State honor for The BLVD
OW Staff Writer | 7/21/2017, midnight
The California Arts Council announced recently the selection of The BLVD in Lancaster as one of California’s premier state-designated cultural districts. A promotional campaign led by the city of Lancaster, the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, the Lancaster Museum and Public Art Foundation, and The BLVD Association helped to secure the recognition.
“Fostering an environment where the arts can flourish is key to the growth of any community—whether on the state or local level,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The city of Lancaster has taken great care to develop our downtown as a cultural hub where performing and visual arts can thrive. We are very proud that The BLVD has been designated as a California Cultural District, and look forward to taking part in this innovative new initiative.”
The BLVD joins 13 other districts—including the Balboa Park District in San Diego, and Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles—in the new statewide pilot program designed to highlight thriving cultural diversity in California. With its inclusion in the program, The BLVD can now receive joint marketing support from the state, promotional strategy and branding materials, participation in developmental evaluation strategies, peer-to-peer exchanges, technical assistance, and a modest stipend. The California Cultural District program seeks to unify the various districts under shared values in seeking to sustain authentic grassroots arts and cultural opportunities.
A “cultural district,” as defined by the program, is a “well-defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities.” The BLVD hosts several historic structures, including the Cedar Center for the Arts complex, the Western Hotel Museum, and the U.S. Post Office which houses a historic WPA (Works Progress Administration) mural. The Western Hotel Museum is the oldest building in Lancaster and is home to the Antelope Valley Genealogical Society. The Cedar Center houses arts programming, an open art studio, and hosts community events and a gallery showcasing local artists.
“These cultural districts showcase California’s cultural diversity and vibrant experiences,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “The districts are one more way to highlight the one-of-a-kind places located throughout our state which inspire residents and visitors alike.”
Learn more about The BLVD and other cultural/arts districts by visiting www.caculturaldistricts.org/blvd-district.