One thing that makes Fullerton unique is the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk. It started in 2010, when some friends, gallery owners, and local business owners decided to try to put it together. We wanted to create something that hi-lighted community and creativity. We took our inspiration from other community art walks like the ones in Santa Ana and Los Angeles.
It started at a very grass-roots level. It wasn't like we got a big grant to do it. We were just a group of ordinary people who wanted to make something cool, and to maybe make our community a little better. So we started having planning meetings, working out logistics like designing posters, making a web site and facebook page, deciding how to let people to know where to go on art walk night. It was actually a lot of leg-work, but it was exciting and fun, because we were bringing something new and different into the community.
We started with maybe 15 venues involved in the Art Walk--a coalition of galleries, coffee shops, salons, boutiques, and retail stores who all agreed to hang new art on their walls every month and help promote the event. The costs were pretty minimal--just printing costs for posters and maps. The benefits were potentially big: more people visiting places downtown, a growing sense of real community, and lots of new venues for local artists to show their work.
From the very beginning, the art walk was a success, and it has grown organically every month. We now have around 30 venues who participate and we are building relationships with other arts organizations in town, like Fullerton College, the Fullerton Museum Center, and All the Arts for All the Kids.
On March 1, 2013 (in just a couple weeks!) the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk will celebrate its 3-year anniversary with a massive event at the Fullerton Museum Plaza. All the participating art walk venues are invited to set up a booth, showing artwork and other creative things they do. There will be live bands, live dance performances by CF Dance Academy, food trucks, and lots of creative activities and things to do, for both kids and adults.
The Downtown Fullerton Art Walk has become an important part of Fullerton's culture. I love being a part of it, and I'm excited about how it will grow and evolve in the future.