San Bernardino: Partnerships for Art

Ernie Garcia, long-time resident of San Bernardino, wants you to know about cultural and civic revival happening there despite the city’s fiscal foibles:

In Southern California, most people know about San Bernardino and its ongoing municipal bankruptcy. Last summer, the L.A. Times called the city a “symbol of the nation’s urban woes.”

But most people don’t know that many of us who live and work in San Bernardino have been collaborating to revive interest in the arts—and rebuild our communities.

Garcia specifically mentions the new San Bernardino Cultural Center opening on Saturday, November 14 as a result of efforts by the local concert association, and other upcoming public art projects:

One of the costs of San Bernardino’s problems has been a loss in space for arts during recent economic hard times. There were no art galleries in town at all, and the arts offerings from California State University, San Bernardino—where I worked for many years, as a professor and dean of education—didn’t always reach beyond the campus. It was hard to watch as the city lost spaces for the visual and performing arts—classes and performance venues and exhibition halls—where people can make art together and share it.

But what’s great about cities is that they are places for connections. San Bernardino—the city I’ve lived in for 30 years and been around my whole life since I was born in Colton—is very much a great city, with more than 213,000 people. And it was clear that the city needed to re-create spaces where people could come together.

Check out the full story at Zócalo Public Square here.

Contributor: Benjamin Peterson, Pepperdine School of Public Policy, MPP Candidate ’16.

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