New owners should not stifle creativity



An incoming church group has a responsibility to uphold our community’s artistic diversity.

The historic Santora building in downtown Santa Ana will close escrow in July. The building houses restaurants, retail stores and art galleries, including one leased by Santa Ana College.

The new owners, Irvine-based Newsong Church, have pledged to work with the Santora building’s artists to “improve the environment,” said Newsong founder David Gibbons.

Art can be offensive to some but still have merit, and the contributions that the Santora’s tenants make are important to the development of the downtown area.

“We have no intention of censoring art,” said Newsong Chief Financial Officer Tom Greer about possible disagreements between artists and landlord. “We know that artists are going to do some things that we may not agree with, but we won’t be censoring any art,” he said.

If Newsong Church does not keep this promise to the Santora’s artists, they should be held accountable. Art is valuable to our city’s cultural development.

The Santora building itself is a piece of art. It should be maintained as such and Newsong Church should recognize and respect that responsibility. Only recently has the Arts District become relevant again, and if the artists leave because they are being pushed out, the area will lose its creative purpose.

Newsong Church’s responsibility as the new owner is not only to their congregation, but to the surrounding community.

View outside of the Santora Building and stores along the same street; there are many sitting areas under red-peachy color big umbrellas and there are several trees and smaller plants of varying sizes beside the sitting areas as well as a ceramic water fountain on the sidewalk.

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