April 27, 2016

The Big Squeeze on Berkeley’s Artists

Berkeley’s artists are feeling the pinch of rising rents. Many are being forced into itinerant lifestyles and living in RVs. Older artists who came to the city in the 1970s made their way through their own hardscrabble beginnings, buying wrecked houses and rebuilding them, living in farmhouses, or in one case, a chicken coop. Now these older artists are established and can weather the rising rents. But younger artists just arriving in the Berkeley art scene can’t afford it. If tech money can just connect with the art scene, it might be possible to compensate for the costs of rent. If the City of Berkeley makes a bold legislative move, maybe it can save its young artists and its artistic tradition.

CREDITS:

REPORTER: Chris Harland-Dunaway
MUSIC: Edith Piaf, "La Vie en Rose" & "Non, Je ne Regrette Rien"
PHOTO: Toby Kahn

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