San Bernardino | In-Person

Can the Arts Help Revive Our City?

Moderated by Michel Nolan, Reporter, The San Bernardino Sun

You wouldn’t know it by reading stories about San Bernardino’s bankruptcy and poverty (the LA Times recently called the city “a symbol of the nation’s urban woes”), but San Bernardino is seeing an arts revival. A new arts center, the San Bernardino Arts Center, in its former water department building, opens in mid-October. A new public art project, “This Is San Bernardino,” examines people’s experiences of the city. The city’s fine arts commission is pushing the city council for more support of the arts. What roles, if any, might the arts play in a civic revival? Does bringing arts to a distressed place really attract people and investment? Former dean of the School of Education at California State University, San Bernardino, Ernie Garcia, former executive director of the San Bernardino Symphony Valerie Peister, and poet and “This Is San Bernardino” co-creator Juan Delgado visit Zócalo to examine what the arts can and can’t do for a recovering city.

Photo courtesy of SB Department of Behavorial Health.

San Bernardino Arts Center
N E Street & W 11th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

The Takeaway

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 …