Monday, June 15, 2009

Pomona June Artwalk

It's June and it's another great Art Walk. I have written before about the colony growing, and it's happening again. Two new spaces this time, Joseph Todorovitch's Studio and Lucha Gallery. Both new additions to the "West Side" of the Colony. I didn't get a chance to get out that far, but I heard lots of good things. The attendance to the west side of the Colony seems to have doubled. That's great for everyone as it shows people are starting to realize the Colony is larger than they first expected. Another highlight was the addition of the SCA and dA Arts Colony Store. They had art, clothes, and other stuff for sale. It's the start of something we have needed for a long time. Stop by sometime and see what they have. Check out the slideshow to see what else was going on.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Second Saturday Artwalk for June

Come on out tonight and join us for a night of Art, Music
The Farmer's Market.... good times!
All the galleries have new shows , we even have a new gallery in town.
The Lucha Gallery is located at 495 W. Second St. 
they will featuring the art of Hector Silva, curated by Patricia E. Zambrano.
Welcome to the neighborhood!

For more information, remember to go to Pomona Arts Colony  

Here are some highlights of what's going on around the Colony tonight:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bunny Gunner's Opinion

So, the council meeting was a complete farse. We came out in large numbers to support the PBID and DPOA only to be turned back by a delay caused by the Freddie Rodriquez's absence. Oh it could have happened today, as Paula Lantz was all for going on with the meeting, but the Mayor decided it would be "disrespectful" to hold the meeting without Freddie. Well what about the disrespect to all the people that took time out of their busy lives to be there when it was scheduled? Paula made a point that she spoke to Freddie and he was okay with the meeting going on without him since it wouldn't come to a vote anyway. But the Mayor stepped in and said he also spoke to Freddie and was told to not have the meeting without him. So what's the real deal here? The real deal is there's something fishy going on with the Mayor calling all the shots and postponing the meeting until Thursday when Paula will not be able to attend and Freddie will. What does that mean? Well Paula expressed she was in support of the PBID and only mentioned some trash issues that need to be addressed. And word is Freddie is against the PBID. So this means the PBID loses a positive vote and gains a negative. What's up with politics? Either way the meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, don't we the citizens have any say in the matter? We were there, we were ready, what about us?


From the other half of Bunny Gunner:

I would like to add that I am for the P-BID/ DPOA and happy with what they have done for our Downtown area, so are my customers....I hear wonderful things about our town from people who travel from all over Southern Ca. to do business with me....they love it here!
We have grown to love the members of the DPOA too... it makes me sick to think that they could loose their jobs.
That is why I went tonight! Larry Egan, Lorena and Augusto and all the members of the DPOA have gone beyond the call of duty to make this a place others would want to spend their time and money. Larry is the best thing that has happened to us in the 9 years that I have been living and doing business in the Arts Colony.We are so fortunate to have a fine art photographer on staff, Sally Egan, who tirelessly is at every event shooting pictures to promote our businesses and bring new business to the downtown area.
The Metro Pomona Website is like no other, Jason Christman ( brand new Papa) is a genius...the best web designer I've ever seen. Thank you to all of the members of the board of directors, Carolyn Hemming, Mike Showalter, Kathy Tessier, Jerry Tessier and Don Church, you have all done an excellent job!

The vision statement for the DPOA is:

Metro Pomona is a safe, clean, friendly, historic mixed-use urban neighborhood that serves as a regional destination for arts, antiques, retail and entertainment and as the center for commerce, education, and cultural life of our diverse community. The core purpose of the Downtown Pomona Owners' Association is to make Metro Pomona a desirable and economically vibrant place to be.

Mission Accomplished!


Downtown Galleries Support P-BID

I have lived in Pomona for over 20 years. I am a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and went through all of my schooling in the PUSD. I have been active in the Arts Colony of Pomona since 1996. Since then I have seen the area grow from a quiet "Ghost Town" to a growing community, and now to a thriving Arts and Music destination. I remember when P-Bid was first announced and considered a really bad idea. I saw it pass and within the first few years, really make a positive difference in the community. Since then, it has really taken off the ground and become the driving force behind the improvement and expansion of the area. DPOA has really become the main advocate of all the small businesses including the restaurants, antique shops, and galleries in the area. Without the help of the promotion, security, and maintenance DPOA provides, the area would still be stuck 5 years back struggling to survive and bring shoppers, and patrons to the businesses.

Susie Eaton and I currently own and operate a small business called Bunny Gunner. It is an art gallery, picture framing shop and sign shop on 2nd St. As a business, we pay into the PBID and are glad to do so. The amount of benefits we obtain from the DPOA are far greater than anything we could do ourselves. Some of the things DPOA provides us small businesses are a great website, security, and maintenance. The website at has become a main draw for people to find out about the area and have many interesting reasons to visit. Security provides a safe environment for businesses to thrive without the worry of break-ins, robbery, homeless presence, and other disturbing elements more present throughout other parts of the city. Maintenance provides for a clean a presentable area which is inviting for new visitors and prospective businesses. I'm not sure what the records say, but you might find the Downtown area to be one of the fastest growing business communities in all of Pomona. New businesses mean lots of new tax dollars benefiting the city, and increase in taxes might have a direct impact on the taxes being paid by the city itself.

If the PBID does not pass, I would expect to see a decline in the downtown area which would have a diverse effect on the whole city. Pomona has had a hard time with it's reputation. It has become infamous from gangs, crime and the CHP officer murder. The downtown area has been one of the main driving forces to turn this image around. With the help of the DPOA, the arts colony and antique row have been successful at turning this negative stereotype around and attracting people from Claremont, Orange County, LA and other surrounding communities to the area. There is no longer the stigma of being shot, mugged or your car being broken into, mainly thanks to the security of the DPOA and the confidence the patrons themselves have in the area.

So I stand in full support of PBID and all it has done to turn the area of Downtown Pomona around and provide for a safe, clean, exciting, and traffic full area for a small business like my own to thrive. Please vote to keep the PBID and the DPOA so I may continue to believe in all the great things Pomona has done for itself.

I would also like to add the fact the we live at our business and have a 24-7 perspective of what goes on in the downtown area. I would like for you to consider asking all others speaking on behalf of the matter if they live in the area and are then fully experienced to comment on the subject.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

-Juan Thorp and Susie Eaton

A.S. Ashley writes:

In two-plus years living in Downtown Pomona, I've seen nearly a half-dozen new restaurants open, empty storefronts filled, the renovation of the Fox Theater, and 30 percent growth in art venues in the Arts Colony.

And that's during these devastating financial times. Thank you, DPOA!
To read more of what Ashley writes about this subject, you can read his article in The Daily Bulletin

The Blue Core Gallery adds:

I am an artist here in the Pomona Art Colony, I moved here in 2001, became a VPD Commissioner when the P-BID was just in the works. I got married and moved away before it took effect, I was gone 5 years and just moved back 3 months ago and was amazed how Pomona had changed. I feel more secure now with the security the DPOA has on force. I have a 3 year old and we visit the Veterans park on a daily basis and to see the security on patrol is wonderful, not to mention the way the DPOA keeps this town clean, the visitors we get from the Metro Night out and other events. I can compare Pomona before the P-BID and after, because I was born and raised here in Pomona, went to all the schools here so I can speak with authority that Mr. Egan and the DPOA needs to be renewed, this town deserves to keep growing in the right direction and removal of the DPOA would put this town back to the state it was in when I left 5 years ago. thank you, Steve Ruiz ex VPD commissioner/artist

-Steve Ruiz

And this from Cheryl Bookout:

I have been a resident and director of an arts nonprofit in downtown Pomona since 1999. When the PBID was put in place and the DPOA took action, downtown Pomona took a turn in a long awaited direction...a very positive direction. I've been a member of various committees over the years, the goals were always the same for our downtown business district: a cleaner and safer city, to become a destination city in the greater Southern California community to experience art and culture and attract new commerce. These things are happening. If we should suddenly lose the DPOA, we would be thrown back to the days of dirty streets, graffiti on the windows and a less safe place to be. With the renovation of the Fox Theater as a music venue, the youth music crowd will be an ongoing part of our community. With this comes higher visibility for the area and a greater need for all the things that the DPOA provides.

Downtown Pomona needs the DPOA now, more than ever.
-J. Cheryl Bookout