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