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Group votes to OK Glendale Arts

Redevelopment Agency green-lights new nonprofit that is expected to up creative visibility.

By Angela Hokanson

Published: Last Updated Thursday, May 15, 2008 10:26 PM PDT
GLENDALE — Some local arts organizations are welcoming the arrival of Glendale Arts — a new umbrella arts organization that is expected to start operating in July — with open arms, hoping that the new nonprofit will increase the visibility of artists and other art organizations in the city.
Having one organization, such as Glendale Arts, to spread the word about the art venues and events around town will likely bring more people to the art spaces in the city, Galstyan said.
“Of course, publicity is the most important thing in this business,” she said.

Glendale Arts will create a website containing a master calendar for arts events happening in greater Glendale, said Barry McComb, executive director of the Alex Theatre, and who will lead Glendale Arts. The calendar would include everything from gallery exhibits to performing arts events at local schools, he said.

The website will also contain links to local artists’ Web pages, and maps to art venues around the city.

“Really, the primary purpose of Glendale Arts will be to serve as a clearinghouse between the Glendale arts community and arts consumers,” McComb said.

The website will hopefully pique residents’ interests in art performances or groups that may not have known about before, said Vince Takas, the president of the Glendale Art Assn., a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting art appreciation.

“They will expand arts across the board in Glendale,” Takas said.

For the Glendale Art Assn. in particular, the new organization might drive new members their way, or perhaps consumers interested in purchasing artwork, Takas said.

Glendale Arts also plans to develop an online, centralized ticketing system for citywide arts events on the organization’s website, McComb said. People will be able to purchase tickets online to any local art event that was listed on the master arts calendar, he said.

“We would become kind of like the Ticketmaster of Glendale,” he said.

By centralizing arts ticketing in this way, participating arts organizations could save money by not running their own ticketing services, and expose potential audience members to a wider range of arts events, McComb said.

Farther down the line, Glendale Arts would like to establish ticket kiosks around the city where people could purchase tickets to arts events, he added.

The website won’t be transferred to Glendale Arts until July, and will be under development for several months, he said.

Tim Dietlein, an owner and producer of Glendale Centre Theatre, hadn’t yet looked into the role Glendale Arts will play in the city, but he supports the notion of collecting arts information in one place. Ticket kiosks around the city would also be a great asset, he said.

Even though building up the art scene in Glendale could have the effect of increasing competition among existing art venues in the city, Dietlein said he would welcome more local arts businesses.

“Good art promotes good art,” he said. “Good theater promotes good theater.”

The structure of Glendale Arts will also allow the organization to access new sources of revenue for the Alex Theatre and other arts programs, McComb said.

Because the governing board won’t be a city commission, board members will have greater leeway to donate money to the organization, and will be better positioned to apply for certain grants.

“The real growth for us is going to be in the area of contributed income,” he said.

 

The city’s Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the creation of Glendale Arts, a private nonprofit organization charged with overseeing the operation of the Alex Theatre and promoting the arts around Glendale. The board of directors of the new nonprofit will replace the Alex Regional Theatre Board, the city commission that currently governs the historic theater.

Glendale Arts was conceived as a way to make the Alex Theatre more financially sustainable by opening it up to new revenue sources, and as a way to foster the Glendale arts community, according to the city officials.

“I think this will be very helpful for the artists especially,” said Gayane Galstyan, manager of Harvest Gallery, a Brand Boulevard gallery that exhibits contemporary work, mainly by local artists.

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