It was not your usual "art crowd". They were neighbors, civic leaders of different communities, gang prevention activists, local government, sherifs, my awesome collaborators and supporters.
In the place as tough with the people as weary, if we had five people show up, we'd say "its worth it." We had more, much more.
Yet what was more important than numbers was the spirit different than anything I ever felt in thousands of openings I've been at or was part of in my long professional life. It was the feeling of ART doing its work.
Incredible Deputy Noya of Carson Sheriff's station, who runs one of the most successful gang prevention program anywhere showed up next morning with his entire staff and told me: "Last night alone I already saw the difference. People behaved and reacted differently than what I would expect in this place and I know this place for 30 years". You can fake many things, but not that. That’s an ultimate test. How many "art critic reviews" does THAT worth? If I had any energy left I'd cried.