today as ever before.

Antonio Sánchez: Birdman Live

Four-time GRAMMY® Award winner Antonio Sánchez, one of the most renowned drummers in the international jazz scene, takes the stage to celebrate  the 10th anniversary celebration of Birdman, Alejandro Iñárritu’s Academy Award winning Best Picture starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. During a screening of the film, Sánchez will recreate his score, but as Sánchez improvised most of the original music for the film, each performance is unique — a showcase of his musical creativity. This performance immerses the audience in the riveting film while experiencing the power of storytelling through live music.

Check back often! Specials and Events will be added until the end of April.

Are you a Santa Monica business with a special or event that you would like included on this page? Submit your special here.


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