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A Lesson About Art & Your Neighborhood: Los Angeles Art District

A Lesson About Art & Your Neighborhood: Los Angeles Art District

Are you satisfied with your neighborhood or would you like to improve it?  Or, asked as another question, have you my creative friend ever thought of adopting your neighborhood?

Artists creating beautyThat’s exactly what a group of artists did in Los Angeles.

Artists in all fields create beauty and that beauty goes out in an ever increasing circumference until an area turns from horrid to beautiful.

In the late 60’s and early 70’s, a handful of determinedly urban-minded artists saw opportunity in the empty warehouses and began colonizing the area, converting former industrial spaces into roomy working studios, renting space for as little as a nickel a square foot and carving out living quarters, literally inventing the concept of live-work spaces. The City of Los Angeles eventually acknowledged the reality of the situation and in 1981 passed the Artist in Residence ordinance, which allowed artists to legally live and work in industrial areas of downtown Los Angeles.

Today the Arts District remains the home of artists, arts enterprises and many employed in L.A’s vast film and television industry. The celebrated Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), now resides in the 110 year old, quarter mile-long former Santa Fe freight depot that stretches along Santa Fe between Third and 4th Streets. The Arts District is one of the most filmed locations in the world, hosting as many as 800 filming days a year.

a concert in LA Arts DistrictIt was a poor area in Los Angeles but then it experienced an influx of people, after artists arrived, who saw an opportunity to renovate and rebuild homes and businesses.  Usually when big business goes into an area to renovate, property values increase and the earlier, usually poorer residents move on to other areas.  However, the Los Angeles Arts District contributed to the City of Los Angeles in many ways, including the character of the area and the economic opportunities, so this District was protected and nurtured because it helped the city.

Community leaders are struggling to balance the economic opportunities with the need to preserve the essential tone and character of the Arts District as a true creative community that has made significant contributions to the cultural and economic well-being of Los Angeles for decades.

Although The Arts District has been hit pretty hard by covid as mentioned in A Guide to the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District: “Update July 5, 2021: The DTLA Arts District has no doubt taken a massive hit due to the COVID pandemic. … While it’s still worth visiting, just know that it’s definitely been set back.  Many restaurants and stores have closed, but we hope to see a turnaround as we all make our way into a brighter future.”

In the true spirit of creativity, the LA Arts District is indeed working its way into a brighter future and inspiring us all!







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