In 2009, Bergamot Station galleries sent an open letter to the community to save Bergamot Station and over 13,000 responded. Together they successfully stopped the MTA from turning the arts center into a maintenance facility for the Light Rail. Just seven years later, as the Expo station nears its opening, we face another challenge to the arts.
Since 1994, the art galleries have provided year-round exhibitions free of charge to the public, in an enlightening, casual, comfortable, accessible and inviting space. Bergamot Station is the largest public art space for non-profit events on the Westside and is the largest art gallery complex west of the Mississippi. The gallery collective is an active civic partner and has hosted thousands of educational programs, non-profit events and fundraisers, supporting the Red Cross, CLARE Foundation, Ocean Park Community Center, Los Angeles Ballet, and Step Up On Second, just to name a few, and our past City partnership for the phenomenal program, Rosie’s Girls.
We hope you will support us in telling the Mayor and the City Council that we must preserve this valuable cultural resource as it is – and not transform it into yet another dense, crammed development project and construction site creating more traffic and congestion.
Please copy and paste the letter below and send. Email it to the attention of Mayor Tony Vazquez, ( email@example.com ) and copy all City Council members ( firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, )
Mayor Tony Vazquez,
Councilmembers Kevin McKeown, Gleam Davis, Sue Kimmelrich, Pam O’Connor, Terry O’Day, Ted Winterer
City Manager Rick Cole
1685 Main Street, Room 209
Santa Monica, CA, 90401
Dear Mayor Vazquez, Councilmembers Kevin McKeown, Gleam Davis, Sue Kimmelrich, Pam O’Connor, Terry O’Day, Ted Winterer, and City Manager Rick Cole,
I am writing to express my deep concern and support for preserving the current independent art gallery complex at Bergamot Station Arts Center.
I am strongly opposed to the current plans to re-think and re-structure the site. The proposed plan will destroy 1.5 buildings currently occupied by galleries and remove most on-site parking. There will be a vast amount of new construction, including a hotel and office space construction. This plan will irrevocably undermine and destroy the independent galleries that have made Bergamot Station Arts Center so beloved by the people of Santa Monica and beyond for over twenty-two years.
What makes the current Bergamot Station Arts Center so special? Bergamot Station Arts Center is the largest public art space for non-profit events on the Westside. It is an active civic partner, hosting thousands of educational programs, over 130 non-profit events, and fundraisers every year; such as the CLARE Foundation, Ocean Park Community Center, the Los Angeles Ballet, Step Up On Second, Venice Art Walk and Rosie’s Girls, just to name a few.
The 35 independent art galleries have been at the heart and soul of the center since its inception in 1994. They provide art exhibitions that change every month-and are FREE of charge to the public, in an enlightening, casual, comfortable, and inviting open-air space. There is nothing else like it anywhere in Los Angeles- or the world.
Los Angeles currently has art galleries concentrated in downtown and in Culver City. Bergamot is the only visual art center on the entire west side and is a source of pride for the entire community and beyond. I urge the City of Santa Monica to preserve the integrity of this exceptional cultural resource and not approve the current plans for a radical re-development of the site at the expense of the arts and culture.