Spotlight on Cultural Alliance of Long Beach

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calb recently spoke with Karen Reside, Space Manager of Cultural Alliance of Long Beach, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has Cultural Alliance of Long Beach been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

Cultural Alliance was started in 2012 in Long Beach by community activists who wanted to promote and support Long Beach artists. Nonprofit status was obtained in April of 2014.

Describe Cultural Alliance of Long Beach. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

The mission of CALB is to support working artists in all artistic disciplines and connect them with the public in Long Beach, California through innovative collaborations, dialogues, promotions, and education in a cutting-edge art environment.

How is Cultural Alliance of Long Beach different from similar nonprofits?

There are no other nonprofits working specifically with artists as CALB is.

How is Cultural Alliance of Long Beach involved with the community?

Space is offered in pop-up galleries to local artists and affiliated groups for hosting art and cultural activities and events. CALB also provides artists for community events to conduct art activities for the public. Exhibits represent all cultures within the community.

What are some of the biggest successes Cultural Alliance of Long Beach has had?

CALB hosted a Cherry Blossom/Anime Festival with 1,400 attendees and has hosted art shows for many artists that have recognition on a national or world-wide level but have never had a solo show in Long Beach. Shows have been held for Moira Hahn, Thea Robertshaw, Claudio Garzon, Jose Loza, and Dean Triolo among others.

What is the most rewarding part of running Cultural Alliance of Long Beach?

The most rewarding opportunity is to show works from local artists that represent the richness of our community and help everyone discover the variety of art and cultural events available to all ages.

What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?

Challenges are always fundraising, the competition instead of collaboration among art groups, and the lack of recognition of the economic value of the arts to the community.

What are the future plans for Cultural Alliance of Long Beach?

To provide expanding opportunities for local artists to show their work and to advocate for the their needs.

Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?

Every month on the third Friday, CALB hosts an Open Mic Night from 6 – 9:30pm. The last Friday of the month, CALB hosts a Jazz Night. Most events are free and family friendly. Long Beach Lego Users Groups is also hosted at CALB as well as Maha & Company, a dance company. Gallery Hours are Wednesday – Friday from 4 – 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 5pm.

How can people get involved with Cultural Alliance of Long Beach? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

Volunteers are welcome. We need gallery attendants, event support staff, artists, and donors. Volunteers can download an application from the website.

What is the most inspiring advice that you received and who did it come from?

There will always be people who will try to keep you from accomplishing your goals – don’t let them stop you. Carol Valente of the St. Louis Science Center.

One Last Thing:

CALB welcomes all artists who have a goal and need space or support to accomplish it. Check the website for current events –

Cultural Alliance of Long Beach Details:

Address: 729 Pine Avenue

Phone Number: 562-436-3421


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