City poised to fund art gallery on Downey Avenue

The City Council on Tuesday will consider leasing a downtown retail space which would be used as a public art gallery operated by Downey Art Vibe. Under terms of the proposed five-year deal, the city of Downey agreed to pay $2,000 monthly rent for space at 11140 Downey Ave. for two years.

Downey Art Vibe would be responsible for monthly rent the remaining three years.

In return, Downey Art Vibe - a non-profit arts group - would offer monthly gallery exhibits, small plays, comedy nights, live music, poetry readings and spoken word, along with workshops in painting, drawing, photography, videography, sculpture, Photoshop, video editing and more.

At least 90 percent of the exhibited art must be from Downey-based artists.

The proposed contract also makes mention of a partnership with Krikorian Theatres for a "Downey Film Festival."

Downey Art Vibe, which is headed by director Valentin Flores, is responsible for the costs of utilities, insurance, maintenance, tenant improvements and day-to-day operations.

The total contract is worth $48,000. Property owner Domenico Napoli, of San Marino, waived one month's rent in exchange for a $2,000 refundable security deposit.

The lease agreement becomes effective June 1.

The retail space is located near Firestone Boulevard and was formerly a custom drape shop.

The city of Downey will pay the rent with its Art in Public Places Fund, which is financed by local developers.