This map, courtesy of the LA Stage Alliance, illustrates the problem perfectly:
See that large empty space in Southeast LA County? That’s Downey’s responsibility, and you can see that the Downey Civic Theatre is the only notable venue anywhere near us. How notable? Well, it wasn’t even on the map until about a month ago when I emailed the website’s webmaster about its omission.
We have a responsibility that we’re not fulfilling. One project I hope to tackle soon is to list the cities with comparable populations and incomes and compare what they’ve done about the arts to what Downey has done.
The Downey Museum of Art served 23 cities in the SE Region 1.5 million (probably more now). The museum, in addition to providing art enrichment for the community, provided homework support for regional teachers who assigned a visit to a museum and DMOA was most often selected because it was in the region and free, saving students and parents time and money.
Thanks, Kate– yes, I’ll bet a map of art galleries in our area would show a similar gap to fill. I do hope to see the museum get back on its feet soon! Andrew