Does your arts space/organization cater to "the rich" or is it "doing the work"?

...that is to ask: Is it serving the community? And is it that simple? After reading an excerpt from Dr. Stephen Pritchard's unpublished book I started thinking about the roles of museums, galleries and other art spaces and how they may play into gentrification.

A new "Peace Pole" painted by an artist in Woodinville's Wilmot Gateway Park.
The sentence that jumped out at me the most, "...artists are the advance troops of gentrification." And I've found this quote is absolutely true when speaking of Seattle and its various neighborhoods that have housed and incubated the creatives. Capitol Hill comes to mind among various other corners in Seattle.

We've watched "redevelopment" unfold in Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue. The arts are pushed and cultivated, but what is the main motive? The cities would quickly answer "to bring arts and culture to the communities" but after seeing Redmond inundated with more boxed apartments (where the average rent is about $2000 for a 1 bedroom) by big name developers, I really have to ask if that's the true reason. Even cities are motivated by $$$.

The above are just my observations. Going forward, my hope is that local art spaces will work more with the growing homeless population and marginalized populations while also tackling tough subjects through art (immigration, politics, climate change, etc).

Perhaps, Stephen's book will have all the answers... (I hope!)

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