I attended the Malibu Arts Festival last Sunday. Other than its location, where was the “Malibu” at this Chamber of Commerce event? The Malibu Art Society was pushed off in a corner to make room for vendors selling things like garage door openers, venetian blinds, blue-blocker sun glasses, beanie babies . . . and a substantial amount of imported product that was more appropriate for a swap meet. Many of the vendors were selling artwork they had not created themselves — imports from places like Haiti and Indonesia. I saw very few Malibu artists exhibiting and selling their work. The whole event had a corporate, produced feel to it, as if it were some kind of fund-raising package deal sold to the Chamber of Commerce with little regard for the many fine local artists and their work. If the chamber’s purported mission is to “Shop Malibu-Buy Malibu”, why are local artists being excluded?
The Chamber of Commerce needs to rethink this event and make a bigger effort to recruit Malibu artists. Perhaps the chamber could actively seek Malibu artists by advertising procedures and deadlines for obtaining a space. Perhaps the booth space fee could be reduced for Malibu artists to encourage their participation. Perhaps Malibu artists could have priority over garage door openers!
Come on, Chamber of Commerce — put the “Malibu” back in the Malibu Arts Festival!