NoHo festival has real drama

By on January 11, 2020

first_imgIt’s unclear when the issue might be resolved. The festival typically has been in May or June. During the past 14 years, the arts festival became a rite of spring. Centered around Magnolia and Lankershim boulevards, it was a showcase for local theaters and art galleries, a way to promote culture in the San Fernando Valley. “We were looking to create a street festival where people would come in, but then get exposed to art where they might not otherwise get exposed to this,” said Bruce Spiegel, a former president of the chamber and owner of Jewelry Factory. “They would pick up fliers and come back and see a show later in the year.” It’s been an important part of NoHo’s slow rebirth, and a nominal recipient of the $40 million the Community Redevelopment Agency has poured into the neighborhood during the past five years. “These things are important,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “They help brand a community.” That’s why officials say they have no intention of pulling the plug. They are just unsure how much funding they can put into the festival. “We would like to see it continue,” said Gazala Pirzada, project manager for the CRA’s North Hollywood Project Area. This year, the CRA budgeted $25,000 for the festival. But Pirzada said the chamber requested significantly more, which will require CRA board approval. The other uncertainty is who will produce the festival. In the early years, that duty had fallen to the chamber. But three years ago, it hired Pageantry Productions to organize and operate the blossoming festival for 2005-2007. But complaints quickly arose. Pageantry’s bread and butter is parades and street fairs. And under its governance, the NoHo Theatre and Arts Festival took on too much of a circus atmosphere and became too much of a hassle for nearby businesses, said Annie Reed, past chamber president. “It was too much of a barrage of complaints about Pageantry,” she said. “About what they did, about who they brought in, about a whole list of things. It was a nice event, but it was just too much of a carnival. “What the hell does that have to do with art?” So in June, Reed and her board voted to cancel the last year of the contact with Pageantry, which did not return calls for comment Monday, and to look for a new operator who could refocus the festival on celebrating art. “We have not downgraded it but really put it back to its roots,” Reed said. “So it will promote the community, promote the dance, promote the galleries, promote the actors, the live theaters that are there.” [email protected] (818) 713-3634160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORTH HOLLYWOOD – With redevelopment of this once thriving East Valley community finally moving forward after years of delays, boosters have something new to worry about: the future of the NoHo Theatre and Arts Festival. Increasingly popular since it began in 1993 as an effort to attract people to the year-old NoHo Arts District, the festival is in search of a new operator and a calendar date. “We’re not releasing any specific information at this time because we don’t have the details,” said Tony Safoian, board president of the Universal City North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. “If it happens, it will be in early June this year, the first week of June,” Safoian added. “I want to be optimistic.” last_img read more

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