Reader: Artists, the Simple Act of Creating Does Not Justify Real Estate Privilege
Tom Bond painting in Sun Valley, where the Birdseed Dumpster Project brought art to one of Denver's rare non-gentrified areas.
Concerned about the continuing gentrification and redevelopment that have many of this city's creatives desperate for affordable digs and studio space, Roseanna Frechette has organized Denver Artists for Rent Control, an activist group set to have its first meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, May 23, at Deer Pile. But people aren't waiting until then to react to her proposal. Writes artist Rodney Wallace:
Need to get the fuck over this. On the record, artists have found the lowest rent district, turned them into over-priced chic 'hoods and moved on to the next lowest rent district since Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, New York City, et. al., after WWI. Rent control barely worked in NYC post WWII. It created a secondary market of "fixture fees," sublets and "upgrading."
Artists are not business people. One of the principles of business is own your property. I've met seven artists who have done this. Bought the property in a questionable hood only to have it purchased at a ridiculous profit once the 'hood got chic. On a whole, artists are not great at business. Hell, most artists aren't great at art. Yet they cling to the belief that the simple act of creating justifies real estate privilege.
What do you think about the rent situation in Denver?