The founding members of the San Pedro Arts and Academic Alliance (SPAAA) have offered The Arcade Gallery, at 479 W. Sixth Street, as a fixed venue for Marymount College students to showcase college work as students of Marymount’s Media Studies bachelor’s program. The Arcade Galley will host student work from a variety of artistic mediums. Gallery hours will be open to public.
The SPAAA is dedicated to connecting art venues, artists, arts education, business development and the community of San Pedro through collaborative efforts to enrich and strengthen the revitalization of San Pedro. The SPAAA’s founding members are art patrons Gary Larson, Peter Rothe and Beate Kirmse who established the organization in 2011 to address the effects of a local economic downturn and the desire to develop San Pedro as a cultural destination.
The SPAA group was inspired by a prior group of community members including Marylyn Ginsburg Klaus, Mary Gimenez-Caulder, Liz Schindler Johnson, Debra Zavala, Deborah Lewis who had formerly talked with Marymount College about bringing a campus to downtown San Pedro.
“Our mission is based on a profound faith that investment in the arts and arts education is an investment in the wellbeing of the larger community and, at the same time, creates an economic vibrancy in the community,” said Rothe, a tenant of The Arcade Building, where The Arcade Gallery is located.
Adding to SPAAA’s desire for an increased academic presence at The Arcade Gallery this group realized the timing was good for the college to further expand its reach into historic downtown San Pedro.
The college has made recent strides in its development in downtown San Pedro. Opened in fall 2012, Marymount College’s Waterfront Campus is located at 222 W. Sixth Street and scheduled for opening in August 2012, at 430 W. Sixth Street, will be the location for an expanded Media Studies program at the Marylyn and Chuck Center for the Arts. Additionally, the college leases rehearsal and performance venues from the Warner Grand Theatre and the Grand Annex.
“With this new partnership with Marymount College, the San Pedro Arts and Academic Alliance group continues its commitment to the downtown San Pedro’s historic core,” said Larson. “Marymount College and SPAAA are excellent partners as we share a vision, the creativity and flexibly in creating opportunities that will benefit both the college and the community with solutions that match the goal of a vibrant downtown San Pedro, said Larson.
“We are creating a college town in downtown San Pedro,“ said Laurie Wixted, Harbor area commercial real estate agent who is familiar with benefits SPAAA, The Arcade Gallery and what the college brings to San Pedro. “Together they are developing a vital environment that will benefit San Pedro and at the same time give Marymount an opportunity to meet their very noble goals to serve and educate,” continued Wixted.