SMC Public Policy Institute Hosts Annual Fall Forum, “MAZON” Mobile Museum Exhibit


Photograph by Artist/Activist Barbara Grover, who will lead a discussion on “Why Art? The Power of Photography to Impact Public Policy” as part of the SMC Public Policy Institute’s Fall Forum on Monday, November 22 at 11:15 a.m. in Humanities & Social Sciences Lecture Hall 165 on SMC’s main campus (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica).
Photograph by Artist/Activist Barbara Grover, who will lead a discussion on “Why Art? The Power of Photography to Impact Public Policy” as part of the SMC Public Policy Institute’s Fall Forum on Monday, November 22 at 11:15 a.m. in Humanities & Social Sciences Lecture Hall 165 on SMC’s main campus (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica).

Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute (PPI) will present its Annual Fall Forum November 22-December 4. The theme for this year’s community forum is “Art – Advocacy – Activism: Hidden Hunger amid Urban Struggles.”

The Fall Forum features speakers, panel discussions, and dance performances for audiences ranging from fifth graders to adults. All forum events are open to the public, and most events are free. Seating is on a first-arrival basis if reservations are not required.

“This year, our Fall Forum will explore how art, particularly through the camera lens, can shed light on important issues in our society and inspire engagement and advocacy leading to changes in public policies and laws,” said PPI co-director and SMC political science professor Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein.

The Fall Forum lineup is:

December 1: EXPERIENCE: “THIS IS HUNGER: A Photo Exhibit.” Explore selected images from the thought -provoking MAZON photo exhibit. Free. Santa Monica College Cafeteria on SMC’s main campus (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica).

Tuesday, November 22 at 11:15 a.m.: CONNECTION: Community talk: “Why Art? The Power of Photography to Impact Public Policy.”

Renowned award-winning photographer and political activistBarbara Grover will lead a discussion on how photography can be used to educate and inspire activism on important public policy issues. Free. Limited seating; reservations required ( with number of guests attending). Humanities & Social Science Lecture Hall 165 on SMC’s main campus (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica).

 Tuesday, November 22 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.: ACTIVISM: Documentary Screening: “The Armor of Light.” Director Abigail Disneyfollows the journey of evangelical minister Rob Schenck as he struggles with reconciling his positions on gun ownership and an opposition to abortion. Director Disney will participate in a community discussion from 6:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m. (between screenings). FREE. Laemmle Monica Film Center (1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica). Free parking available at City Parking Structure #4.
 November 23, December 1 from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.; November 28-30 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.: ART: “THIS IS HUNGER: MAZON’s Mobile Museum.” Experience and explore this interactive exhibit on wheels that presents a powerful community engagement campaign to educate communities across the country about the stark reality of hunger in America. Free. Reservations required (allow 1 hour to experience exhibit). Lot 6 (SE corner of 14th at Pico Blvd.) on SMC’s main campus (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica).
 Monday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m.: ADVOCACY: “Illuminate Then Advocate: Engaging the Public.” Join us for a special roundtable discussion – with California State Senator Ben Allen (SD-26), MAZON Executive Director Abby Liebman, and Artist and Activist Barbara Grover – about the rising problem of hunger and food insecurity in our communities. This conversation will focus not only on the role that art can play in drawing attention to important issues, but also on how art and voice can be used to engage elected officals and influence public policy. Free. Santa Monica College Bundy Campus Room 123 (3171 S. Bundy Dr., Los Angeles). Free onsite parking.
 Tuesday, November 29 at 11:15 a.m.: ENGAGEMENT: “One Mile: An Interactive Art Walk.” Through rigorous, yet playful strategies of art as public practice, One Mile guides the community toward collective re-imaginings to generate enduring and harmonic solutions for local and global co-existence. Free. Meet alongside MAZON Mobile Museum in Lot 6 (SE corner of 14th at Pico Blvd.) on SMC’s main campus (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica).
 November 26, November 27, December 3, December 4 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; December 2 at 7 p.m.: ARTISTIC PATHWAYS:Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” Ballet. The Westside Ballet, joined by the SMC Symphony and SMC dancers, presents its annual holiday extravaganza featuring Tchaikovsky’s majestic score, Balanchine’s exuberant choreography, falling snow, and a Christmas tree that grows! See for ticket details. The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, (1310 11th St., Santa Monica). Free onsite parking.
“For this year’s Fall Forum, we are presenting a wide range of events to highlight the many wonderful examples of creative arts in our community,” said SMC Public Policy Institute co-director Shari Davis, “and to engage in substantive dialogue about how the public, private, and nonprofit sectors cooperate to support artistic and cultural endeavors, and explore what additional beneficial policies can and should be pursued.”

SMC’s Public Policy Institute provides nonpartisan community programs exploring key economic, social, and political issues. SMC offers an Associate in Arts Degree and Certificate of Achievement in public policy, and students can specialize in one of five public policy areas: arts and cultural affairs, education, environment and sustainability, public health, and urban/socioeconomic issues.

The Fall Forum is cosponsored by a wide range of education, government, and community organizations, and donors, including:Associated Students of Santa Monica College, SMC Associates, Santa Monica College Foundation, Westside School of Ballet, SMC Dance Department, SMC Symphony Orchestra, SMC Music Department, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, and

The Broad Stage.

For more information about the Fall Forum, go to or call (310) 434-3541.

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