Arts and Culture Commission

The Arts and Culture Commission of the City of Santa Ana is comprised of seven members appointed by the City Council to advise on and advocate for initiatives that further the growth and sustainability of the arts and cultural community in Santa Ana. The Arts and Culture Commission was established on December 16, 2013, with its bylaws adopted on December 18, 2014. 

The Arts and Culture Commission serves as an advisory body to the City Council and the City Manager, making recommendations on matters involving: 

  • Policies, priorities, and plans for the development and improvement of arts and culture activities in Santa Ana.
  • Coordinating with the private sector and other governmental agencies in promoting arts and culture as a tool for economic development.
  • Organizing and promoting activities which celebrate the City and its unique cultural heritage.
  • Encouraging the use of local artists in City public arts projects.
  • Guidelines for accepting, selecting, purchasing, commissioning, placing, and preserving art projects and other City art acquisitions, gifts, or extended loans of art.
  • Make recommendations to the City Council on deaccessioning of artworks. 




Mayoral Representative (Sarmiento): Commissioner Manuel (Manny) Escamilla

Commissioner Manny Escamilla

Commissioner Manuel (Manny) Escamilla was born in Long Beach, raised in Santa Ana, and spent his youth at the McFadden Library and Jerome Center. After graduating from the Santa Ana Unified School District, he went on to UC Berkeley and received two Master's degrees from UCLA (MURP & MLIS). He began working for the Santa Ana Public Library in 2004 as part of the White House Award-winning TeenSpace program. He spent the 14 years working for the City of Santa Ana as an urban planner, librarian, and historian. In 2015 he was recognized by Library Journal for his work with the Teen Community Historian program to collect, preserve, and share local history. Manny served as a city representative on the Santa Ana Arts & Cultural Master Plan. He volunteers as a consultant to local artists incorporating historical themes and site-specific considerations across the city. He is a board member of the Makara Art Center, the Mexican American Heritage and Cultural Center of OC, and part of the Directors Circle with Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center.

Occupation: Urban Planner
Education: UC Berkeley, BA – UCLA, MURP & MLIS
First Appointed: February 18, 2020
Term Expires: December 2022


Ward 1 (Phan):  




Ward 2 (Penaloza): Commissioner Jennifer Oliva

Commissioner Jennifer Oliva

As a lifelong Santa Ana resident, Commissioner Jennifer Oliva is an educator and freelance professional in marketing and creative services. As a product of SAUSD, she went on to attend Orange Coast College where she studied music and composition as well as journalism and communication. She transferred to Cal State LA and graduated with a B.A. in Organizational Communication and Public Relations as well as an M.A. in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Instructional and Strategic Communication. Commissioner Oliva wants to encourage and empower the community by focusing on inclusivity, arts, and education.

Occupation: Educator & Freelance
Education: OCC, AA - CSULA, BA & MA
First Appointed: January 15, 2019
Term Expires: December 2022


Ward 3 (Lopez): 




Ward 4 (Bacerra): 



Ward 5 (Hernandez): 




Ward 6 (Mendoza):