Leaving the streaming behind, the Santa Ana Artwalk returns to Fourth Street this Saturday

After being forced to close in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk will be back once again as an in-person event on Saturday.

On the first Saturday of each month, the artwalk hosts artwork, local vendors, shows, and festivities in downtown Santa Ana. The artwalk has been around since 1999, bringing thousands of locals and others to soak up the surrounding galleries, art centers and businesses.

“The walk to (the community) is the heart of downtown and so they really want to see our walk come back and give energy and love to the crowd embracing it,” said Ryan Smolar, organizer. of the monthly walk for the past. eight years.

The center of the promenade will be 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana (the Grand Central Art Center). The event is free and takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

While the Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk hasn’t been held in person since last year, organizers have worked to bring art to the community in an online format. The online artwalk took place on the first Saturday of every month on Facebook Live and tried to recreate this creative space for artists, art lovers and locals.

“Art, and I’m sorry if that sounds cliché, but not only does it heal and (bring together) people, but it’s just nice to see, at least for me, to see the community come together and do something.” beautiful, ”said Maria Gonzalez, artwalk’s social media activist.

But when downsizing to a smaller screen, it’s hard to bring the same enthusiasm and commitment of artwalks in person to a virtual platform. With everything from school to work going online, Zoom’s fatigue followed closely behind, Gonzalez said.

As the pandemic has kept a lot at home, funds to continue producing the Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk, once it was safe to do so, have dwindled. The artwalk receives most of its funding through parking revenues and the downtown self-assessed business tax. With parking down at least 75%, the city’s budget did not have enough money to produce the artwalk on the same scale as before the pandemic, Smolar said.

But with community awareness of supporting the Art Walk through funding and participation, the Art Walk will make a comeback. While the artwalk will not run on the same budget as in previous years, it was the involvement of the community that helped take over the artwalk.

“It’s kind of like we’re restarting,” Smolar said. “But there’s so much energy behind it, that, you know, the community wants to come back right away. And so what’s cool is I think everyone who wants to do something is stepping up and saying how they want to participate and finding a way to do it.

With so much uncertainty and stress filling people’s lives over the past year, there is a need for the community to come together and take a break, said Maricela Vela, coordinator of “Dancing in the Streets”.

“We are waiting to return to life downtown,” said Vela. “People need something to distract them from what’s going on around us. Everyone loves dancing. Dance is a universal language. It helps to relieve people of their problems and have fun.

The Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk will follow county COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and advise unvaccinated participants to wear a mask.

More information on the activities and events organized at artwalk can be found on its website.

August Art Walk activities include:

  • ‘The Birds’, a mural painted by local students at Fullerton High School and University, can be seen in the alley behind Fourth Street between Bush and Main Street. The mural took six months to create and represents diversity as it showcases the different cultures found in Santa Ana. Each bird is attributed to a person representing the origin of the person’s family. The Orange County Transportation Authority helped sponsor the mural team through the Santa Ana Business Council. The mural was coordinated by local artist from Santa Ana, Moises Camacho.
The “The Birds” mural can be found in the alley behind Fourth Street between Bush and Main Street.
  • The first one “Chicano Artists & Friends ArtshowWill hold its opening reception. According to the website, it is “an art exhibition made up of over 30 artists (young, old, professionals and beginners, men and women) who use their art to exhibit a celebration of education and unity through art “. It is exhibited in the SAC Arts Gallery of the Santora Arts Building from August 7 to October 2.
  • ‘Transformative Actions’, COVID-19 art installations located at the intersections of 4th Street and Spurgeon Street, 4th Street and Bush Street, and 4th Street and Broadway. The installations will be showcase art exhibitions created by local artists with help from the governor’s office and Mental well-being of peers, a new mental health arts center located in downtown Santa Ana.
  • “Dancing in the Streets” will take place in Calle Cuatro Plaza where participants can attend free salsa dance lessons or consult local art vendors in the area.
  • A piano open on the patio of the Frida cinema.

Kristina Garcia is a Writing Fellow for Voice of OC Arts & Culture. She can be reached at [email protected]

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