Those who want to contribute to a fund to restore the “Chain Reaction” sculpture in the Civic Center can now get a credit on next year’s taxes for their trouble.

City Hall will accept donations through its 501(c)3 nonprofit organization the Santa Monica Arts Foundation, which will track the contributions and keep the funds restricted for use only on “Chain Reaction.”

It will mean a considerable amount of staff time in terms of tracking and acknowledging the contributions, but it’s worthwhile to support the community’s efforts, wrote Cultural Affairs Manager Jessica Cusick in an e-mail.

The sculpture, a 26-foot tall mushroom cloud made out of individual copper links, is in need of repairs after 20 years exposed to the elements. It’s the largest statue created by Paul Conrad, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times.

City officials recommended that it be removed from the public art collection and either returned to the family or given to a museum because of the cost of repairs, which were estimated at anywhere between $227,000 and $423,000.

Community activists rose up to save the statute, which they felt was a critical symbol of anti-nuclear speech at a time when the nuclear question is grabbing headlines given the breakdown of the San Onofre power plant and the potential nuclear armament of Iran.

To donate, send funds to:

City of Santa Monica

Cultural Affairs Division – Chain Reaction

PO Box 2200

Santa Monica, CA


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