Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein

Santa Monica College’s interdisciplinary, innovative Public Policy Institute provides nonpartisan community programs exploring key economic, social, and political issues. The Institute offers FREE, informative discussions on the policy issues that affect our daily lives.

Founded by LA County Supervisor and former California State Senator Sheila Kuehl and SMC political science professor Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein (former Chair of Excellence, Philosophy & Social Science), the Institute is currently led by co-directors Tahvildaran-Jesswein and SMC political science instructor Shari Davis (who also chairs Community for Excellent Public Schools).

Several programs and topical discussions are planned for Fall 2018, including panels and community discussions. Please visit for up-to-date information. Send email to with a request to be added to mailing list for invitations to events.

Annual Fall Arts & Cultural Affairs Forum

November 13 – December 2, 2018

Join us for screenings of cutting-edge television programming and for performances that highlight theimportance of the visual and performing arts in — and to — our society, how expression through the arts can influence ideas and change perceptions, and how community advocacy can effect change.

Please visit the Public Policy Institute website at for up-to-date forum details.

Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Ballet

The SMC Symphony and SMC student dancers partner with the Westside Ballet for its annual holiday Nutcracker extravaganza. Come see the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Prince, and all the other wonderful characters in Tchaikovsky's classic come to life — with falling snow and a Christmas tree that grows — in a theater where every seat provides visual and audio delights for all ages. Produced with support from Santa Monica College, SMC Public Policy Institute, and City of Santa Monica. See or call (800) 595-4849 for information and to purchase tickets. Part of the SMC Public Policy Institute's Fall Arts & Cultural Affairs Forum.


Friday, November 23 | 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 24 | 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Sunday, November 25 | 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Friday, November 30 | 7 p.m.​

Saturday, December 1 | 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Sunday, December 2 | 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

See the Westside Ballet website for ticket details.

The Broad Stage at SMC Performing Arts Center