The strange saga of downtown's Art Walk took another twist over the weekend as its board stated that the monthly event would be back, as scheduled Oct. 14, and that its director, Jay Lopez, was shown the door after he announced that the walk was off without the board's authorization.
“The announcement made to the media on Friday by Jay Lopez, the former director of the event, was made on his own initiative …,” the statement reads.
So is it on or off? Strangely, Lopez's statement about the event's cancellation (it was supposed to go quarterly starting in January) still stands on the Art Walk website. Is the board and Lopez still battling over control? It seems like it.
In any case, according to the board's statement, dated Sept. 25 but received by the Weekly early Monday:
“The organization's board of directors has been considering whether to make changes to the event to address issues of public safety and costs associated with a monthly event that draws 20,000 visitors each month.”
We reported on Friday that the event was facing pressure from police and area Business Improvement Districts over the extra costs involved in policing an cleaning up after so many people.
A quarterly Sunday daytime walk was discussed as an addition to the walk, but Lopez announced that the walk would be folded into the weekend events starting next year.
Gallery owners and downtown principals were surprised by the announcement and doubted that it would hold.