Community in danger of losing art spaces

By Felipe Rodriguez

Art spaces are a necessity for young artists, and along with helping and inspiring future generations, they benefit communities and bring people together.

These art spaces are hidden throughout Los Angeles, and although they don’t get big attention through promoters, anyone can find these through local artist’s websites and social media.

Los Angeles is known to have one of the most thriving art scene in America and although it may be known for its iconic venues and big name acts, it’s important to recognize that its underground local venues are important and beneficial to young artists coming out of L.A.

Although these places have strong support from the people who attend the events at these venues, many of these spaces have been becoming more and more pressured to close their doors due to changes in the communities they are located in.

Local art spaces have been a big part of the music scene here in L.A., and have served up some great acts within the past couple of decades. Many of these spaces are very open to presenting different art forms and have created a very welcoming environment for artists who are seeking bigger audiences.

Venues have helped many artists build a strong fan base and are constantly helping individuals navigate their way into the mainstream media. L. A based artists like Health, Best Coast and No Age are some of the more well known acts that have thrived due to these spaces and have made it onto prime time venues.

Most of these artists continue to support these spaces and have even helped in raising funds and attention to the struggles venues are currently dealing with. Although these venues have been a great addition to many communities, the rising cost of property in L.A. has created many issues for these places.

Some venues have had to close their doors, and many of these venues have had to take the proper procedures in order to stay open. Venues like Pehrspace had to start petitions in order to save their space from being bought out.

Pehrspace was ultimately forced to close their doors after their property was sold to a real estate firm for millions. Other venues like The Smell in downtown L.A. have held benefit shows in order to keep their lease.

This venue is currently being threatened with demolition and are still struggling to find ways to continue hosting shows. Some venues like Non Plus Ultra were ultimately shut down for not having legal permits from L.A. county in order to operate and are currently seeking a new location.

Following the Oakland warehouse fire that left 12 individuals dead inside an art venue, major media outlets got a bad impression at how these venues function and since have been subjected to strict inspections and multiple closures from legal authorities.

In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Pauline Lay, owner of Pehrspace, said that media outlets don’t understand the do-it-yourself culture. She said that although these venues are seen as dangerous, people who attend these shows feel safe.

“Many venues like the Smell have led neighborhood rejuvenation, activating under used warehouses and improving blighted areas,” said Lay in the L.A. Times.

Along with improving the community, these spaces occupy unused areas and create a nicer look in the neighborhoods they are located in. To find out more, and look into how you can help preserve these spaces, simply search or visit a local venue near you.

Many of the venues mentioned above also have Kickstarter pages that are still currently happening and donating is a great way to help out the cause.

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