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Strong turnout for Downtown Art Walk; leaders plan to expand the event's geographical footprint

October 15, 2010 |  6:55 am

Artwalk

The streets of downtown L.A. overflowed with artists, musicians and assorted revelers Thursday night, signaling a healthy rebound for the Downtown Art Walk, whose future was in jeopardy just a few weeks ago.

Attendance at the monthly event appeared slightly heavier than normal, though exact figures were not immediately available. A diverse crowd of pedestrians milled about the area known as Gallery Row, which is bounded roughly by Spring and Main Streets, from Fourth to Seventh Streets. It also drew the usual contingent of food trucks and sidewalk merchants whose presence had become a bone of contention between local business owners and event organizers.

David Hernand, chairman of the art walk board, said future plans include expanding the geographical footprint of the art walk to the west and north of Gallery Row in order to relieve pedestrian congestion and recruit more businesses to support the event.

The board said earlier this month that it has raised close to $200,000 in pledges to help cover operational expenses. In September, leaders of the art walk engaged in a public dispute over the direction of the event.

Read the full story on Thursday's art walk in downtown L.A.

-- David Ng and Deborah Vankin

Photo: Artist Robert Vargas does a live charcoal portrait of Yessica Campos, 30, on Spring Street during Thursday's art walk. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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