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Join the List: Watts Towers Art Center's Future is Uncertain

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Layoffs and facility cutbacks are in the works at the city's cultural affairs department, and among those institutions facing a cut-off in funding is the Watts Towers Art Center, (the recently-opened Charles Mingus Youth Art Center is also slated to be stripped of its public income). The 2,000 square foot Watts Arts Center, located near Simon Rodia's towers, hosts informal art classes, organizes music festivals, and offers green space to the park-poor area--the original art center opened not long after the 1965 riots. A petition is now circling to save the art centers from the list of cultural amenities slated for privatization, offering the argument that aside from the cultural loss, closing the art centers discourages tourists and locals from visiting the towers. Today's Los Angeles Times also has the latest on other cultural centers that could be up for grabs. "Before City Hall began seeking drastic staffing cuts, [Olga Garay, executive director of the Department of Cultural Affairs] had submitted a budget request for 2010-11 that envisioned finding private partners for three more centers: the Barnsdall Art Center and the Junior Arts Center, which serve adults and children, and the William Grant Still Arts Center. Looking for additional savings through layoffs, [Miguel Santana, L.A.'s chief administrative officer] added the Warner Grand, the Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park, the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and the currently closed Vision Theatre in Leimert Park to the list. At the request of Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who represents Watts, the Watts arts centers were added." [Image from HONDAcrg via Flickr]
· Save the Watts Towers Art Center [thepetitionsite.com]
· Art Center [Try Watts]

Watts Towers

1765 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002