The only thing hotter than the 113° degree heat wave in Downtown L.A. was the firestorm created Friday by one little press release.
DTLA’s famed Art Walk, a monthly event where visitors eat, drink and participate in self guided gallery tours was reportedly at risk when the Art Walk’s Director unceremoniously issued a press release stating that the event was no longer going to be held.
The DTLA Art Walk started out organically in 2004 when gallery owners and property managers sought to bring visitors downtown and make their galleries more accessible. It quickly gained in popularity and was hailed a success. As the event grew, bars opened and the food trucks followed. Now the event reportedly attracts 20,000 art patrons.
Art patrons? Maybe not. As bar hopping became the primary draw, the event turned into a drunken pub crawl, leaving a wave of trash and unmanageable costs in its wake. While I don’t think the Food Trucks or the bars are to blame, it appears as though the group behind the Art Walk struggled to manage its success. This prompted Friday’s Press Release stating that there will be no more events for the remainder of the year, and the Art Walk will become a quarterly weekend festival vs a monthly weeknight affair. In a strange twist of events, by Sunday, the Board of Directors of the Art Walk reportedly released an announcement saying the Press Release was issued in error, the Art Walk will indeed continue as originally scheduled, and the Director was summarily dismissed. For more on the board’s retraction, check out LA Weekly’s update. The plot thickens.
It’s a shame that an organization’s dysfunction is so public, and I am amazed that the disconnect between the board and the organization’s leadership has deteriorated in this way. I hope that the visibility this embarrassing chain of events has received will lead to more community involvement to determine the fate of the DTLA Art Walk.