Here’s a link to today’s article in the Los Angeles Times by Marisa Gerber (and featuring photographs by Arts District resident Jabin Botsford). For the record, “worrisome” I am not, as noted in the headline — “hopeful” is how I feel about the changes in my beloved Arts District neighborhood. I also feel “empowered” as, like many others, I have found myself working more and more in collaborative ways that help unite our community to help guide and affect positive change.
In my opinion, the types of “arts” in the Arts District are simply shifting … the artists who remain or who are attracted to our area today are using different artistic media to create their work than in years past. Instead of fine artists whose paintings and sculptures are made, sold in art galleries, and/or on view in museums, instead there are more creative professionals here who are graphic designers, filmmakers, interior designers, chefs, fashion designers, furniture makers, and the like. It is important to note that, unlike years past, the Arts District is finally getting a critical mass of art galleries … actually, most of that growth is happening SOUTH of our official boundaries beyond 7th Street (click HERE for a current list).
While musicians, photographers, and actors remain, it is those fine artists in need of larger space and lots of light to make their art who are moving or no longer here. Am I sad that they need to move? Yes. Will the neighborhood survive? Yes, but it will be a different place that is not necessarily better or worse. Change is good, and no matter if you leave or stay, it shakes our personal snowglobe worlds and often settles us in a better place, literally or figuratively.
What has been is now gone, and what is here now is transforming so rapidly that I can’t keep up, but I’m happy to try. As I’ve said before, it’s not that I’m longing for the past; rather, I’m appreciating the present and hoping for a positive future.8