The Long Beach Art Walk, a second-Saturday tradition in the Downtown’s East Village, is enjoying a steady rise in attendance and popularity since the Arts Council of Long Beach assumed leadership of it last May and expanded it throughout the Downtown.
The event, which used to occur within a blocked-off section of Linden Avenue, has grown throughout the seven blocks making up the East Village Arts District. Arts-friendly Downtown businesses outside the District are now patched in with the Art Walk as well.
The Arts Council gained insight from a three-part DLBA survey of Art Walk artists, businesses and attendees conducted in May, August and October. Survey results revealed increases in attendance and revenues, along with expressions of approval over Art Walk innovations.
With its assortment of small art galleries, along with the new Downtown annex of the Long Beach Museum of Art, the East Village has one of the highest concentrations of artists in the city. On Art Walk evenings, this is augmented by close to 50 more artists displaying and selling their wares along Broadway, at 4th and Elm, and in the East Village Arts Park. Visitors can refer to an Art Walk map which shows transportation hubs, entertainment events and participating vendors.
The Arts Council has been curating Art Walk music events in the Arts Park, the cozy little East Village gem at 150 Elm Street that has been open since 2004. During October’s Arts Month edition of the Art Walk, local high school jazz bands played inside the park to large and enthusiastic crowds.
Also striking in October were the huge digital images projected at 1st and Elm by artist Eric Michael (@ericmichaelart) in partnership with Inspired LBC (@inspiredlbc) and Projected Visions (@projectedvisions).
In November, Art Walk attendees were pleasantly surprised by the Long Beach State University cheerleaders, who erupted in high-energy flash mobs at spontaneous times and locations.
“With any big project like this, it takes a while to build,” said Lisa DeSmidt, Director of Programs for the Arts Council of Long Beach. “We all have a lot of excitement for seeing it grow. The Art Walk has been steadily growing every month and we really look forward to helping it continue to do so.”
Click HERE for more information about the Long Beach Art Walk.