Bankrupt San Bernardino is Rich in the Arts

To Advance Its Revival and Change the Narrative, the City Should Invest in Creativity

The arts could help revive San Bernardino—its streets, businesses, neighborhoods, and urban core—by encouraging visitors, sparking new development, and giving the city new narratives.

That was the conclusion of a panel of local arts and civic leaders at a “Living the Arts” event co-presented by the James Irvine Foundation at the new San Bernardino Garcia Center for the Arts, which opened in an old water district building just three days ago. The new venue has inspired a sense of possibility about the city’s arts scene that shaped the conversation.

San Bernardino Sun reporter Michel Nolan, the event moderator, said the city is experiencing a “creative revival.” Panelists said that revival includes more cooperation between arts groups, schools, and artists, a stronger city arts commission, and greater participation in arts projects by young people (especially via a group called Generation Now). It’s also …