Thursday, July 31, 2014

News Update: Palm Beach Post Reports on Art Walk Ban Discussion Set for Friday at 2 PM at City Hall

Rolando Chang Barrero stands in front of a mural, which has tally marks for the number of days the Art Walk has been banned by the city, in the Boynton Beach Art District on July 30, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)



Boynton Beach City Hall

2 p.m.

Boynton officials, organizer to discuss 

future of Art Walk

 By Patricia Potestades

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Rolando Chang Barrero and a group of fellow artists and friends spent Wednesday evening in meditation for a cause.
After four years of hosting the Boynton Beach Art Walk the third Thursday of every month, organizer Chang Barrero received a letter from the city saying the monthly events were never allowed.
City manager Lori LaVerriere said while the monthly event ran for four years without permits, when Chang Barrero talked to the city about expanding the event, it became a safety concern, hence the letter.
The City of Boynton Beach only has an application process for special events permits that are temporary, but it does not have a process to apply for monthly event permits, leaving the Art Walk with no way to operate under city regulations.
Chang Barrero is scheduled to meet with Boynton Beach city officials Friday to figure out how best to proceed.
“We want to keep them going,” said LaVerriere. The city will try to come up with a set of rules that are specific to this area, she said.
“They’re stopping an activity that brought people into the community,” said Diane Arrieta, an artist from Tequesta who has displayed her work in the Boynton Beach Art District. “I don’t typically hang out in Boynton Beach.”
The Art District, which starts at 404 W. Industrial Ave., offers few parking spaces and is surrounded by residential area.
The event used to bring out an average of 200 people to the Art District, said Chang Barrero. Resident artists agreed to keep their studios open from 6 to 10 p.m. so more people would have the chance to view them during the monthly event.
The Art Walk has grown to a size that the city wasn’t prepared for, said James Brake, a member of the city’s planning and development board. “I do think this is a resolvable issue — not necessarily a simple issue.”
Richard Graulich
Local residents and friends hold a support gathering in front of a mural, which has tally marks for the number of days Art Walk has been banned by the city, in the Boynton Beach Art District on July 30, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Organizers of Wednesday’s meditation session are hoping for positive results at the Friday meeting.
“Boynton Beach is in a transformative state of growth,” said Chang Barrero. “We need to work together to break these new events and include them in the permitting process — what’s upsetting me is they called for a cease and desist until such time.”

Business News on Award-winning Boynton Beach art district banned from organizing art walks

Rolando Chang Barrero Counting Days

Boynton Beach is wedged between the two, arguably more popular and culturally relevant, cities of Lake Worth and Delray Beach.
For a long time Boynton Beach was the underdog being left out of the conversations that attract the often sought after business-heavy foot traffic that helps financially support communities. These are the types of conversations that wag the tongues of the various cultural attach├ęs within the bourgeoisie of Southern Florida.
Enter Rolando Chang Barrero, prolific artist, community organizer, activist, and volunteer for local schools and PBC United Way, all within Boynton Beach. He's the visionary who's work transformed a formerly run-down industrial area of Boynton Beach into the darling art district of South Florida, housing and organizing many artists in it's own right.
Anyone who's anyone who pays attention to the South Florida artistic community is aware of this man and the Boynton Beach Art District(aka BBAD, it's affectionately known acronym).
Every major newspaper, cultural rag, and art periodical in the region has given Rolando and BBAD it's due with front page headlines, such as the New Times of Broward Palm Beach(link 12, & 3), the Sun Sentinel(link), Art Hive Magazine(link), Palm Beach Culture(link), WLRN of Miami(link), and the Palm Beach Post(link), to name just a few.
The articles listed here are recently published and represent only a fraction of a segment of the total amount of headlines Rolando and BBAD have received for all the action and events that have taken place there, to mention them all would require it's own Wikipedia page.
Given all this positive attention, and given the resulting people flocking to Boynton Beach, the City of Boynton Beach decided recently to ban the popular monthly art walks that take place at BBAD.
If BBAD is responsible for putting the art scene in Boynton Beach on the map, what type of public policy in place could possibly motivate the City of Boynton Beach to ban future art walks in the Boynton Beach Art District?
Interview with Rolando Chang Barrero
The examiner recently conducted an interview with Rolando where he provided his opinion and information regarding the ban. The following quotes and information within this section of this article are excerpts from that interview.
“When other small towns grow and see the need for a stop sign or light at an intersection they don't close down the whole road. The City has gone about this all wrong, and the community is not at all happy. This is more akin to extortion of small not for profits then actual safety concerns.”
Rolando continues on to say, “I love the City of Boynton Beach and it's community leaders, but it almost seems that the out of town staff is committed to retarding growth by creating road blocks for growth and development.”
The preoccupation to place a tax on the BBAD art walks have led to conflicting reasons for the ban on the popular events, suggesting that there's not a very informed, or even slightly coherent, reason within the City of Boynton Beach regarding the matter.
In his struggle, Rolando found that Tara Altman, of the Boynton Beach risk department, claimed there would be "no proceeds" for monthly event permits by the city, while, confusingly enough, the spokesperson for Boynton blames organizers for incorrect permits. To add to the storm of disorganization and poor management, the city manager claims it's due to growth and safety concerns.
As of now, there is no documented history of violence or disruptions at BBAD events. According to Rolando attendance during summer month's are less then 25% of the usual traffic. These are small local artistic events that entertain people while helping to provide a living for local fine artists within Boynton.
“We are hoping, as suggested by Commissioner McCray, that when the "process" is figured out, that BBAD is grandfathered into it. We can only pray that we are not affected by the historical usurious taxing that has alienated other events from continuing in Boynton.” said Rolando, who has a meeting with city officials on August 1st.
So what's the real answer for this controversial move by Boynton? Why can't the representatives in Boynton get it together enough to provide a unified front on this matter? Why would Boynton Beach want to extort money from an artistic community that has not only turned around an entire section of their town, but also given the city it's main source of artistic praise?
To any logical, thinking person, marginalizing and publicly oppressing your main source of press in the art world is a bad idea, but not in Boynton Beach.
Avenue of the Arts
In an interesting related twist, the City of Boynton Beach has big plans to focus it's public artistic content into a specific area of the city entitled the Avenue of the Arts.
The Avenue of the Arts is well done. It deserves credit because it's fantastic. The artists involved and the city have worked hard to accomplish this, but given the circumstances of how the city has attempted to shape it's own artistic culture, one could perceive the Avenue of the Arts as a place where art is allowed to exist only under direct supervision and approval by the city of Boynton Beach itself, forcing a system upon artists that designates approved art for the masses under government supervision.
That's not to say the Boynton Beach is only acting questionably and giving no credit to BBAD. They dedicate an entire half a sentence to BBAD in the public art section of the city website that goes as follows,
"BBAD, Boynton Beach Arts District
No further description is provided, there are no directions, and no account of the plethora of events that occurred at BBAD.
BBAD is also credited in a video released by Boynton in 2013, “Art in Public Places". The credit exists in the form of a single picture that illustrates a sliver of the art district for one second(located at approximately 3:48 minutes, with no audible acknowledgment of BBAD) wedged somewhere between a lengthy promotion for Avenue of the Arts and a description of rocks that are arranged in an artistic fashion within a nature preserve.
On the city of Boynton Beach Art in Public Places facebook page, the city also recentlycongratulated Rolando for winning best art exhibition in 2014, before promptly banning the popular art walks shortly thereafter.
One could interpret this congratulate-then-immediately-shutdown strategy as an ironic display of performance art, or maybe it's just poor internal organization within the Boynton Beach rising to the surface.
Whatever the seemingly perplexing answer to this controversial situation may be, and however the outcome unfolds, it's safe to assume that with friends like these, who needs enemies?

July 30, 2014 The List TV Airs Art Walk Ban!

July 30, 2014 The List TV Airs Art Walk Ban!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Times Reports on New Earth Tribes call for Unity and Resolution the City of Boynton Beach

New Earth Tribes to Hold Meditation to Create Unity and Resolution to Boynton Art Walk Ban

Categories: Activism

Last week, Boynton Beach announced that it was putting the kibosh on the the Boynton Beach Art District (BBAD) monthly art walks.

The art walks had revitalized what was previously your run-of-the-mill warehouse district. What was once a wasteland of old hollow buildings buried in the shadows west of I-95 turned into a flourishing art scene.
"Boynton Beach finally did something before Miami and Delray Beach: It banned its own signature, award-winning art walk. Go figure that one out," artist and gallery owner Rolando Barrero told New Times' music blog last week.
A group of artists and spiritualists are meeting at sunset this evening to bring awareness in hopes of shifting the city's perspective on why shutting down the art walk is wrong for the community.

Other Related Stories:
New Eath Call for Meditation
Letters to Sun Sentinel
NewTimes Calls Art Walk Instrumental Palm Beach Institution
Sun Sentienel Story... City Lies to Public
BBAD Art Walk Canceled

Friday, July 25, 2014

New Earth Tribes Call for Meditation to Create Unity and Resolution to Art Walk Ban

Emily Andari of New Eath Tribes  
410 West Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach, Florida 
Where you happen to be... 

and Emily Andari of New Earth Tribes are requesting our presence July 30, Wednesday evening, from 7:30 (sunset) to a gathering with drums, rattles, open hearts and positivity with the intention to lift the Artwalk ban and clear any obstacles in the further expansion and well being of the Arts District and community of artists. 

As many of you know Rolando and his significant efforts on behalf of the community in Boynton Beach and surrounding areas has left a long lasting and heart felt impact on the lives of many. Please join us in supporting not only the Boynton Beach Arts District but the entire creative collective in lifting the artwalk ban!  

About New Earth Tribes:

New Earth Tribes is a space where dreams are actualized, where magic is realized.
Transformation through teachings and traditions of indigenous wisdom.
New Earth Tribes community and The Wakeup has continued to grow and thrive for over 3 years. We stand for transformation and empowerment. By way of earth medicine, teachings and traditions of indigenous wisdom and providing a space for authentic expression and sharing of the gifts and talents we are blessed with, New Earth Tribes proves to be a beacon of light and source of Joy. We are currently growing our outreach programs in halfway houses and treatment centers. All are welcome to New Earth Tribes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Letters to SunSentinel says, "..they should be commended for their initiative and creativity"

Well into the City of Boynton Beach's 34th Day with out a resoultion to the Ban on the Art District's Art Walk; letter's, comments, reviews and speculations are surfacing.  
In print and online, the future of the highly regarded event that established the city as 
haven for artists akin to the early days in New York City sits on a balance waiting for the August 1 talks between organizers and city officials.

by Boynton Beach resident Jes Robison says, "As a professional and a resident within this community, I am inspired by the efforts made by the Boynton Beach Arts District to engage the city of Boynton Beach's artistic populace. I believe they should be commended for their initiative and creativity, not to mention the dream they share with the many Boynton residents that believe our city can only benefit by actively promoting an atmosphere of culture and imagination."

"A key to BBAD's success has been its well-staged monthly art walks, which most recently received top honors as New Times' best art walk for Broward and Palm Beach counties.That's why we're scratching our heads at the news that the city decided to shut down this event."
Writer, Alex Rendon ends his article by calling the art walk an "instrumental Palm Beach County institution."

Comments to Sun Sentinel Story by Attiyya Anthony  include: