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Inaugural meeting of new advisory tentatively set for evening in mid-October

Throughout the past year, city officials have introduced several projects and ideas with one overarching goal — to make Sandy a destination, not just a pass-through. Creating an arts commission is one of those efforts.

Arts Commission Coordinator Zachary Chamberlin spent about eight months researching the ins and outs of neighboring commissions and what the community wants to see from the budding group. Now it's time to get people interested and applying to participate.

In his community outreach, Chamberlin noted he came across quite a few supportive citizens.

"A lot of people were receptive to it," he said. "I think a lot of people are excited to see what happens."

The commission will advise council on matters of public art installations and programs, similar to how the planning commission advises council on issues involving development and land use.

The only stipulations for eligibility are that the participants either reside, work in, or own a business in Sandy, and be 18 or older.

This push to start an arts commission is one of the first truly concerted efforts to plan a public art scene in Sandy.

"In the past, most (art installations) have been one-off projects," Chamberlin noted. He's hoping this commission will help facilitate a "cohesive" plan for community art, and possibly lead to an expansion in programming for the city, offering more activities for Sandy residents.

Besides the eventual beautification of the community, Chamberlin noted there are several benefits of having a commission.

"Having art in the community helps businesses in the community as well," he said. Each new installation means the purchase of building supplies from local vendors. "There's an economic impact, and I think that's what a lot of communities like about (public art)."

The new commission also creates yet another avenue through which citizens can take part in their community.

"It's a good mechanism to get people involved," Chamberlin added. "It's good for people interested in public service and learning about city government."

The commission has seven positions to fill, and applications are available at www.ci.sandy.or.us/sandy-arts-commission, to be turned in by Sept. 1.

The Sandy City Council will choose commissioners from the applicants, and Chamberlin plans to have the first meeting of the arts commission in mid-October.

"Anybody can be on the commission," Chamberlin said. "We're trying to get a wide range of people, not just artists, of course, but business owners and (other community members). We're looking for people of all walks of life."

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