Opinion: Here’s the Truth About the Arts Club, and Why I Support It

I speak as a resident who has lived in West Hollywood almost my entire life and at my present apartment since 1970. My children and grandchildren were born here. And as an active community member of West Hollywood, I strongly support YES on Measure B! Yes on Measure B will create a new revenue stream for city services, which includes funds for affordable housing, park improvements, art education, seniors and more.

The Arts Club (illustration by Gensler)

It is very unfortunate that a small group of individuals who are opposed to this wonderful development are misleading and providing unrealistic alternatives to residents of West Hollywood. Their main argument against the Arts Club is the need for more affordable housing in WeHo. Yes, there needs to be more affordable housing in West Hollywood; however, it is impractical to suggest that if the Arts Club is not built, then the site will be used to build affordable housing. It is not conducive to build affordable housing at this site nor is it guaranteed it will happen even if the Arts Club isn’t built.

As most residents know, the Arts Club is being proposed at 8920 Sunset Blvd., current site of the Hustler store. There is currently NO housing on this site and there is none being taken away. The revenue the Arts Club will generate for our city along with the half a million dollars the Arts Club is contributing to affordable housing can be used to improve housing in West Hollywood. How fortunate are we that we will add half a million dollars to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund?!  Not only that, but the Arts Club will bring us free rehearsal space for non-profit groups, opportunities for our WeHo talented photographers and/or artists to host showings without charge.

I’ve even experienced the opposition coming to my door on weekends giving me erroneous information insinuating we will lose EXISTING affordable housing, which is not the case, as there is no housing at the Hustler site.

Yes on Measure B will REPLACE the unsightly and outdated Hustler building with a beautiful, breathtaking architectural and environmentally sustainable cultural hub. Please join the City Council, Planning Commission, our local community leaders, and hundreds of residents and vote YES on MEASURE B!  Where better to have this than the Sunset Strip known world-wide for arts and entertainment.

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Ruth Williams
About Ruth Williams
Ruth Williams, a co-founder of the City of West Hollywood, is a long-time member of the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission and previously has served on the city's Rent Stabilization Commission. Williams is a former director of advocacy for the National Council of Jewish Women / Los Angeles. She was a recipient of the city's 2016 Rainbow Key Award.

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8 Comments
  1. Our creative, diverse, and one-of-a kind City should open our arms and welcome the Arts Club to West Hollywood. The Arts Club creates a new center for the arts in WeHo that is pedestrian oriented and offers something for all WeHo residents. The economic and cultural benefits we as residents of West Hollywood would receive from the Arts Club are above and beyond what we have received from other projects.

    With MOCA at the PDC leaving West Hollywood, the Arts Club will infuse new life into WeHo’s cultural scene, with a street-facing bistro, music and art gallery, along with free rehearsal space for local singers, dancers, and performers. The art gallery and rehearsal space are open to the public and encourage local artists, musicians, non-profits, and other community groups to utilize the space for free! The Arts Club has generously allocated over 13 million dollars to community benefits and will generate millions for our City. Aside from their generous commitments to our community, the Arts Club will generate high paying labor jobs and support for our local businesses and restaurants.
    My husband and I are truly excited to have The Arts Club come to our city since it genuinely is the perfect addition to West Hollywood and the Sunset Strip. With our live music venues leaving, we need to keep the musical and artistic culture alive! Please join my husband and me and vote YES on MEASURE B!
    Jim Banks
    20+year resident of West Hollywood
    Norma Triangle

  2. THEN you have been fooled by the best. I would never have another PRIVATE CLUB in the area.

    My other friends noirth of SUNSET and. DOHENY ask why? Small bucks for our community

  3. No no no on the Arts Cllub of London. I mean no no on The Arts club of Los Angeles A private club not needed Especially $1/2 million can be raised easily with out a club. I don’t believe what I am reading from pro people. We have enough clubs there. I can tell you that in 2010. Our free one downtown taught many artists, singers. Fashion and dancers business

  4. At a time when rents are higher than ever, the very idea of an invite only exclusive club for wealthy people during a housing crisis is unconscionable. I suspect many of the WEHO residents who support this are misguided, and will be adversely impacted should it pass. VOTE NO.

  5. I am Voting NO NO NO for another members only swank private Arts Club Of London. We don’t need a private club with all the others around. Public gallery don’t believe any of them. I see who is involved and seeing we get $500,000 from the club. Maybe $5 million would work. I have worked with some of the producers and nothing ever have come true. Just a bunch of Goop for fooola to believe. There’s the whisky and roxy and live/oaks and Soho on one street. You will come to see. What one actually gets from the Members only club. Created by Charles Dickens. Let’s see been living in West Hollywood on and off. And played all the night clubs for 15 years. Too much to bear a club of this nature. Check the others out. And I too once believed the people involved and nothing happened promised

  6. NO gallery EVER charges admission, so what are they bragging about? I have been told artists will be able to display their work in the new bldg. but not be allowed to sell it! What kind of gallery does that? None. Only museums do that. It shouldn’t even be called a gallery. The only word I can think of is farce. “Gallery” is definitely a misnomer. It’s like being invited to a restaurant to look at the menu but not being allowed to buy any food! Think about it. This is madness! Also I could not get any information about the bldg. owners supplying insurance for the art while it’s in that bldg. No one has returned my calls, so insurance is most assuredly out of the question. Those of you who on face value thought this is a wonderful opportunity for artists, should go to any legitimate gallery and ask how they operate. They will tell you.

    1. READ ABOUT THE ARTS CLUBS AROUNDthe WORLD

      FIRST one Created by Charles Duckens THE ARTS CLUB of LONDON

      And not hotels but working studios one can sleep in….like THE NEUEHOUSE is very similar but at the other end of SUNSET with HEAVY SECURITY I was partly hosting and kept being asked who I was? I said look at the credits of the film being shown.

  7. For the past 23 years I have been a resident of West Hollywood. I live directly below the proposed Arts Club and I fully support it! YES ON MEASURE B!!!

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