PODCAST: Toxic Toast, LB Museum of Art and making/keeping Downtown relevant

On Episode #14 of “CAN YOU HEAR ME, LONG BEACH?” Downtown Long Beach has long struggled to stay relevant, what the kids call “hot.” We talked to two people whose business/organization helps validate the direction of the area while gambling that enough people will be attracted to keep everything going.

Asia Morris speaks with Ron Nelson, executive director of Long Beach Museum of Art. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

First, Ron Nelson, executive director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, speaks to Asia Morris and Steve Lowery about the museum’s new downtown space located at 3rd and Elm. This is the second time the museum has come downtown and Nelson believes conditions are right this time for them to stay. He also thinks artists should charge more for their work. Right?

Andy George (black cap), owner of Toxic Toast Records. Photo by Thomas Cordova.

Andy George’s Toxic Toast Records is celebrating its fifth year downtown, an experience that seems to have been, shall we say, mixed, given the comically pained way he reacts to the question “How is it dealing with the city?” Still, George has doubled down on his initial investment, opening a performance space—Toxic Toast Theatre—next door to his record store (and his adorable doggy friend, Toast). Asia, Steve and Cheantay Jensen, who profiled Toxic Toast Theatre, spoke with Andy about all of this and why he should be listening to the Monks. YOU ALL SHOULD BE LISTENING TO THE MONKS.

1:10 Ron Nelson talks about Long Beach Museum of Art’s new downtown location

19:00 That awkward moment when you first walk into a museum

24:20 The moment that changed Nelson’s life

29:00 Andy George talks about Toxic Toast theater and record store

37:25  How much does it cost to renovate a performance space downtown?

52:10 Is moshing still a thing? And what is “crowd killing”?

59:40 The story of Toast the dog

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Steve Lowery began his journalism career at the Los Angeles Times, where he planned to spend his entire career. God, as usual, laughed at his plans and he has since written for the short-lived sports publication The National, the L.A. Daily News, the Press-Telegram, New Times LA, the District and the OC Weekly. He is the Arts & Culture Editor for the Post, overseeing the Hi-lo.