The City of Santa Ana spent millions on the Artists Village, 10 years later – was it worth it?

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The Santa Ana Artists Village celebrated ten years of existence yesterday.  How sad that the anniversary was marked this year by the expulsion of the Vietnamese art exhibit FOB II, by the City of Santa Ana, at the behest of Assemblyman Jose Solorio.

What does that say about the Artists Village?  Censorship is anathema to artistic expression.  Yet there was not a peep from anyone in the Artists Village when the FOB II exhibit was shut down.

Has the Artists Village made a tremendous difference?  And does the City of Santa Ana really support it?

The city spent $7.5 million to purchase and rehab the building which houses the Grand Central Art Center, which opened on Feb. 28, 1999.  It is owned by the city and leased to Cal State Fullerton for $1 a year, according to the O.C. Register.

If you look at the Grand Central Arts Center staff page, you won’t find any Latino surnames.  That reminds me of the Bowers Museum Board of Governors, which sports exactly one Latino, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.

How many public libraries could we have opened up with the millions spent on the Artists Village?  We still have only one fully functional library and it is still closed on Sundays.

And our city is exploding in crime this year. So really, has anything changed?  I think the jury is still out on that one.

Don’t get me wrong. I support the arts.  But spending public money in this arena remains highly questionable.  And I really don’t know if this development has been that much of a benefit to the people of Santa Ana.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.