History: the making of Art Produce
Art Produce is an award-winning artist-run public/private enterprise, linking cultural programming and community development in North Park’s Arts District, an historic urban neighborhood of San Diego. Owned by Stone Paper Scissors, whose mission is to integrate community voice and vision into the cultural and physical landscape through art and education, Art Produce is a development project with artists and cultural production at its core. Transforming a boarded up building (North Park Produce), unsafe and under-utilized corner into a beautiful property and center for innovative art, it has stimulated local business, invigorated civic engagement, and reduced crime through "cultural infill".
Cultural production, environmental advocacy, education and community building have all been critical to the evolution of Art Produce and to North Park. Over her two decades as a resident and business owner in the neighborhood, Art Produce/Stone Paper Scissors founder Lynn Susholtz has been an active participant in increasing the neighborhood’s economic vitality through public culture. Her community engagement includes securing the first public funding for after-school arts programming, serving as a project area committee member for the creation of the neighborhood redevelopment agency; and working as an establishing member of the design committee for the Main Street Business Association, to name a few. Over the years, Stone Paper Scissors has participated in many of the planning projects for the community and is responsible for several of its public art projects.
Art Produce has increased pedestrian activity, community building, and cultural vibrancy with its storefront gallery, artists’ studios and educational activities.
The parking lot was transformed into an active public space accommodating an organic garden, performances, films, and outdoor classroom. The project is a model of sustainable design incorporating solar energy generation, rainwater catchment, and urban farming- a community cultural center that connects artists, arts organizations, schools, and urban farmers with local businesses.
Here is a link to the community development article by Lynn Susholtz and Leslie Ryan:
Community Development in the Context of Art: North Park and the Citizen Artist