Walk­ing on shaky ground

As board mem­bers send con­tra­dic­tory mes­sages, the fu­ture of Down­town Art Walk re­mains un­cer­tain.

Los Angeles Times - - Front Page - David Ng and Deb­o­rah Vankin

The fu­ture of the Down­town Art Walk, which draws more than 20,000 peo­ple to a monthly stroll of down­town gal­leries and nightspots and has been cred­ited with help­ing re­vi­tal­ize the area, was un­cer­tain Tues­day fol­low­ing a dis­pute among its top lead­ers.

The dis­pute broke out Fri­day with a mes­sage on the art walk’s of­fi­cial web­site say­ing the walks had been can­celed through the end of the year and that they would re­sume in 2011 as quar­terly events. But then on Sun­day, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s board of di­rec­tors sent out a re­lease say­ing that the next art walk would take place Oct. 14 as pre­vi­ously sched­uled and that the group’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Jay Lopez, had pub­lished the ear­lier an­nounce­ment with­out the ap­proval of the board.

The mixed mes­sages point to a bit­ter lead­er­ship strug­gle over the di­rec­tion the non­profit art walk should take. Board mem­bers said in in­ter­views that the 6-year-old event has be­come a vic­tim of its own suc­cess and that the cash­strapped or­ga­ni­za­tion doesn’t have the re­sources to deal with grow­ing costs as­so­ci­ated with se­cu­rity, trash col­lec­tion and other ser­vices.

De­spite the pop­u­lar­ity of

Spencer Weiner

DOWN­TOWN L.A. DRAW: The monthly art walks are hugely pop­u­lar, but or­ga­niz­ers don’t have the money to pay for ex­tra se­cu­rity and cleanup.

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