Reasons for low turnout

Dear Editor:When the aerospace work finished and Boeing finally left Downey, the white flight that occurred opened the door for Hispanics to move to more desirable areas than those where they lived previously. Downey realtors saw the business opportunity of selling to Hispanics and relented in their way of doing business with them. This produced a tremendous change in the demographics of the city and today we have a population that is mainly Hispanic with some 70% of the population being under 44 years old. This more than anything else explains the failure of H&E Entertianment with its presentation of the comedy night live show. It is obvious that Gary Head's company did not do the proper market research in Downey prior to bringing the show. Had they done it they would have brought JLo or Shakira, they would have been assured of a standing room audience and they would be praising the city instead of lamenting about lack of support. Audiences respond to proper marketing and hopefully H&E Entertainment has learned its lesson and will bring more Hispanic-oriented entertainment to Downey. -- Jorge Montero, Downey

Dear Editor: I'm so sorry that Mr. Gary Head's feelings were hurt by the turn out at his comedy presentation on Jan. 21 at the Downey Theatre. ("New Era at the Downey Theatre Off to a Rough Start," 1/27/11) I can't believe anyone would do that on purpose. And I'm grateful to him for not "coming down hard on the city of Downey." We just couldn't bear that. I am sorry I wasn't there. I am a comic's blessing. I really love to laugh. I'm certain I would have had a really good time, had I known about it. By what method did Mr. Head usually obtain an audience? And where is the heart "thank you" to those who did attend? Many arts people work on weekends and the economy is pretty bad for some folks. They deserve a cheer. Is this a new technique of his? How to encourage and develop a continuing, enthusiastic, loyal audience with the use of shame: shame on us for not being there and threats (you didn't show us how much you love us so we'll just go play with Long Beach or Los Angeles). In addition, his patronizing remarks are not welcome nor funny. It may feel like "River City" here sometimes but we stopped using the think system a long time ago. Is this how Mr. Head usually introduces himself and his company to potential patrons? Admit it, someone just didn't get out and hustle to sell the tickets and do proper publicity. At one time or another, most of us have had to face that fundamental issue whether its fundraising or production. I can't believe he said that corny line about Downey: "It takes time, people are afraid of new things." Afraid? We have a wonderful history of caring, supporting and creating the arts in Downey. It was we who wanted a symphony, a children's theater, a well-known art museum, an exquisite theater building built without city funding, a civic light opera group, a music in the schools program that is funded by the Downey Symphony through donations from the community. Our high schools have prize-winning bands, orchestra, choral and jazz groups. Downey is not afraid to innovate. I think Mr. Head came to town without knowing his demographic. "I don't want to come down hard on the city of Downey, but the support wasn't there." Maybe he just didn't seek it. Transparency and communications count. Now he can go to Long Beach and Los Angeles and try to find a theater as commercial and beautiful as ours. I think I speak for most of us - and I apologize if I'm overstepping any boundaries - but I believe what we in Downey and surrounding communities want and need is inspired leadership who wants to unify, coordinate and build up all the arts in Downey and occasionally books some shows that we by God better attend or else. There has been music, theater and arts in Downey since the 1900s and they were not developed by the "city" but by a community who cared. Not just those on the stage but those who painted sets, volunteered to build costumes, allowed the symphony to rehearse in front rooms, performed in the high school gymnasium, bought tickets, held art festivals on the Furman Park lawn, etc. We've been lending our support to the arts in Downey for more years than Mr. Head is old. And we certainly do not want "art stuff." -- Pauline Hume, Downey

********** Published: February 10, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 43