Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Santora 2012

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.  Who knew that the attempt by Irvine’s Newsong Church to buy the historic Downtown Santa Ana Santora Arts Building was something artists should have supported?  At the time the artists flipped out.  But now the screws are being put to them by Jack Jakosky, the wealthy Newport Beach resident and businessman who ended up buying the Santora.  Jakosky has in just a few weeks whitewashed a mural and now he is beginning to evict the artists.

What about Newsong? Well when I saw that their pastor, Dave Gibbons, really wanted to minister in our city I put him in touch with my minister, Andy Quient, at Santa Ana’s historic First Baptist Church, which was headed for bankruptcy.  Newsong ended up buying First Baptist and what a relief that has been!  They quickly started remodeling, fixing the landscape and they upgraded the sound system.  Good times are back at First Baptist!  I think however, in retrospect, that they would have done the same thing at the Santora.  And they would not have evicted the artists.

However what is done is done.  The upside to Jakosky’s purchase of the Santora is he is apparently fixing up the building.  And a commenter at the OC Weekly says that he has had “recent meetings with MOLAA & other local art leaders to bring in high-quality art spaces that reflect Santa Ana’s diverse culture or his upcoming collaborations w GCAC and other art groups.”

Let me translate that for you.  That commenter, who goes by the moniker “Pocha Pena” is basically saying that the local artists in DTSA aren’t up to snuff – but we are not to worry as Jakosky is bringing in “high-quality” artists to replace the evicted ones.  I have heard this line of reasoning before from others in DTSA so I guess the elitists are driving the Artists Village bus now.

But you have to understand that creating the Santa Ana Artists Village was NEVER about the arts.  It was about figuring out a way to increase the values of the DTSA buildings.  The reality is that the folks who backed all this really could care less about the arts.  For them the arts are a means to an end.  Look at what Pena is saying.  What they really want is to upscale DTSA.  That means only a few will make it.  The rest?  Adios.

The winners will be guys like Jakosky who will swoop in and buy up the buildings while they are still cheap.  Their real goal is to create a business district with art ornamentation.

Annie Hung Kim Pham was murdered in Santa Ana

How do the DTSA’s nightclubs and hipster bars and restaurants fit into this equation?  I am not sure. Since the brutal murder of Kim Pham, a couple weeks ago, The Crosby has shut down and the Memphis at the Santora has announced that they are closing down too.  I expect more of these closures to continue.

For DTSA to make any progress they need to open restaurants with broader appeal.  Look at San Diego’s Gaslamp District or Old Towne Orange.  Some of these restaurants should appeal to families.  A Spaghetti Factory would be a very nice fit in DTSA, for example.

Making DTSA friendly to families would be great.  Newsong would have fit nicely into such an endeavor.  Alas that ship has sailed.  That worked out well for First Baptist but isn’t working out so well for the local artists who tried to make it at the Santora.  I don’t expect the new Santa Ana Arts Commission to do much to help these folks.  They bet on the wrong horse…

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

45 thoughts on “The DTSA artists should have supported Newsong’s attempt to buy the Santora”
  1. “But you have to understand that creating the Santa Ana Artists Village was NEVER about the arts. It was about figuring out a way to increase the values of the DTSA buildings.”……….. Hmmmmmmm

    Interesting concept Editor.

    If you want to oppose the increase in the value of the DTSA you should support Latino Graffiti arts in the DTSA and the Santora vicinity.

    You should support “THE WAR” of the arts!…… an opportunity for the occupier artist teo.

    It should be a priority for the Latino freedom fighters, aka Santa Ana’s F Troopers, to cover surrounding area of the Santora with Latino native arts embedding lot of the OC Sheriff’s six pointed golden stars.

    I think that SA Mayor Pulido and SAPD13 Chief Rojas would support this effort lead by the F Trooper Michele Martinez and the Gang.

    1. “This jack ass makes me want to be a born again christian”……….. Hmmmmm

      Stick to your National Socialist Workers’ Party teo!

      They were more effective against jack asses than Christians.

    1. She contacted me today to complain about my article. But she won’t admit that she is talking to Jakosky, which she certainly appears to be doing.

  2. The reality is, as has been well documented and beaten around (long before the Lomeli’s and Chases and even Thereasa Salivar were in the least bit politically active is this:

    In the early 1990’s Rob Richardson gathered a group of people at the Sizzler on seventeenth street, the topic was how do we keep the civic center $$$$$ here after dark. From there a group of “narrow minded opportunist” began lobbying for a specific project, which never materialized but led to the establishment of the artist village, a competing idea at the time, but one with no legs. There are few posters on the original Yahoo Group who spoke out and joked about this.

    To argue that DTSA development about anything other than money is naïve and foolish.

    I have not heard a single peep from America Barcha, Art Lomeli, David Benavides and Michele Martinez about the murder of Pham. While it may be singular and isolated, it lends itself to debate.

    There is a great lesson in the PAYAN X story. The “powers” that be will DENY any basis, or affectual blame, but rather will quietly work out a compromise and then spin it. The city attorney and the city manager won’t fight the war of words here, but, you can bet they read them and feel their scorn.

    They work for US, not the council members.

    1. Yes carpetbagger
      After preserving property values, the other funtion of the artists has always been to act as a shield and distraction for the politicos while the stories of corruption are glossed over.

    2. In the 2012 I have predicted, here in NSA, that within 4 years Pulido and Walters will join Sheriff Carrona in the Time Share Gated Community and based on the recent VOC investigative stories my prediction is materializing.

      In 1995, I have purchased condo on the corner of 4th and French, I was first owner who moved in. At that time the DTSA, after 6:00 pm, was a ghost town and streets belonged to the gangs.

      So what ever Rob Richardson did worked well — Art.

      Liked or not Art, the DTSA night life made Santa Ana a civilized city and safer than it ever was. The kicking incident is an aberration when a simple street fight went wrong probably because the pachucas were suffering from the PMS.

      1. I should add that the SAPD13 murders like Susie Young Kim’s, 17 annually in an average, are more concerning to picture the Santa Ana as a civilized city.

        Only Idi Amin and Husein Obama will tolerate such police brutality.

        Where is FBI?……. stupid question when Eric Holder, who presides over it, is too a part of the brutal, lying and primitive African tribe.

  3. Hey Editor, I feel like a jack ass after making such a ruckus over new song buying the building. I was in arms (most the artists and “economically challenged” were). When it comes to real estate purchasers (and life in general) I am going to try to be less judgmental. I should have never let their religious beliefs blindside my actions, and should have taken this current scenario among other possibilities into consideration. I don’t know about the rest of the artists in the village, but I feel like an idiot. The reality is we don’t have the money to buy a building and dedicate it to art and the lifestyle we love, so we should be more wise before jumping the gun like that.

    1. No one saw this coming Theo. It is a darn shame. Newsong saved my church but they might have saved the Santora instead. Now we’re stuck with Jakosky.

    2. “I should have never let their religious beliefs blindside my actions”………… Hmmmmm

      So you do not consider Judaism and Kol Nidre prayer the “religious believes”?

      Than your self description is proper, Theo!

      As to you Editor: “No one saw this coming Theo”…. I did!

      But, I am stigmatized to be an antisemitic for my wisdom.

      You have to learn you moron mongoloids about a religious believes!

      And you Theo, if you are real artist you can excessively capitalize on the Jakoski’s crapola.

      The old Bohemian cliche teaches us: “Everything bad is good for something”

      You should be writing a play titled: “Jakoski and Faust” See

      1. Blah blah fu**ing blah If any one loves the santora as much as they say they do fu**ing do somting about that’s GLOBAL, or at least national f**k even state wide coverage . are you gonna let this puto kick you in your petunia. And get away with it. Put it on the map.

  4. Is anyone really surprised that the artist village is being used to redevelop DTSA and appeal to a wealthier crowd? Or that DTSA redevelopment is run by elitists? Also, if Jakosky actually brings latino restaurants (ie the replacement for Memphis) and latino art galleries (MOLAA) into the downtown, isn’t that actually good for the 80% latino community of Santa Ana? I feel bad for the Santora artists, but if the development of the building can serve the larger community, then I would say that the greater good is being done. That is yet to be seen. The changes made by Jakosky have been tactless, yet well within his right to make. I wish it were not so. I favor self-determination over market-determination. Welcome to capitalism.

      1. No, not frequently. However an expensive latino restaurant is probably more appealing to the general SA population than an expensive american hipster restaurant. Like I said, it is yet to be seen what he does with the space.

          1. You have a poor health record and you violate codes left and right. STFU! All restaurants have violations! Drop it. Broken record. The restaurants continue to stuff their pockets with profit I matter what bs you try. Really, pull your head out!

          2. It is one thing for a fast food restaurant to have health violations but when allegedly gourmet hipster restaurants cannot figure out how to keep their restaurants and bathrooms clean we have a real problem. Particularly when you look at what they charge for their food!

    1. He is not bringing in MOLLA, because he was asking them to pay to much in rent.
      Pocha Sarmiento told me that one.
      Also, if he actually was, you would think that he would want to advertise this to the Artists of the Santora and the Arts Community at large.
      You know, kind of like how The Mayor kept leaking info about desiring to bring in Chivas soccer team, with nothing substantial really there on the burner.

        1. Here BTW is Pocha Pena’s long comment about all this, from the OC Weekly:

          pocharte2 days agoThis is truly a sad development. Matt’s gallery was a much loved gathering place and his murals were beautiful expressions of our local artists’ vision. Now all this has gone the way of the gorgeous Caio Trattoria murals created by dozens of Artists Village tenants in the ’90’s & painted over by Chapter One when they moved in. All these exquisite moments are lost to us now…like tears in rain.But in lamenting our glorious past, let’s not fall prey to unsubstantiated spin & unfounded hysterics. This can only foment more division & discord.What isn’t mentioned in this article is that many long-time Santora tenants are staying: Joe Hawa, Atilano, The Art Bar & Firouzeh. Also, some Santora newcomers are being embraced by the new owner: the prolific Jenny Doh of Creciendoh Studio, the dynamic OC Creatives & the talented Tweena’s Tunes.This OC Weekly article also doesn’t mention Jackosky’s recent meetings with MOLAA & other local art leaders to bring in high-quality art spaces that reflect Santa Ana’s diverse culture or his upcoming collaborations w GCAC and other art groups. These are endeavors far from “Thomas Kincade” grade art fluff.Also left out was Jackosky’s invitation to have Studio del Sotano tenants relocate to the new Art Colony he’s building near the train station. Housed in an expansive industrial parcel a few blocks from the depot, these spaces would be a better location for working artists as they are more easily open to partnerships w Amtrak & out of county art collecting groups.This story also neglected to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the Santora’s restoration & repair: fixing the leaky rooftop air conditioners that had been flooding galleries for over a decade, cleaning the historic ironwork, uncovering the original skylights, patching & repainting the entire building, replacing all the broken glass & rotted wood. Those don’t sound like the actions of someone who has no love for the building or what it represents.So it appears @OC Weekly left quite a bit out when running with their sensationalist one-sided “report” largely based on the comments of one person who has never lived or worked in Santa Ana. Also, not mentioned was that the artists evicted were the ones most active in joining her belligerent & misinformed attacks on the new owner in the press. Cause & Effect folks.I hope in the next round, a broader range of local artists & arts professionals will be interviewed by the OC Weekly. Also that they would more closely examine the source of propaganda & their motivations before running w it.As a Santa Ana native and nationally recognized artist, I see many things long-needed for a healthy arts scene finally coming to fruition here: the forming of an Arts Commission, local agency support for the arts & live/work housing, city cooperation on arts grants & arts commerce studies, a commitment to daytime cultural events & markets, new incubator spaces, public art programs & so much more.I urge anyone wanting to get involved in Santa Ana Arts to move out here (or open a business in SA) instead of spreading more hate and poison from your sour grapes perch in HB, Irvine or Costa Mesa. Get some skin in the game!Santa Ana’s Art Future is what we make it. If folks can work together without petty tantrums & ugly attacks on local residents, then we can build a true blossoming of the best this City has to offer.<3 Viva Santa Ana! <3

          1. Bull Shit.
            OC creatives are also leaving the Santora of their own will now.
            They told me so on Saturday.
            As for Studio del Sotano artists being invited to relocate to some magical colony by the train station, also bullshit.
            Jacko tried to pick one of the Artists off, behind our backs.
            The artist turned him down, and didn’t even bother to show to tour said magical colony. .

  5. OK, folks!

    There is only one solution how to liberate the DTSA from the undesirable elements which are milking the Latino entrepreneurs and artists in the DTSA.

    As a libertarian, I do opose my concept but time to time the people must set a side their higher moral principles to stand against the devil forces.

    Therefore, I am contemplating to establish the “United DTSA Association INC” to combat the devil and to create free market business environment in the DTSA based solely on supply and demand equation rather than favoritism and corruption from the city council.

    Since the artists are like little children, socially immature and most liberal business people, I would like to hear their opinion.

    Caveat: There is nothing liberal in my proposition but rather benevolent dictatorship and fascism to oppose the devil forces which are the greatest.

    Your opinion:

    1. If you are Benevolent Dictator, where does that leave Pulido?
      And if Editor is Propaganda Minister then where does that leave me Fiala?
      This might require a whole other type of Putsch.
      Transparency is second rate tactic compared to Stealthy Campaign of lies and deceit.

  6. Perhaps a secret L.L.C. is going to be required as well.
    Limited Liability Corporation to avoid certain damaging law suits?

    1. The only difference between the LLC amd INC is that the LLC does not have the shares. Here the INC is only part of the name.

      As you know there is already Downtown Corporation PBID which is own by Jews so it is no beneficial to Latinos and gentiles as Claudia Alvarez correctly established. It is establish only to oppress small businesses.

      So the objective is to put all private business under a Liechtenstein Trusts umbrella where there is no personal liability and taxation.

      You must play like big boys play if you want to be free spirit artists.

      Since the capitalism and in this case the of sore tax heaven capitalism is complicated (but legal) to a liberal artists there will be a learning curve:

      “A Liechtenstein Trust is set up by a written agreement (Trust Deed) between the settlor and the trustee(s). The Trust Deed does not have to contain the names of beneficiaries. If the Trust Deed is deposited with the Registrar of Trusts, it will not be publicly available, and later instruments (e.g. naming beneficiaries) will not have to be revealed. If the Trust Deed is not deposited within 12 months, the following details of the trust must be placed on the public register”…….. See more

      There is lot of similar trusts around the world where the big boys put their eggs.

      As to Pulido he and others in SA will be first to move their skeletons from the closet to the Liechtenstein Trust.

  7. “Jackosky’s invitation to have Studio del Sotano tenants relocate to the new Art Colony he’s building near the train station.”

    HOLY SH*T, why don’t we just change the whole city into a f*cking Michael’s craft store? Really, another Art Colony, get the riff-raff out of DTSA? Maybe offer subsidized rent?

    Where is Martinez and Benavides, the darlings of Downtown on all of this?

      1. There’s that broken record again. Take a hike, we win. The changes are still going to continue and the dominant culture will fizzle out.

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