I was reading in today’s El Paso Times about MCAD’s interest in promoting artists moving to and living downtown. There is a survey from genesis21 they encourage everyone who is an artist to take involving questions such as what would make you move downtown. I was thinking about this and the dangers of creating artist enclaves. It seems like a worthwhile and noble endavor but as we see from the Left Bank in Paris to New York’s Soho, from Denver’s Lodo to Seattle, artists tend to be the shock troops which cleans up a neighborhood so lawyers, bankers and the VC guys can move in. The artists ultimately have to move on. This is what happens in a free market system. It used to take a longer time. First the homeless, then the artists then the cafes then the bankers. Now it happens rapidly. So I was going over all this in my head when I see on Artsjournal.com this article from the Washingotn Post. So I’m posting it as a part of what needs to be an ongoing discussion about the shape of El Paso’s owndowntown and how not only to make it a certain kind of place but to protect it from its own successes.