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Downtown LA arts district continues evolving and growing

Strings of white lights create a small town atmosphere at Fourth and Main in downtown Los Angeles, also known as the Old Bank District and the place where the Downtown LA Art Walk launched in 2004. The area has also created a mini-economy with businesses getting a big financial boost every second Thursday when the event takes place.

The fine arts industry in Los Angeles now appears ready for another boost with an art museum planned and ready for construction in the next several months.

As reported in the Downtown LA News, developers Tom Gilmore and Jerri Perrone plan to open a contemporary art museum with a rooftop garden and possible rooftop cafe. Construction is on the calendar for 2015 with costs projected upwards of $35 million. The current plan calls for building out some 50,000 square feet of vacant space in the basement of the Hellman and Farmers and Merchants Bank buildings.

The focus will be on downtown artists like Robert Reynolds and Tod Lychkoff and Gilmore says downtown artists are a "unique subset of individuals in an emerging urban environment."

Other art news includes the planned opening of the Eli Broad downtown museum in 2015 featuring 2,000 pieces of art in his personal collection.

The new museums come on the heels of the highly popular Art Walk night downtown that takes place every second Thursday of the month from about 6pm to 10pm. The Art Walk started in 2004 and now involves 50 galleries, 25,000 monthly guests and local businesses.

The Art Walk's web site states the free entertainment value as being over one million dollars.

Food trucks may appear during Art Walk night but don't update with a regular schedule.

A website that is a true guide to the Arts District in LA is the Downtown Muse with a listing of the various businesses besides restaurants and cafes. A book featuring snapshots of downtown is available for purchase. Click here for the web site run by Melissa Richardson Banks.

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