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  • savethesmcivic


For immediate release

Contact: Bea Nemlaha:

Release date: October 3, 2023

In a victory for residents who want to keep and restore Santa Monica’s Civic Auditorium as a world-class venue for music and the performing arts, the School District has withdrawn its proposal to acquire the historic building.

“We’re thrilled the School District realized that residents adamantly opposed its expensive plan to acquire the Civic and repurpose it for use primarily as a gym. Publicly owned spaces for music and the arts are rare and important cultural venues and should not be sold off and turned into basketball courts,” said Save the Civic Steering Committee member, Bea Nemlaha.

Save the Civic, which spearheaded opposition to the District’s plan, was founded only a few weeks ago in response to the City declaring the Civic “surplus land”. This triggered a California law enabling groups representing housing, schools or parks, to bid exclusively on the property.

“We saw no support from the community and almost none from City Council for the District’s plan. The District’s outreach confirmed that,” Nemlaha added. “Now that its proposal has been withdrawn, the final hurdle has been removed and the City can field offers from other bidders. We’re looking forward to working with entities who have experience developing and operating world-class concert venues and can restore the Civic as a premier destination for music and the arts,” said Nemlaha. “This is an exciting day for Santa Monica.”


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