$8 Million Arts Venue For Culver City

Mark Ridley-Thomas

A new proposal put forth by outgoing LA City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas would transform a local building into potential gallery space, according to the LA Times.

The plan, which was backed by supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky, would repurpose a 30,000-square-foot former courthouse one mile away from Culver City’s downtown arts and cultural district. Both Molina and Yaroslavsky have both been behind recent large-scale arts-related projects in the city, and Ridley-Thomas, who represents Culver City as part of the 2nd Supervisorial District, says the plan could potentially involve local cultural institutions that are currently looking to expand.

“We’re working with LACMA and Sony and other arts organizations to come up with a final program,” an aide to Ridley-Thomas said.

Although LACMA director Michael Govan says that it’s too early to give a definitive commitment, the museum has been considering a satellite gallery in which it can showcase some of its more mobile holdings. “Nothing’s firm, it’s super-preliminary,” he told the Times, stating that he saw potential in the space after visiting it. “It’s an interesting place, a beautiful mid-century building with a courtyard that’s closed in. It needs a little TLC.”

There is potential drawback to the refurbishment because the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, a collection of literature and artifacts documenting the African American experience that is currently located in the courthouse, would stand to lose its home (after being placed there in 2006); but the supervisor’s office remains optimistic, saying, “We’re committed to working with the [Clayton] foundation to make sure they have a long-term sustainable and appropriate home, whether it’s in the Culver City Arts Center or an alternative location.”

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