Mission

Art Share L.A. is a sanctuary for the arts in downtown LA. We maintain a 28,000 sq-ft warehouse in the heart of the arts district. Upstairs, we provide 30 subsidized live/work lofts for artists. Downstairs, we have a community programmed facility offering classes, exhibitions and events.

History

FOUNDED: 1997

BUILDING DETAILS & HISTORY:

In 1912, the lot was a single family residential home. The property was bought in 1928 and a 28,800 square foot, 2-story textile recycling (“rag shop”) was constructed.

During the mid-80’s the area surrounding this warehouse, now called the Arts District, experienced a major influx of artists who sought the large, open, industrial spaces for creative purposes. This trend continued throughout the 90’s and with the increasing interest in loft-living came a drastic increase in property value.

In 1997, the building was purchased and Art Share L.A. was born. The top floor was converted into 30 affordable micro-loft live/work spaces with a large common room. Part of the roof was removed to allow for natural light, and to create an outdoor patio area—complete with koi pond. The bottom floor was compartmentalized into a theater, gallery, painting studio and office with 3 additional multi-purpose classrooms. Remnants of the industrial era are still present at Art Share—brick walls, wooden support beams, sliding freight doors and old train tracks in our alley…

 

PROGRAMMING HISTORY:

Art Share L.A. was founded as a community arts center and affordable housing complex during a time when inner-city arts programming was non-existent and artists were being displaced by the skyrocketing property value and rent increases. The average rental rate for a loft in 1990 was $0.25cents/square foot – today, the average rental rate is pushing $1.35/square foot.

At the turn of the century, Art Share flourished as an after-school arts center for youth ages 12-18, and experienced tremendous success shaping student lives through exposure to the arts. Following the 2008 recession, the non-profit landscape and demographics of the neighborhood had both changed drastically, and Art Share found itself in dire need of programmatic reassessment and building repair.

The summer of 2012 was a revolutionary period for Art Share, in which we re-opened our doors and re-launched our programs. The organization underwent a strategic rebranding and assessment, with help from our neighbors at brand consulting firm Innovation Protocol, and new board members and new managing staff joined the team. The building’s exterior received a killer paint job with help from international street artist, INSA—transforming the space into a vibrant downtown landmark. In addition, that summer Art Share hosted the largest community exhibition the gallery had ever seen. Entitled “25 Cents a Square Foot”, the show involved over 100 pieces that told the story of the Arts District. Art Share also hosted a 7-week summer series, consisting of live music, film screenings and improvisational theater, to which the community responded with resounding excitement.

Board Members

President – Rick Robinson, Chief Strategy Officer, Billups

Vice President/Treasurer – Kevin Rodin, LEED AP, Michaels Development Company

Secretary – Laura Maly, Owner, Wonderist Agency

Kara Alter, Brand Strategist, Innovation Protocol

Richard Birt – Co-Founder, Pharmaka

Steve Grody – Author/Lecturer, Graffiti LA

Andrew Raitt – Founder, Verono Investments, Inc.

Tara Thomas – Owner, Traxx Restaurant

Mark Walsh – Founder, LA Downtown Arts Space