Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Creamery Fest Mural Saved From Destruction

Posted By on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

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As if Creamery Festival organizer Jackie Dandeneau didn't have enough going on, what with preparing for the first-ever three-day celebration of the up-and-coming arts district, here was a City of Arcata worker tsk tsking the mural she and seven other artists had livened up the intersection of Ninth and L streets with. 

Dandeneau initially feared the mural would be lost to the grinding wheels of bureaucracy, but a few well-placed phone calls stayed the City's hand (and paintbrushes). While she'll eventually have to appear before the City Council to discuss the matter, for now the ode to Creative Placemaking will continue to light up the street, the district and this weekend's festival. (More info about the fest coming up in tomorrow's Journal.)

Note: Most Creamery Fest events are free, but attendees need tickets to for Jenny Scheinman & The Tiptons, Los Angeles sketch comedy troupe Wet the Hippo and the Big Top Vaudeville Variety Show -- get them while you can!

UPDATE: Arcata City Manager Randy Mendosa called to explain further. First, he said, the City of Arcata supports the festival and the Creamery District, and this should not be seen as a controversy. However, the artists did paint a city street without permission. "I don't believe we're against murals," Mendosa said, "but the City Council has to decide if they want one." The biggest issue is what happens if the organization responsible for the mural fails to keep it up, he continued. To that end, sometimes a city will ask for a deposit. That way, if the nonprofit "loses steam," the city can paint over it "so it doesn't look ugly." Even the most advanced street paints deteriorate rapidly, so maintenance is key. 

Staff has been instructed to leave the street mural alone for now, but Dandeneau is expected to come before Arcata's City Council on the matter in the future.

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Jennifer Savage

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