Long Beach Public Art Festival Spurs Economic ActivityRelease Date: 2019-05-01
As the City of Long Beach (pop. 478,561) emerged from the Great Recession, its mayor and city council prioritized economic development by adopting the Blueprint for Economic Development, a set of strategic guiding principles focused on efforts to create businesses, well-paying jobs and increased standards of living for diverse residents. One key element to becoming an exceptionally livable, inventive and inclusive city, articulated in the blueprint, was public art.
“We want to create a new and exciting, dynamic environment for residents and visitors,” says John Keisler, economic development director for Long Beach. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve been looking for ways to activate underutilized spaces in the city.”
City staff got the opportunity to do just that when approached by local entrepreneur Julia Huang, who was spearheading an effort to bring the renowned Pow!Wow! arts festival to Long Beach. Founded by artist Jasper Wong, Pow!Wow! originated in Hawaii as a week-long gathering of local and international artists to create murals and other forms of art.
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