In an effort to preserve the arts character of Venice Beach, solutions are needed to keep artists from getting priced out of the city which they have largely shaped. A group of passionate community members in Venice is looking to persuade Councilman Bonin and Mayor Garcetti to support our efforts to bring PLACE, a national nonprofit, to Venice in order to explore the development of permanently affordable living and working spaces for Venice creatives.
What's at stake?
Imagine Venice Beach without artists. Art and creativity, in all its forms, have been the beating heart of this community for decades -- and now, more than ever, artists are being priced out of Venice due to exponentially rising costs as a result of gentrification. There is a great need for affordable live/work space, studio spaces, gallery spaces, and all other types of creative space to be preserved, so that those who make Venice the unique destination it is are not driven away.
As an organization, PLACE (Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment) has a long, deep history of creating forward-thinking, sustainable communities that provide permanently affordable living and working space for artists and creatives of all incomes, ages, and disciplines. A great example is the WAV (Working Artists Ventura) community in Ventura, California.
With your support, we can:
- Achieve 1,000 signatures on the petition to help raise funds for PLACE (a nonprofit developer based in Minneapolis) to perform a preliminary feasibility study, which will act as an official document to be distributed to city officials, local businesses and developers.
- Encourage local leadership to recognize the importance of artists and our impact in Venice
- Influence the development of high-value real estate in the area toward public benefit purposes instead of continuing acquisition by large companies
- Eventually, partner with PLACE to plan, design, fund and build a beautiful, sustainable community that creates permanently affordable housing, studio space, gallery space, and commercial space for Venice artists and creatives at all income levels.
We are at a tipping point in Venice. Large, incredibly wealthy companies are moving in, and prices are going up as a result. While there is a healthy balance to be had with investment in our city by outside companies, we do not want to become "Silicon Beach." Multiple sites are either up for sale, or will be open to development soon -- and before deep-pocketed developers can swoop in and build projects that will be sold to the highest bidder, we feel that along with PLACE, we can use this unique moment in time to unite the Venice arts community to push for more thoughtful development of these sites that seek to help preserve the unique grit and creative pulse of the community that we love so much.
Sandy Bleifer is a lifelong Venice resident, community organizer, artist and realtor. She has created a coalition of artists, arts organizations, and other community members to enlist PLACE to bring their expertise to bear in Venice, and to create a robust community process that will lead to a partnership with local government entities in recognizing artists as a class of people in need of affordable housing, commercial space, and other creative spaces. PLACE is a national expert in creating affordable, mixed-use communities that prioritize the needs of creatives.
Together, we as a community can unite our quiet individual voices become a full-throated roar. By signing this petition, you will be telling the City Council, Mayor and others that you support the development of affordable space for Venice artists! Please sign, and please share. Thank you!
For questions, or to join the grassroots movement behind this project, please contact Sandy Bleifer: Sandy@SandyBleifer.com
Letters of Support