Now, full disclosure: I loves me some Bert Green, downtown gallerist & founder of the LA Art Walk. [waves] And I loves me some Gallery Row Organization (some stories I assigned & edited for the LA Alternative Press back in 05 & 06 brought me into repeated contact with the original GRO). And I really love Kim Cooper & her husband Richard Schave (founders of literary/historic tour company Esotouric), who for some time now have functioned as the burgeoning Downtown Art Walk’s curator & director, respectively. But now they’ve both resigned over the addition of Russell Brown, head of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District, to the Art Walk’s governing body.
I’m currently reaching out to all involved parties & should have more info soon. It does strike me as odd that a nonprofit org, designed to enhance the cultural vibrancy of the area (independently of commercial enterprise) should now have as its head a leader of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District. In a brief phone call with Richard, he mentioned it heralded a “privatization of the public space of downtown.” Is downtown public? Private? Both? I’m hoping someone can explain to me how and why this happened. I’m trying to keep an open mind.
Either way, all of Esotouric’s offerings have been removed from the monthly artwalks, so those expecting shuttles, knowledgeable tour guides, food tours from foodblogger Javier (TeenageGlutster) Cabral, historical-literary discussions and more will be disappointed.