Art and Gentrification / by Chris Hall

 

So I've come across this article in the Los Angeles Times reporting on how the citizens of a Los Angeles neighborhood are protesting the influx of artists for fear of gentrification.

Interesting: Gentrification and the idea of the artist as an outsider, a plague of locusts moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing, devouring the landscape until it is unrecognizable, but then forced to move on to other pastures, no longer able to "afford" the consequences. It’s a shame that art and artists are blamed for this. The connection definitely there, but it is more of a chicken vs egg scenario, only with more variables - tough to unravel. I may be biased, of course, but maybe chalk it up to yet one more instance of people distrusting and being wary of art and artists... I worry about Atlanta's rapid growth. We've seen how the Beltline went back on its promise of making sure affordable housing was kept in place. The Memorial Drive corridor might be the next battleground. I really want to learn more about this, and see if I can help in my own humble way. Lots to consider: race, class, etc. We need smart growth instead of just growth. We all deserve nice things! Of course there are those who simply want things to stay the way they already are . . . but if smart growth is hard, keeping things the way they are, that is impossible.