The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is sponsoring the symposium "ART/CITY" on March 16, 2012. Participants have been invited to respond to the prompt “in relation to the arts and civic life, the question I am wrestling with right now is…” in advance of the event. This guest posting is by Lisa Bullwinkel, member of the Berkeley Cultural Trust.
How to create more vibrant downtown districts in light of retail jumping to the Internet and leaving vacant storefronts? Bring in the arts! Fill those empty spaces with visual and performing artists who are clamoring for space. The landlords need to become involved in creating a simple process to allow this to occur.