Able ARTS Work Moves Operations to North Long Beach – Press Telegram
Able ARTS Work moved its art gallery from Southeast Long Beach to the Expo Arts Center in Bixby Knolls earlier this year, securing a window on Atlantic Avenue and a partnership with the building’s other tenants.
Then earlier this month, the nonprofit completed the purchase of the building at 3841 Atlantic Ave. A capital campaign to renovate the building is underway to create classrooms for the adult day program, administrative offices and more.
“We’re working with an architect right now,” Christy Glass, director of community development at Able ARTS Work, said in a phone interview. “We’re finding contractors and working on our rehabilitation capital campaign — you can donate online now.”
Able ARTS Work is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities find value and express themselves through the arts. It provides daytime sessions at their facilities (currently rented in Long Beach), as well as community visits for community engagement and, thanks in part to the pandemic, online home visits for sessions.
Once occupied, the new building will serve as a base for mobile art programs, workshops, a ceramics center and a community room accessible to the neighborhood, Glass said.
One of the ways that Able ARTS Work helps its clients interact with the public in a positive way is by organizing art exhibitions where their work – fine art, sculpture and more – is displayed and sold. A step toward a more permanent approach was the opening of a small gallery space in September 2020 at 2ND & PCH Mall.
Then in January, the north front hall in the Expo building became available. Able ARTS Work has moved with regular hours and exhibits that change every three months. The African American Cultural Center is the nonprofit’s southern neighbor, and the Expo Building also includes two small theaters as well as a large central open space and the offices of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association and District Eight City Councilman Al Austin.
It’s been a fruitful partnership, Glass said.
“Everyone in the building works together,” she said. “We participate with the group. Councilor Austin even served as a judge on our current show.”
This show opened on October 7th at the Bixby Knolls First Friday event. Nine works of art were sold that night alone.
The gallery is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Friday and from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Expo Building is located at 4321 Atlantic Ave.
For more information about the nonprofit’s programs or to donate to the capital campaign for the new building, visit the link ableartswork.org.