City agrees to finance downtown art gallery

DOWNEY - The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a lease for a downtown retail space to be used as a public art gallery operated by Downey Art Vibe.According to the terms of a five-year deal between the city and Downey Art Vibe, the city agreed to pay $2,000 monthly rent for space at 11140 Downey Ave. for two years. Downey Art Vibe is responsible for monthly rent the remaining three years. In return, Downey Art Vibe - a non-profit arts group - agreed to 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 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.

********** Published: May 24, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 06