Gropegate: Artists Village Controversy Continues

Thu, Apr 21, 2011

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Yesterday, I reported on the release of a statement by the Grrl Fair collective alleging that several incidents of sexual harassment, including minors, were committed by an unnamed perpetrator during last month’s International Women’s Day celebration at the Santora Arts Building in Santa Ana that they organized. Reports were filed with the SAPD as the collective members reached out to the gallery tenants and the building manager as well about the situation. Without seeing adequate progress, the Grrl Fair collective and their supporters have decided to take their grievances to the streets.

With a protest looming during the next Art Walk in the area on May 7th, my colleague Gustavo Arellano weighed in with more on the story this morning. On his Navel Gazing blog post, the journalist recounts how he spoke with a few of the artists in the Village about the allegations. Arellano writes:

“they not only confirmed that one of their own acted inappropriately during Grrl Fair and had acted inappropriately in the past, but also urged me not to write anything, claiming they had the issue under control because they wrote a letter to the artist in question.”

That passage runs parallel with a related anonymous posting on the Stop Street Harassment blog that charged that certain artists wanted to keep the alleged incidents under wraps, “because they didn’t want people to think badly of the building.”  Yes, that’s right, image posturing on behalf of the ‘good name’ of the Artists Village took precedence over a very serious matter in need of appropriate action — more than writing a letter could ever hope to truly rectify.

This story is sure to continue to develop in the lead up to the march and rally on May 7th in front of the Artist Village. Being the first Saturday of the month, people will be out and about for the Art Walk. Add protest signs to the whole downtown “experience” that night.

Also posted on Orange Juice Blog

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