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By Lookout Staff

November 10, 2022 -- For the next month, Santa Monica College's (SMC) Fall Arts and Cultural Affairs Forum will explore the theme “Changing the Way We See.”

Presented by Public Policy Institute (PPI) and the SMC Associated Students, the forum also brings back the popular holiday staple “The Nutcracker” ballet, which kicks off Thanksgiving weekend.

This fall's line-up -- which runs through December 4 -- includes two film festivals, community discussions on race and a photo exhibit that offers a "consciousness-shifting" view of Native Cultures.

The forum "demonstrates the importance of artistic representations across our community, the hemisphere, and the world as we collectively recover from the global pandemic,” said PPI co-director and SMC political science professor Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein.

"Expression through the arts can influence ideas and change perceptions, as well as augment community advocacy that can make change happen," event organizers said.

Starting today and running through Sunday, the Ethos Film Awards International Film Festival will screen films and present awards online and at selected local venues.

The festival aims "to conceptualize a vision for a better future by highlighting a 'purpose-driven' artistic approach to the impact and meaning of story. For more information visit

Next Thursday, PPI will host "Introducing Race Relay: Community Discussions on Race," a conversation about what Race Relay is and "how students and community members can submit stories to be performed by actors during Race Relay events in late March 2023.

The fee event will be held at Stromberg Hall (HSS 165) on the main SMC campus at 1900 Pico Boulevard.

On Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19 the forum will feature "Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America," an Art Exhibition by Matika Wilbur.

The photography exhibit -- which is on display through May 15 in SMC's Pete and Susan Barrett Gallery -- showcases the pictures taken by Wilbur during her journeys totaling more than 250,000 miles to chronicle recognized Tribes and other native communities.

The exhibit "counteracts the relentlessly insipid, demeaning, clichéd representation of Indigenous peoples in mainstream media" with "an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories" ("SMC Exhibition Offers 'Consciousness-Shifting' View of Native Cultures," August 12, 2022).

The free event is at the Pete and Susan Barrett Gallery at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street.

On Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19, the first-ever "All My Relations" Film Festival will premiere at the new John Adams Middle School (JAMS) Performing Arts Center, 2425 16th Street.

The festival "features works by some of the most exciting Native filmmakers of today and tomorrow. The festival is free for SMC students with ID and $15 per day general admission (see for film titles and screening times and ticket details).

The forum concludes with the 49th annual holiday performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” Ballet from November 25 to December 4 featuring the Westside School of Ballet joined by the SMC Nutcracker Symphony and SMC dancers.

The performance features Tchaikovsky’s famous score -- with some of Western music's most recognizable tunes -- Balanchine’s exuberant choreography, falling snow and a Christmas tree that grows.

The holiday event is presented in partnership with the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute’s Arts and Culture Initiative.

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 25 and December 2; at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 26 and December 3; and at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 27 and December 4

All performances are in The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center. For ticket details visit Onsite parking is free.

For more information on the fall events visit or call 310-434-3541.

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