Years in the Making, Conservancy Receives Grant to Continue Sharing Broadway's Cultural Heritage
Shortly before she was confirmed as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson walked Santa Monica’s historic Broadway neighborhood (Broadway between 14th and 20th Streets) with Carolyne and Bill Edwards of the Quinn Research Center (QRC). In her subsequent essay, “Do You Know Broadway?” commissioned by 18th Street Arts Center, Jackson wrote, “...Santa Monica became even more meaningful to me. A facet of its history was revealed and as an African American Angeleno, Santa Monica and specifically, its Broadway neighborhood, to me, stands as a too little-known testament to African American hard work, aspiration, resilience, and excellence.” Click HERE to read the essay.
The Edwards’ have spent years building a network of individuals and organizations invested in transmitting the history and culture of the neighborhood. Built by African American, Mexican American, and immigrant communities, Broadway was a vibrant center of life in Santa Monica, before policymakers decided to displace its people, homes and businesses to build the 10 Freeway.
The Santa Monica Conservancy is honored to support the QRC in the next iteration of this collective work with a new project funded by a grant from the City of Santa Monica. Already the grant has allowed the Conservancy to submit a landmark application with the members of the Philomathean Club for their headquarters at 1810 Broadway. Read the nomination HERE.

The funding will also be used to promote study and research of Black family history by synthesizing and organizing the story of the Broadway Neighborhood for an expanded audience. One immediate goal is to aggregate these resources into a single website for access and research now and in the future.

In the meantime, you can explore Broadway by walking the street itself, and by visiting the website of one or more community partners to build your own understanding of its rich history!
The Quinn Research Center (QRC) is an educational archive that includes photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, letters and other items, collected by Dr. Alfred Quinn, a prominent educator and member of the Santa Monica community in the mid-late 20th century. VISIT
The Santa Monica Public Library hosts the QRC's digital archives which were digitized wit the help of UCLA MLIS student Grace Lauren and SMPL Research Librarian Kathy Lo. VISIT
18th Street Arts Center supports The Broadway Project, a long-term arts and culture project led by the QRC. Through public art in Santa Monica, the goal of this project is to develop a Broadway Historic Cultural District that celebrates the Black culture and history of Broadway between 14th and 20th Streets. VISIT
Last year, the Santa Monica History Museum presented the award-winning Broadway to Freeway exhibit featuring period photographs, advertisements, oral histories, and songs, from the archives of the the QRC. VISIT
Snap’s augmented Broadway History Lens is available through the Snap app for most mobile phones. Created in partnership with the Santa Monica History Museum and the Quinn Research Center, the augmented reality experience overlays history onto the neighborhood. VISIT
(1) Cover of "Do You Know Broadway" by Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, Published by 18th Street Arts Center. Image: Maj Hasager in collaboration with the Quinn Research Center, Three Structures Touching, 2021. Video still from HD video. 38 minutes. (2) Broadway Neighborhood graphic, from Broadway to Freeway at the Santa Monica History Museum. Graphic by Nina Fresco.
Meztli's Recommendations Approved
Last Tuesday night around 10 p.m., City Council unanimously voted to approve Meztli Projects' Recommendations for the City Hall Murals! We thank everyone who voiced their support either through letters or at the meeting itself. 

According to a City of Santa Monica Press Release, the vote “clears the way for new artwork and educational materials to acknowledge and contextualize the complex history, depictions and absences in the Stanton Macdonald-Wright mural in the City Hall lobby….City staff in the Recreation and Arts Department’s Cultural Affairs Division are set to start implementing [actions 1-4] this year, beginning with crafting an inclusive request for proposal process for new City Hall artwork(s).”
The Conservancy is excited to announce a new program series at the Shotgun House in Ocean Park!

On Sunday, March 17th from 2 to 3:30 pm, poet and gardener, Hilda Weiss will lead the first in a quarterly series of intimate garden tours that correspond with the plants' own life cycles. These collective explorations will spotlight the benefits of our native plants garden, the garden’s connection to the Shotgun House and the use of poetry to explore our connection to place. Image courtesy of FormLA Landscaping.

Space on this tour is extremely limited! Admission will open to Conservancy Members tomorrow, Friday, February 23rd. If spots remain, the tour will open for general admission on Thursday, February 29th.

Not a member yet?
Celebrate Architect and Engineer Julia Morgan at the Annenberg Community Beach House! 
Julia Morgan in Paris, where she attended the National School of Fine Arts. Ca. 1900.

The City of Santa Monica, Annenberg Community Beach House and Santa Monica Conservancy will co-host the annual Julia Morgan Legacy Day on Sunday March 3rd from 11 am - 3 pm!
Best known as the architect of Hearst Castle, American architect and engineer Julia Morgan was one of three remarkable individuals, along with Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst, who shaped the legacy of the Beach House site. Morgan designed what is currently known as the Marion Davies Guest House and the Beach House pool, which comprise the historic core of the Annenberg Community Beach House. 

During this free event, Julia Morgan expert Karen McNeill, Ph.D, will provide a presentation, “Julia Morgan: Engineering a Legacy,” highlighting Morgan’s engineering expertise. The presentation will expand on Morgan's training as a civil engineer, including how her studies of innovative structural techniques in Paris informed her creative architectural designs. 

Posthumously awarded the American Institute of Architect’s highest honor, a Gold Medal, Julia Morgan left a legacy of more than 700 projects in her nearly five decades of practice. 

Event attendees will also be invited to tour and view the Morgan-designed Marion Davies Guest House and Beach House pool. Access to the pool will be for viewing only. 
The Conservancy Welcomes Newest
Board Member Albin Gielicz!
On January 18, 2024, Albin Gielicz became the Conservancy’s 12th board member. Albin’s civic mindedness, care for small businesses and his love for Santa Monica are just a few of the qualities he brings to the collective leadership of the organization. 

During his tenure, Albin looks forward to learning more about “the overall value the Santa Monica Conservancy adds to the fabric of our community and how we will be positioned in the wake of considerable housing development where existing structures exist/existed." He adds, "One might assume that we are at cross-purposes with state policies and progressive values, but I don't believe that to be the case, so it is important that the broader community understand this as well. If some look at these changes as 'lemons' then how can the Conservancy help turn them into 'lemonade'?”
Professionally, Albin specializes in marketing and selling brands in the US and abroad through strategic partnerships, strong communications, and product performance. He also has an impressive record of local volunteer and community leadership and broad network of relationships throughout many sectors in Santa Monica. The Conservancy is excited to join forces with Albin as we look towards celebrating major milestones and events such as the City’s 150th Birthday and the 2028 Olympics!
Recording Available
Thanks to our presenters, production team and everyone who joined us for Sunday's live presentation of Santa Monica Mosaic: Civic Memory. The recording is now available for those of you who couldn't make the livestream or want to share it with others!
Conservancy Tours & Events
Virtual tour on February 25 / 2520 Second Street

Click HERE for more information and to register for the virtual tour.
Tours of the Annenberg Community Beach House Free walk-in tours Friday-Monday from 12-2 p.m. / 415 Pacific Coast Highway

Please call (310) 458-4904 to confirm dates and closures. Click HERE for more information.
First and third Saturdays of the month at 10 a.m.

Discover the architectural gems and rich history of Downtown Santa Monica with one of our expert docents!
Click HERE to make a reservation.
Community Events
Santa Monica Greens Festival 
Virginia Avenue Park / February 24 from 10-2

Click HERE for more information.
Exhibition open now at the Santa Monica History Museum

Click HERE for more information.
Exhibition open now at the Santa Monica History Museum

Click HERE for more information.
Santa Monica Conservancy