Boyle Heights has a problem with art galleries

To the editor: Art galleries in Boyle Heights. Yikes!


What next? A library? A book store? ("Taking it to the canvas," Aug. 5)

Has this "gentrification" no boundary? No shame?

A suggestion to the activists: thinking caps instead of brown berets. There really is room for everyone.

Terry DeLapp, Cambria


To the editor: On a list of serious blights to an iconic Los Angeles neighborhood, the display and sale of fine art hardly qualifies.

The mostly young demonstrators demanding that art galleries get out of Boyle Heights might represent the lack of arts education in East L.A. and other Los Angeles schools, which has deprived recent generations of a grounding in art appreciation.

To target Self Help Graphics as an example of unwanted gentrification shows ignorance of local history and of the commitment by forebears such as Sister Karen Boccalero, who pioneered the promotion of Chicano art and artists for the benefit of the entire community.

Change is inevitable, and energies should be directed at the root causes of poverty and lack of opportunity.

Picasso ain't the problem.

April Dammann, Hollywood


To the editor: Residents of Boyle Heights and Highland Park need to embrace business/community gentrification, rather than rebel and disgrace businesses moving into these communities.

Whether it is the fault of the local representatives or lack of interest by the communities, areas fall into neglect. Now that galleries, bars and restaurants are "discovering" our quaint main streets again, residents should be extending a helping hand to guide the blending of the old and new.

I recently patronized three new establishments near York and Figueroa in Highland Park, and was amazed to see how busy these places are and how much foot traffic there is in the evenings. Many had hired local residents.

Foot traffic, night life and outside income are all good things.

Conrad Corral, Cathedral City


To the editor: I think Defend Boyle Heights should shift its energy to Help Boyle Heights by encouraging literacy such as is done by Libros Schmibros, the nonprofit lending library based in Boyle Heights, or helping people prepare for the job markets, as is accomplished by Father Boyle's projects, Homeboy Industries and Homegirl Cafe.

It should help them find joy, understandin g and pride (and perhaps financial rewards) though groups such as Self Help Graphics.

To deprive citizens of a broader understanding of life is to encourage them to stay in a life without a rainbow.

Ella Zarky, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: These activists may wish to read a document published circa 1776 that mentions life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The rights of people who live in Boyle Heights do not exceed the rights of people who wish to open a business or move to their neighborhood.

Michael Hoevel, Oxnard

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