Arts community voices concerns: Increasing costs of putting on exhibits and productions is among suggestions for improvement

Arts community voices concerns
Increasing costs of putting on exhibits and productions is among suggestions for improvement.

By Chris Wiebe
Glendale News Press
NORTHEAST GLENDALE — More than 30 representatives from local arts organizations met Thursday night to discuss the future of art and culture in Glendale and how the newly formed Glendale Arts Alliance and the city’s Arts and Culture Commission can support local efforts to market and promote the area’s arts scene.

The meeting was a chance for residents who have an interest in Glendale’s arts community to voice their concerns, said Ted Osborn, chairman of the Alex Theatre Board.

“The thought of this is that there really won’t be an answer, no real debate,” he said. “We simply want to open the floor and get as much out on the table.”

Participants raised concerns such as a need for more promotion of the arts in Glendale and the increasing costs of putting on exhibits and productions.

“There are rising costs of just putting on a production, which would include the rental of performance space and advertising and all of those things,” said Pam Ellis, a member of the Alex Theatre Film Society and Theater Nova. “If there is a way we can get some assistance in that, that would be helpful.”

Some questioned whether the city of Glendale was doing enough to advance the arts in the community.

“I think there was a time when we first did our strategic plan in Glendale when you could say that our city government was really arts-friendly,” said Pam Elyea, who is involved with History for Hire, a prop house. “There was a little bit of funding, not a lot, but cities around us still do that .?.?. and in Glendale they don’t.”

Participants at the meeting agreed that pooling the resources of different arts organizations in town would be a positive way to centralize promotions and inform the public about exhibits and events.

Glendale architect Ruben Amirian proposed allowing developers to build square footage that was dedicated to renting to galleries, museums and art organizations at reduced monthly rates.

“There should be a money incentive for galleries to come,” Amirian said. “Otherwise they won’t come.”

Glendale Arts Alliance will hold another forum on Feb. 7 to explore what sponsorship opportunities could benefit visual and performing arts-related programs. That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Glendale Unified School District board room.