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Supporters Rally to Keep Barnsdall Art Park a Public Facility

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By Rebecca Joyce/Special to LAist

A press conference and rally was held yesterday morning on the steps of City Hall in support of keeping Barnsdall Art Park a public facility. Tomas O’Grady, a board member of the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council who is running for Los Angeles City Council, along with a group of supporters called the Barnsdall Alliance organized the rally.

O’Grady and members of the Barnsdall Alliance protested the cuts in funding to Barnsdall Arts Park as well as its potential privatization. Barnsdall Art Park is home to the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Hollyhock House built by Frank Lloyd Wright, art classes, a farmer’s market, as well as other community activities that take place in its beautiful open spaces.

Facing deep budget cuts, the Department of Cultural Affairs has initiated the process of finding a private sector partnership to fund the park’s operations. According to Margaret Flynn, who teaches Qigong at the park, supporters fear that the park will be privatized, and the community would no longer have full access to the park’s facilities and its numerous activities.

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O’Grady called on the members of the Department of Cultural Affairs to cut their own salaries instead of laying off the people employed by Barnsdall Art Park, and on the City Council to allocate city funds appropriately, which according to O’Grady would keep the park open and public.

Previously by Rebecca Joyce: Know Your Farmers' Market: Wednesdays at Barnsdall Park