Moving beyond ArtWalk

Let me preface this post by saying that I’m a big fan of ArtWalk, I’ve been to nearly every one and I always have a great time. I also try to buy something original if I can and encourage others to follow suit. I will be in attendance this weekend for the Harvest ArtWalk. I will likely spend most of my time at Stoneworks Studio, Bell Arts and Artists Union (I’m dying to see the featured artist’s work).

That said, it might be time for a change.

I don’t mean this to negate anyone’s efforts or the value of this event to the city both economically and culturally. But, it seems that given the looming threat of funding cuts going forward, as well as the stasis the event has settled into over the years–perhaps due to it being a city funded/staffed event, perhaps a natural evolution, the passage of time–something fresh is in order.

I’m not suggesting a new take on ArtWalk, but a new arts event entirely. Something unique to the city would be ideal. As a cultural destination and an arts-centered community, a signature event would go a long way toward furthering Ventura’s brand and generating some fresh interest. I imagine that once complete, the WAV community will almost undoubtedly spawn something, if not get folded into whatever the larger arts community comes up with.

It would be extra cool if the event came to be in an organic way, not as a city-facilitated project but from the heart and soul of the city’s artists and arts supporters.

This has been the year of the event in Ventura. People continue to come out of the woodwork to launch events in our city. Some have succeeded, some have failed, some have been authentic in their desire to celebrate this wonderful place we live, others have been opportunistic in their approach.

ArtWalk took a while to gain momentum and it’s had a good, long run. Let’s create some space for something new. It’s time to come together and do what artists do in a natural, collective environment: play, imagine, create and birth something together that only we can.

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