Category Archives: Blog

2018 Grand Park Downtown Dia de los Muertos Participating Artists and Organizations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Since its incorporation in 1973, Self Help Graphics & Arts has produced over 1,000 art print editions, including 54 Atelier projects and exhibitions all over the world. The organization remains dedicated to the production, interpretation and distribution of prints and other art media by Chicana/o and Latinx artists; and its multidisciplinary, intergenerational programs promote artistic excellence and empower community by providing access to working space, tools, training and beyond. Now, nearly a half century later, SHG continues to foster emerging Chicana/o and Latinx artists through its world-class printmaking studio and supports the role of artists as leaders, both within its organization and the community.

LORE Media + Arts founded by Robert Ramirez is a 15-year-old cultural and specials events production company.  LORE, as well as our newly developing foundation, works with NPO’s, NGOs, private corporations, and government/ civic entities to facilitate opportunities for at-risk people in marginalized communities to connect with professional visual artists and community leaders, in order to create public visual arts-based events that promote positive cultural identity of Latino and Mesoamerican indigenous communities, and to empower participants via scholarships to pursue higher academic achievement, and to encourage civic and neighborhood community building through the arts.

 

Azteca Danza – Balam Mictlantecuhtli – The Aztec Dancers  will be doing a Dia de los Muertos Ceremonial blessing of the four corners.  North, South, East & West.

Tierra Blanca Arts Center– “Leyendas de Mèxico”

VIVA LA REVOLUCION HIJOS DE LA PELONA: La Mujer en la Revolución Mexicana! It’s celebrating the Revolution in Mexico and along with this celebration we remember during DIA DE MUERTOS the great women in the Mexican Revolution!

We are TBAC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the art of music, dance and theater to the greater Los Angeles area. Serving the community since 2003, TBAC was founded under the firm conviction that arts and culture have the power to break down the invisible barriers that often keep our multicultural community from truly living in harmony. Our mission is to instill in our community a sense of pride, identity and unity.

TBAC continually works to expand its services by supporting a variety of cultural events year-round. Our performers have showcased their talent in venues such as The Orpheum, The Montalban Theatre, The Downey Theatre, The New LATC and Los Angeles Theater.

Our vision is to reach a greater, more diverse audience. While our focus is Latin American folk dance, we are committed to celebrating Los Angeles’ rich diversity by engaging with like-minded organizations in order to raise cultural awareness.

 

“For over two decades, Quetzal has been getting down with movements fighting oppression in Los Angeles, Seattle, Havana, Veracruz and beyond. An East LA Chican@ rock group, Quetzal has a unique musical sound based on the incorporation of traditional son jarocho, Cuban batá, funk, Chicano rock, soul, and rhythm and blues. Quetzal’s music is a radical sound project of our times, a project based in artivism (art + activism), and feminist praxis.Since 1993, their sound project has archived their political activism from Los Angeles to Veracruz to Palestine.Their latest album “The Eternal Get Down” (Smithsonian Folkways) extends this project, bringing together a range of instruments to give voice to struggles of resistance, including: the Hammond B3, a core instrument in Black gospel and R&B music; the various instrument of son jarocho, including the jarana, the leona, therequinto jarocho and tarima, percussion instruments such as the Cuban batá drums, chekere, the marimbol, violins, and the moog synthesizer. The instruments do more than produce sound — they channel histories, prayers, lessons, and voices with stories to tell.”(Deb Vargas).

On October 27th, The Quetzal Quartet featuring Juan Perez (bass), Tylana Enomoto (Violin, voice), Quetzal Flores (Jarana, voice), Martha Gonzalez (Vocals, percussion) will bring an intimate sound to the stage in honor of the ancestors.


Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company (GMFBC) was founded by Jose Vences in September 2003. Currently, Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company has over 30 dancers and is a non-profit performing arts organization. The company was formed to advance the field of Mexican folk ballet, enhance the public’s appreciation for the diversity and depth of Mexican culture, and to present high-quality dance productions.

With signature pride in the rich national culture, Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company presents high-caliber dance productions that represent the diverse regions of Mexico. Whether choreographic works depict celebrations, ceremonies, or daily rituals, they are a colorful slice of the flavor of Mexico. Backed by careful research, GMFBC’s choreography is committed to preserving the traditions and customs of Mexico’s historic past and promising present.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subsuelo is a global bass crew from Los Angeles that experiments with futuristic dance parties and old-school tropical music.  Named “Best Eastside Club Night” by LA Weekly, Subsuelo started as a house party in Boyle Heights back in 2011 and evolved into a weekly gathering where friends get down to cumbia, hip-hop, salsa, house, reggaeton, dancehall, baile funk, kuduro and all kinds of new weird global bass variations.


Directly from the city of hope – Mexico City, Mexico – in the month of March, 2012, the six-man group EL CONJUNTO NUEVA OLA released its first musical production, an album that is sure to make history. A very unique musical collective, one that will revolutionize the recording industry. The first promotional single from their album is titled “CHIDO, CHIDO” (“Cool, cool”) a classic title in the history of tropical music, but one that here takes on a completely different vibe.

The group is comprised of lead singer Urbano López, guitarist Luzio Nava, bassist Primitivo Ríos, percussionist Hipólito Madero, El Tacho on timpani and El Raio Manzares on keyboards. Their mission is simple: bring flavor and get people to dance to the rhythm of cumbia, mixing new wave, rock and disco sounds into hits from various iconic groups like La Sonora Dinamita, to the late Chico Che & Rigo Tovar.


Julio y su Teclado Màgico


 

 

 

 

It’s true that Irene Diaz captivates every audience with her powerful, soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics. Irene has been playing music since she was 7 years old. Mastering piano and then guitar; but her greatest instrument is her voice.  With no formal training, Irene found singing to come naturally to her.  NPR’s Jasmine Garsd says, ‘You can’t fake the soul and Irene is so believable in her emotion.’ Her Kickstarter backed 2013 debut EP, “I Love You Madly”, showcased Diaz’s musical style and ability to crossover effortlessly into different genres of music ranging from Jazz to R&B to Folk. Over the years Diaz has pushed herself to evolve, combining looping keyboards and drum beats to go along with her shining, standout voice. With new music on the way we will still hear Ms Diaz stretching across genres. There will surely be something for everyone.


 

 

 

Ofelia Esparza, artist and educator born in 1932, still resides in East Los Angeles. Esparza has been associated with Self Help Graphics & Art for nearly 40 years, and is known for her Day of the Dead ofrendas/altars. It is at SHG where she learned and developed a body of work in printmaking, including monotype, etching, and serigraphs, and works in acrylics, graphite, and watercolor and mixed media. Her work reflects her spirituality and her Mexican indigenous heritage. She credits her mother for the influence in Ofelia’s appreciation for the spiritual beauty in the natural world and in the dignity of the people around her. A great portion of Esparza’s work honors womanhood. This is what inspires not only her ofrendas, but most of her art in all its diverse forms. Esparza considers herself a cultural facilitator as an educator and as an artist through the workshops, lectures, and the work she conducts at schools, colleges, and community venues. Most recently, she has been working within the community, with her daughter, Rosanna, conducting workshops for children and adults combining art, culture, and social activism as a vehicle toward wellness and personal empowerment.
In 2018, Esparza was named National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts. Esparza’s work can be found in numerous private and public collections, and has exhibited in and outside California museums and galleries, nationally, internationally, and the National Mexican Museum in Chicago, 2017. CSULA conferred Esparza with an honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane Letters, 2016 and is looked upon as a spiritual elder in her community.

On November 3rd at Grand Ave Arts All Access, Master altarista Ofelia Esparza and her daughter, altarista Rosanna Ahrens will teach an altar workshop about creating elements that go on an altar, using the existing altars, including the Community Altar as context. Participants will learn how to make paper flowers and paper picture frames as ofrendas, or offerings, to add to their own altar.


Indigital Productions/Jeniffer Sanchez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On November 3rd at Grand Ave Arts All Access, Danza Workshops will be led by Jeniffer Sanchez, Los Angeles-based artist, danzante, choreographer, director and producer who began studying and performing traditional Danza Azteca at 9 years old.


Alfonso Aceves


Benedigital aka Ben Encarnacion is a visionary mixed media artist from Los Angeles, CA. He channels powerful visions that transform into mirrors of our own expansion as a collective consciousness.

His mission is to share reminders of the light we hold within that enhance and elevate our reality.His otherworldly digital vision quest is a fusion of cosmic consciousness, mystical experiences and ancient revelations.Channeling his groundbreaking personal experiences by remixing painting and digital graphics.Embracing these practices, ideals and energy, Benedigital’s work is becoming a vital component in the global visionary arts movement and live painting community.


Cal State LA Multicultural Arts in LA Class

LBS 2340-06

Dedicated to the people of Los Angeles

Instagram: @michellelopez777

Twitter: @mlopez777


Celina Jacques – “Los Angelitos”

Dedicated to all the children.

Instagram: @celinajacquesart


Consuelo G. Flores

Amor Enterno

No me movía, estaba quieta, completamente quieta
Tenía miedo de que la navaja me entrara más y otra vez
Sabía que ya había llegado cerca de mi corazón
Ese corazón que estaba tan lleno de suerte.

El amor es trabajo y es difícil y algunas veces puede tragarte por completo.
El amor puede ser un animal que destroza tu consuelo.
El amor puede desafiar, hacer la vida imposible, hacer la vida improbable.
El amor puede ser una flor de papel destrozada por la lluvia.
El amor puede ser un retoño que se encaja al corazón, y crece tan grande, que sus raíces se apoderan y se lo traga.
El amor también puede envolverse alrededor de la espina dorsal, enderezando la vida
El amor puede llenar los pulmones tanto que cada respiración fuerte puede navegar un barco a través de los siete mares.

Veo el camino frente a mí y no sé a dónde va.
Me encojo y suspiro para reunir la fuerza y seguir adelante.

Arriesgo mi consuelo para una esperanza.
He vivido dolores, batallas y verdades mezcladas con esperanza y pérdida.
Quiero dar el siguiente paso, pero las huellas del pasado son demasiadas grandes.
No puedo llenarlas y tengo mis dudas.

Me quedo donde estoy y miro hacia un camino que no tiene destino.
Miro hacia atrás desde donde estoy y no veo pasado, ne siento atrapada en el presente.
Pero los veo y me veo en ustedes, en sus vidas, en sus cuerpos, en sus caras, en el amor eterno que los une.

Las huellas que veo enfrente están llenas de gracia fuerte y tierna.
Soy una mujer en una familia de mujeres fuertes, con lealtad, coraje y corazón.
El amor no tiene condiciones.
El amor no tiene ilusiones absudos.

El amor tal vez sea una respuesta para una vida llena, pero la pregunta siempre es diferente.
Y como ustedes, yo soy la pregunta y la respuesta.

Twitter: @poetaconsuelo


Corazon Del Pueblo – “Death of Colonization; Decolonize”

Facebook: @corazondelpueblo.boyleheights


East Los Angeles Womens Center – “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds”

This altar is dedicated to our intergenerational healing, strength, survival and wisdom. They tried to wipe us out, they tried to break our spirit with rape and abuse, they tried to make us forget our traditions and they injected trauma into our veins. But here we are, we have survived, our traditions have survived, we heal ourselves and each other and our spirits continue to blossom. We are survivors, we are wise and we are healing.

Instagram: @elawcyouth


Eden Sanchez


Eric Scud Brenes


German Shepherd Rescue of OC – “Our Beloved Animals”

Honoring our best friends. Dia de los Muertos remembers our pets who gave us unconditional love and companionship. Animals that cross over the rainbow bridge and are at peace forever more.


goeastlos  – “#InstaAltar”

La Catrina, the icon of Dia de los Muertos, journeys back from the dead as she pays tribute and honors forgotten stories of Los Angeles. Follow her on instagram (@goeastlos) to experience the duality of life and death as she explores East LA and beyond. This altar showcases her journey in addition to a collection of stories submitted online that pays tribute to the dead. If you would like a loved one to be honored at this altar, submit your photo on Instagram and hashtag #InstaAltar

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @goeastlos


Grand Park – Staff Ancestral Altar

Facebook: @grandparklosangeles

Instagram: @grandpark_la


Guadalupe Homeless Project Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission – “Prisioneros de la Injusticia”

“Porque aunque la jaula sea de Oro, no deja de ser prision….” Dedicated to the men and women who have left their home countries in search of a better life for their families, many times having to leave their families and children behind.


Haydee Jimenez – “Amor Eterno”

To our grandmothers who we love dearly can never be more than a thought away… for as long as there’s a memory they live in our hearts to stay.

Instagram: @moranchel4ever


Born in Mexico City in 1976, Heriberto Luna immigrated to the United States a year after. Of 6 children, he is the second to the youngest. Heriberto Luna comes from a colorful background. His grandfather was one of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata’s soldiers, and his father was in the Mexican army. His grandmother was a Mayan shaman, fluent in two indigenous languages.

Graduating from Franklin High School, in Los Angeles, Luna was surrounded by gangs but found his salvation at age 16 in the arts. At La Tierra de la Culebra, an urban art park in North East LA, he developed his skills as an earth sculptor and painter. Combined with his passion for performing Aztec dancing as both a dancer and a drummer, the artistic exposure gave him focus and strengthened his resolve to rise above the bad circumstances around him.

During 2002 and 2005 Luna apprentice on major mural projects with L. A’s most influential muralist team the East Los Streetscapers, and artist Paul Botello. Luna met Los Angeles artist Margaret Garcia and in 2002 he apprenticed with her and with New Mexico Master artist Pola Lopez

The result of all that hard work is clear, as Luna has exhibited in over 35 major Museums thus far, among them such prestigious locations as: The Santa Monica Museum of Art, The National Mexican Fine art Museum in Illinois and The Museum of History and Art in Ontario, California. Beyond that, Luna’s works have become part of major art collections at Arizona State University and in 2006 Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented him with an award of recognition for his accomplishments in the arts; Luna has also been awarded two artist-in-residence grants from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs department.

As his art career continues to bloom, Luna remains dedicated to under privilege youths, he is currently teaching arts classes for Theatre of Hearts and serves as a mentor. Heriberto Luna’s success is measurable on many different levels yet what makes him most proud is seeing the young people that he has worked with turn to the community and become mentors themselves. Some have gone on to achieve gallery and museum showings as well.

Withal, Luna’s bold colors juxtaposed with ancient inspiration and strong commitment to the future of his community bring a powerful and profound statement to the art world and beyond.


Homeboy Industries – “Our Dead Are Never Dead To Us”

George Eliot once said, “Our Dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” Homeboy Industries offers sanctuary, transformation, kinship and community to those that have been forgotten in the margins. As we do for the living, we do for our dead. Your Homeboy Industries family will continue your memory in love, kinship, transformation, and community. May your journey home always be your sanctuary.

Facebook/Instagram: @homeboyindustries


Jaime Zacarias – “Los Angeles”

Dedicated to the city.

Instagram: @Germ_s


Jamie Chavez “Storm Cloud”

Instagram: @stormcloud72


Joan Zeta – “The One Time I Didn’t Get Another Chance/Cuando no tuve ora oportunidad”

The alter is dedicated to all the people who have died due to alcohol and drug addiction. Este altar està dedicado a todos las personas que han muerto debido a la adicción al alcohol y las drogas.

Instagram: @joan_zeta


Jose Chaves “Chavez Art”


Jovenes, Inc.

Instagram: @jovenes_inc


Justice for Cesar Rodriguez – “Cesar murdered by coos for a 1.75″

Instagram: @Eveliiaa1


Las Fotos Project – “Honoring Our Migrant Mamas”

Las Fotos Project’s altar, Honoring Our Migrant Mamas, is a youth-led community memorial centering the resilience of women who have traveled across geographic and cultural borders in search of new possibilities. Featuring photographs of students with their migrant mothers and grandmothers, this altar invites the local community to share their own stories of migration through the eyes of their matriarchs. Participants are welcome to bring photographs, flowers, and other memorabilia to the altar over the course of the installation period.

Instagram/Twitter: @lasfotosproject


Latino Equality Alliance – “Rest in Power / Descansen en Poder”

This altar is lovingly dedicated to honor Gabriel Fernandez (8 years old) and Anthony Avalos (10 years old), youth taken away much too soon due to family rejection. Let us honor them and remind ourselves that prejudice against the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community exists. What can YOU do to end this violence? #LaFamiliaIsOut #UnconditionalLove #FamilyAcceptance #RestInPower Este altar está dedicado amorosamente honrando a Gabriel Fernández (8 años) y Anthony Avalos (10 años), jóvenes que fueron quitados demasiado pronto debido al rechazo familiar. Honrémoslos y recordemos que existen prejuicios contra la comunidad LGBTQ (Lesbiana, Gay, Bisexual, Transgénero y Queer). ¿Qué puedes hacer TÚ para acabar con esta violencia? #LaFamiliaIsOut #UnconditionalLove #FamilyAcceptance #RestInPower

Instagram: @SomosLEA


Legacy LA – “Youth Justice”

Our participants and staff would like to honor la memoria of all youth who fight for justice. Both those who has lost their lives for justice, and honoring those who are still fighting for justice for community visibility, inclusivity, accountability, acknowledgement, knowledge, and identity. We don’t want to just highlight injustice that our communities experience from police brutality, anti-immigrant sentiments-polices, but demonstrate the love that exist when we unity all brown and black communities of color.

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @Legacy_LA


Lucretia Torva is an artist/painter based in Phoenix, AZ — but she  will travel anywhere to paint! She paint on canvas in oils and acrylics and I have acquired an addiction to painting murals! She was born in Peoria, IL. I grew up in Scotland and France because her Dad worked for Caterpillar Tractor Co. It was a great foundation for being an artist as she was able to see and experience some of the greatest art and architecture in the history of Western Art. Seems like she have been painting forever, yet it’s only been 30-some years. She received my MFA from the U. of Illinois in 1982.


Luis Huffington


LURN – “¡Cultivando Trabajo!”

Dedicado a todos los vendedores ambulantes de Los Ángeles.

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @LURNetwork


Marcus Pollitz


Martha Carrillo (Heart On Arts) – “Y lo Bailado, quien me lo quita?”

To those we have loved & Lost. For those who know they watch over us & guide us. Que en paz descansen.

Instagram: @heartOnArts


Michael Heralda has presented his culturally educational, musical, and interactive programs, to students and interested listeners of all ages throughout the U.S. since 1995.

Michael has recorded three CD’s that feature music, stories, poetry, and narratives – see MUSIC link for more information.

The stories, ballads, and narratives presented in this program are all true and based on documented accounts of what is termed the oral tradition – stories handed down through families, generation after generation.

Many handmade indigenous styled instruments are used and shared throughout the presentations – clay flutes, Huehuetl and Teponaztli drums, gourd water drums, shakers, rasps, conch shell trumpets, and many other unique instruments
all made from readily available materials giving the listener the understanding that musical instruments can be made from natural elements that surround you.

“Aztec Stories” is an intriguing and thought provoking way to learn about the culture of ancient Mexico and the indigenous Mexika (me-shee-ka)/Aztecs. For some it may be a way to reconnect to a wonderfully rich legacy that unfortunately lies dormant within them, buried for many, many years and generations. For others it may awaken a new understanding of a culture focused on the beauty, art, and high levels of sophisticated philosophical understanding that for many decades were ignored or suppressed.


Miriam Lopez


Moni Perez

My altar is dedicated to the hundreds of people that die due to cancer at the hands of systemic oppression.

Instagram: @lamoniperez


ni Santas – “jaula de oro”

we want to honor children who go through the harsh challenges of crossing the border . we recognize the struggles children go though to find a better life only find themselves in the dangers of crossing the border ,ending up in ice detention centers and worse yet passing away all while making the journey to the Jaula De Oro (golden cage) a symbol for what seems to be the American dream for most immigrants

Instagram: @ni_santas


Noemi Basquez


Ballet Folklorico Nueva Antequera was founded by Miriam Lopez and Raul Cortez to promote and spread the Oaxacan culture in LA.


Office of Supervisor Hilda L. Solis 

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @HILDASOLIS


Osvaldo Cervantes

 


Pacific Oaks College – “Celebrating All Families”

Celebrating different types of families from all backgrounds!

Facebook: @PacificOaks


People For Mobility Justice – “People for Mobility Justice”

A space to celebrate love and dignity in transportation and public spaces

Instagram: @peopleformj


Rachel Hoye

 


RAH Azul is a Painter, Muralist, Poet and Aztec dancer in the San Fernando Valley 818 area.

RAH Azul Artista, Muralista, y Poeta desde Los Angeles, CA


Raza Rider – “FALLEN MOTORCYCLES RIDERS”

Riders of all motorcycles that have been taken, as they now rider in the clouds.

Instagram/Twitter: @RAZARIDER


Dario Guerrero, creator of the new documentary ROCIO, is an undocumented Harvard graduate. His story first received national attention in September 2014 when he published an essay in the Washington Post titled “I told Harvard I was an undocumented immigrant. They gave me a full scholarship.”

Following up on this story, a Telemundo news crew reached out to Dario and found him living in his grandmother’s home, some 3,000 miles away from school in the crime-ridden, massive slums of Nezahualcoyotl just outside Mexico City. Dario’s story again made national headlines, this time under the guise of “Harvard student took his dying mom to Mexico, now he’s not allowed to leave.” This is the subject matter of the present film. This is the story of ROCIO.

Dario also co-directed 2013’s A Dream Deferred with college roommate Alex Boota, a documentary following several undocumented Harvard students as they apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Funded by the Harvard Law Documentary Studio, it was a Regional Finalist in the Student Academy Awards.


Robert Ramirez

 


Rosanna Ahrens

 


South Central Farm – “La Procesiòn”

Our altar this year is dedicated to you, to us, to our community and to all who need to be reminded of where we came from. To all the land protectors who are fighting to protect our basic right to exist and live with justice and dignity. Whether you believe in the spirits or not, we all came from the earth. We all came from darkness. We all sprouted from a spark. A spark of love, a spark of light and with some warmth, with some sustenance, we blossomed to the beautiful beings we are today. The altar serves to reflect on the procession of life. How we rise and how we descend. And for those of who doubt we can come out from the darkness we may find ourselves in, look to the spirits and look to the earth to remind yourself that you too can resurrect. The altar is composed of earth elements ascending from the darkness. Seeds, water, blossoms and fruit follow the light out of the earth where they shall one day return, only to rise again re-nurtured, resilient, and reborn. “They Tried to Bury Us, But they Didn’t Know We Were Seeds”

Instagram: @Southcentralfarm


SWANA-LA – “SWANA-LA”

Dedicated to our relatives in Yemen

Facebook/Instagram: @swanalosangeles


Youth Justice Coalition – “We Are Not Targets”

The Youth Justice Coalition’s altar honors 851 people killed by law enforcement in LA County between 2000 and 2017. The Los Angeles Police Department and LA County Sheriff’s Department have – for many years – led the nation each year in use of force deaths. For the past 150 years, Los Angeles County has also led the nation in harsh policing, jailing and incarceration, and has established many of the policies on criminalization, suppression and deportation that have swept the nation and the world. Policies and procedures that came out of LA include the: (1) Militarization of police (first SWAT units, first use of helicopters, first use of army tanks against domestic populations, and build-up of the nation’s largest domestic arsenal of weaponry and surveillance technology; (2) Longest, most deadly and most costly history of community uprisings – all either attacks by law enforcement against civilian populations, or communities protesting police violence; (3) Political rise of Richard Nixon and creation of the “war on drugs;” (4) Political rise of Ronald Reagan, globalization, deindustrialization, and expansion of the war on drugs while also using drugs to fund and arm counter-revolutionary dictatorships in Central America; (5) Creation of world’s first “war on gangs” including the first gang databases, gang injunctions and gang definition; (6) Nation’s first anti-immigration policies; and (7) the Nation’s first school police departments, daytime curfew (truancy) laws, and first build up of a security culture in and around campuses that caused public schools to look and operate more like prisons, the first application of zero tolerance policies for student “discipline,” all of which led to the national creation of a school-to-jail-track that caused massive suspensions, expulsions and arrests of youth of color. We build our altar to remember all those impacted by these policies, that battled against this state violence for generations, that lost their lives behind the bullets of police, and those young people we buried too soon. Join the movement to STOP THE $3.5 BILLION L A JAIL PLAN, and fight for a just Los Angeles and California, and a future for our families and communities beyond incarceration or death. Contact us at: action@youth4justice.org; Facebook: Youth Justice Coalition; Instagram @youthjusticeLA

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @YouthJusticeLA


 

NYELA 2018 Featured Artists

We have an amazing list of artists to help bring in the new year.

Featured Artists

Dexter Story and the All-Star New Year’s Eve Band, featuring Raquel Rodriguez, Jimetta Rose, Kenneth Crouch, Kam Talbert, and more

Dexter Story is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, songwriter, producer, and music director. After earning an undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and performing with a diverse array of musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Ernie Watts, John Stubblefield, Slide Hampton, Jeff Narell, Kamasi Washington, Gaslamp Killer, Nick Rosen, and Les Nubians among others. His latest and most notable endeavors are music directing Summer 2015’s stellar Wattstax Revisited and Summer 2016’s Soy Africano concerts at Grand Performances, and producing Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recording artist Daymé Arocena’s acclaimed album Cubafonia.

 


 

Eclectic Soul singer born and raised in Los Angeles, Raquel Rodriguez and crew deliver music with a soulful, gritty groove that people love to dance and party to. Commanding the stage, Raquel’s live show is engaging and a crowd favorite at clubs and festivals across the country. With a potent blend of femme and aggression, she serves up sassy, heartfelt vocals which caught the ears of artists like Nigel Hall (Lettuce), Adam Deitch (Lettuce) and Borahm Lee of Break Science, Moby, as well as LA’s very own, Anderson .Paak. You can catch Raquel with Paak on his Cover Art album as well on his summer ‘Malibu’ tour. You may also recognize her as one of the fiery singers gracing the stage with him everywhere from Coachella to the Late Night Show starring Jimmy Fallon. The LA soulstress has also received airplay and support from music and culture tastemaker Garth Trinidad, DJ at top ranking NPR station KCRW and music editor for LA Canvas.  Her recent release, The 310, produced by Nigel Hall and Sam Brawner is now available everywhere!


Los Angeles native, Jimetta Rose has become a mainstay in the Los Angeles independent music scene while simultaneously digging firm roots into LA’s burgeoning creative renaissance drawing inspiration from jazz, R&B and Hip-Hop. One word that embodies Jimetta’s complex and mesmerizing sound is: SOUL. With her talent, style, and dedication to unfiltered creative expression, it should come as no surprise that Jimetta Rose counts among her friends and colleagues, many of the most popular artists and Dj’s in the Los Angeles music scene and abroad, which include Miguel Atwood Ferguson, Med and Blu, The Decoders, Alice Russell, Talib Kweli, Meshell N’Dgeocello, Erykah Badu, Joi Gilliam, Shuggie Otis, Zap Mama, Seu George, Shafiq Husayn, Dj House Shoes, and many more.


Born in LA, Kenneth was classically trained as a child, and in his teens broadened the range of his keyboard skills by embracing both gospel and jazz influences. Influenced by artist such as his uncle Andrae Crouch, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul and Bill Evans, he embarked on his musical career at the age of 15. As well as recording with Eric Clapton, over the years Kenneth has gone into the studio with many prominent artists, including The Temptations, Toni Braxton, Lenny Kravitz, Nancy Wilson and Vanessa Williams. He has appeared live in concert with Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Babyface.


Kam Talbert also known as “KamPAIGN” is a performer with multiple talents. He has a countless number of projects as a vocalist and singer collaborating with local Los Angeles artist, international artist, producers, and even well-known stars. Kam is also a playwright helping to write and produce an original musical called “The Museum of Living Art”. A project that was a collaboration with Jimetta Rose & Nappy Nation Productions. KamPAIGN is currently a curator of music and video for artist community hitrecord.org, an online production company founded and run by Joseph Gordon Levitt.


You can currently hear Francesca Harding over the airwaves as co-host, producer and DJ on Los Angeles’ 90.7FM KPFK for Soundwaves Radio. Her Dj mixes have been featured on Jay Z’s blog, Life and Times as well as the El Sonido show on Seattle’s 90.3 FM. Francesca has spun internationally for crowds in the UK, Mexico City, Colombia, the Bahamas and South Korea, and regularly works for corporate clients in the Los Angeles area, including Numark and Elle Magazine.

Most recently, Francesca joined forces with L.A. based Dj-duo, the Beat Ventriloquists, to form a production collective called “Wear Patterns”. The trio has thus far released two singles that have garnered worldwide radio play and have graced the pages of LA Weekly, Earmilk, Large Up & Discobelle. “Wear Patterns” is set to drop their self-titled EP in spring 2018. With a broad taste in music and impressive technical skills, it is no surprise that Francesca Harding continues her reign as one of the most sought-after Dj’s in LA and beyond.


Born in Fresno, California and raised in Bakersfield, Mr Choc’s success comes from a lifelong passion for music. In 1995, he was picked up by Los Angeles’ Power 106 and broadcast in three cities and during his seven-year tenure, the station had the number one mixshow for three consecutive years.

In 1996 Choc became a member of the Beat Junkies Crew (Rhettmatic, Melo-D, Shortkut, Babu), one of the most respected DJs crew in the world. Gaining membership in this exclusive crew had a profound impact on Choc: “it showed me that despite everything I had learned in DJing at that point, there was still a lot more to learn. It also made me love my craft a little more because I was finally surrounded by people who understood it and loved it just as much as I did.” Today, as Director of Scratch-LA, Choc imparts his knowledge on to hungry and eager students. He also continues to hold down multiple residencies and parties throughout SoCal.


 DJ Babu – a member of the acclaimed Dilated Peoples and the Beat Junkies, this world renowned DJ is more than accustomed to feeling the expansive power of music at his fingertips. Winning countless DJ competitions in the 1990s such as the DMC Championship in 1997 and multiple ITF titles, Babu has gained the nickname “The Turntablist.” It couldn’t be more appropriate.

Now one of the most respected names in the world of DJs, the battle hardened Babu has set his sights on producing. “I’ve been going through a transition over the last three or four years into the producer realm, the beat making realm. It’s something that I’ve definitely been growing and nurturing over the years. I’m trying to bring my DJ fan base along to realize that I’ve been flipping beats and breaks and chopping up samples for years on the turntables, now I tryin to show ’em I do that in the studio too. I’ll always maintain my Dj career but lately I’ve been trying to flood the scene with my beats to make people take me seriously as a producer.”


D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian whose work ranges stand-up comedy, solo theater, plays, films and music production, poetry and spoken word. He is a co-producer for DisOriented Comedy (mostly female Asian-American nationally touring stand-up comedy showcase) with Jenny Yang and Atsuko Okatsuka.

The documentary by Crescent Diamond based on D’Lo’s life/work, called Performing Girl, won the best short documentary award at Outfest 2013, and he was part of the Emmy-Nominated mini-doc series THIS IS ME produced by Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker. His tv/film credits include co-starring in the HBO series LOOKING as Taj, on the Amazon series TRANSPARENT and the Netflix series SENSE 8.

Aside from touring and facilitating workshops on the university/college circuit with D’FaQTo Life (defacto), D’Lo has also been touring his solo shows. His first solo show, Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show (dir Adelina Anthony) received the NPN Creation Fund Grant inclusive of residencies in 9 US cities with additional support from the Durfee Foundation Grant, D’FunQT. His full-length stand-up storytelling show D’FunQT (defunct), directed by Steven Sapp of Universes in NYC (Ken Sawyer in LA), has toured internationally (SF, NY, Manchester, UK and 7-city tour in India and Sri Lanka – with additional funds received by through the Ford Foundation travel grant to host workshops for queer & trans theater artists in Chennai, India).

After a sold out 3 weekend run in NYC in the summer of 2017, D’Lo is continuing to develop his latest solo show To T, or not To T for a world premiere in Los Angeles. His work has been published in various anthologies and academic journals, including: Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic (co-edited by Sharon Bridgforth) and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.

D’Lo is the creator of the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series which have taken place with South Asian and/or Immigrant LGBTQ Organizations nationally, which provide a transformative space for workshop participants to write through their personal narratives and share their truths through a public reading. These workshops are specifically designed to provide emotional and spiritual support for individuals working through the complexity of their intersecting identities.


The LA County Library Turns the Tables workshop series had its start at the Compton Library in February 2017, as a Library Services and Technology Act grant program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and administered in California by the State Librarian. Compton Turns the Tables offered teens and young adults the opportunity to learn DJ skills for free. Open to student ages 15 to 21, “Compton Turns the Tables” brought a series of ten DJ classes plus a mobile DJ lab to Compton Library.

Led by instructor DJ Lynnée Denise, a professional DJ and professor at Cal State LA, the workshop allowed students to gain hands-on experience with DJ controllers, while augmenting DJ training with instruction in music history, basic theory, techniques, developing a DJ business plan, including marketing and promotion. The course concluded with a concert and showcase that celebrated the students’ achievements and featured celebrity performers. Its overwhelming success led to the approval of additional funding from LA County’s Fourth Supervisorial District office and South Whittier Turns the Tables, held at the South Whittier Library, finished up workshops with a showcase held on November 18. Next in line is San Fernando Turns the Tables, scheduled to begin on January 12, 2018 and East LA turns the Tables to follow in late spring or early summer. Student DJs from Compton Turns the Tables and South Whittier turns the Tables have been given the opportunity to perform their skills at the LA County Library Staff Development Day, a special event held at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, and the grand openings of LA County Los Nietos and Artesia libraries.


 

 

5 years together…

Summer 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of Grand Park, “The Park for Everyone.” In just five years, Grand Park has embodied its slogan and become L.A.’s crossroads, town green and communal backyard. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Angelenos and visitors pass through this special place. They come to capture serene moments in their workweek. They come to splash in the fountain with their families. They come to dance, eat, watch, move or create at one of Grand Park’s hundreds of free events. They come to march and let their voices be heard. They come to ring in the New Year surrounded by fellow Angelenos.

Anniversaries are occasions to reflect back on the memories and the journey. Grand Park’s journey is a story of a million Angelenos who believed in it and have shaped it and made it their own. The Big LA Portrait Gallery is a thank you to those Angelenos. THEY are what has made Grand Park the success that it is.

The Big LA Portrait Gallery is modeled on the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. whose mission is “to tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape the nation’s history, development and culture.” At Grand Park, we are celebrating part of the story of Los Angeles, stories of its people. It is their passion, creativity, humanity, humor, commitment, and diversity that make Los Angeles such a wonderful place.

The 100 portraits of Angelenos were shot by 10 Los Angeles photographers, each asked to capture their L.A. For some the portraits are centered around place such as Sam Comen’s Central Ave. For others, they reflect communities of shared interest such as Joe Pugliese’s Sunday’s Best. These ten series show just a few of L.A.’s thousands of distinct groups all connected to each other in different, powerful, and meaningful ways.

Grand Park was created to be a place of connection and this project honors and celebrates our unique interconnectedness and the vibrant and powerful fabric of L.A.. Thank you Los Angeles for making the first five years so wonderful. Here is to many more!

-Julia Diamond

Interim Director, Grand Park


In the spirit of Angeleno expression, Grand Park reached out to the photographers to pick their brains about their experiences as photographers and artists in Los Angeles.

How does Los Angeles inspire  you as a subject for photography?

 

 

I shoot where I roam. I roam Los Angeles. Mostly east of the river and downtown. But I’m moved by all of Los Angeles, its complexity. It has never ending pockets, layers of human individuality in constant flux.

-Rafael Cardenas

 


 

I’m inspired to shoot in Los Angeles because it always seems to be at the frontier of history. This place is in flux, always on the verge. Nothing is static: and that’s incredibly interesting to photograph. I think it comes down to the myriad communities that call LA home — we’re reinventing the city as we reinvent ourselves.  It’s exciting to be part of LA, and to make photographs that examine it’s constant evolution.

-Sam Comen

 


 

 

The light in Los Angeles is hazy and lingering making for endless inspiration.

-Jessica Sample

 

 

 


LA inspires me because it is a place of seekers; they’ve come to realize a dream, however illusory. It’s a land of fantasy and escape, of Peter Pan’s staving off adulthood, compromise, the drudgery of insignificance. Most won’t see their name in lights. And the inevitable let-down and disappointment that comes with falling short – sometimes way short, brings pathos into the picture. Sometimes the dreamer finds that it’s ok that things didn’t quite work out as anticipated. They find another path that may not be grand, but nonetheless brings them satisfaction, a feeling of value.

-Gregg Segal


Los Angeles has always inspired me, from long before I knew it as a place that existed in reality. When I arrived here as a young adult it took years to reconcile the city in my mind and in my eye. It revealed itself slowly to be different from the one I knew as a setting and a backdrop for so many works of music, film and fiction. In the actual Los Angeles, I found a much more diverse and exciting collection of character and spirit than is often seen from the outside. Even now after so many years photographing the people of Los Angeles, I am still only beginning to discover what and who this city is made of.

-Joe Pugliese


LA is known as the entertainment capital of the world, but to me it’s so much more that that. When you dig a little deeper you find all these hidden gems that are underrepresented in the media and these are the kinds of stories that inspire me the most about this city. 

-Jessica Pons

The Big L.A. Portrait Gallery is part of an awesome summer of free fun. 

Fun Family Activities Around Grand Avenue

Heads up, the coming weeks will have lease event closures and routine maintenance to prep for the fabulous summertime ahead (here is a taste of what’s to come).

UPCOMING CLOSURES:

Yes, patience is needed in the coming weeks, but never fear, Angelenos, there are plenty of fun options nearby to keep the whole family cool and entertained:

Credit: Henry Salazar

Tour The Music Center! Free, self-guided tours of its spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall can be reserved from 10am-2pm each day July 5-8. Guided tours are complimentary and offered at 12pm and 1:15pm Thursday-Saturday. More info: musiccenter.org 

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is free for children 12 and under, 2 for 1 admission ($15 for adults) with a TAP card, and open every day except Tuesday. Free admission to MOCA for the whole family is accessible on Thursdays from 5pm-8pm. More info: moca.org

 

The Broad is just a stone’s throw from MOCA and also offers exciting contemporary art for free. The museum is open every day except Mondays. Admission for the onsite standby lines is first come, first served, based on availability. The wait time in the onsite standby lines is 10 to 45 minutes on an average weekday. More info: thebroad.org.

 

The Wells Fargo History Museum is open 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday and offers free guided tours, historic Los Angeles maps, and a replica stagecoach you can board. More info: wellsfargohistory.com

 

For a breezy view of beautiful downtown Los Angeles, check out the observation deck at City Hall. You can check in with security at the 201 Main Street public entrance and they will direct you onwards and upwards to the 27th floor. Open M-F 10am – 5pm. Deets from WelikeLA

Thank you so much for your patience, please come back with the fam to visit Grand Park throughout throughout the year.

ALWAYS FREE TO PLAY

DEAR LOS ANGELES,

My oh my. Five years together – how awesome is that? Let’s continue to kick it during the 4th of July Block Party, let loose during a whole season of The Music Center’s Dance DTLA, or be silly with the little ones in the beloved splash pad. It will be a magical summer in the park for everyone.

LOVE,

GRAND PARK

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

INTERACTION PARK // JUN 2-3

Part of a three-location festival, Grand Park + I3 Arts Fest’s Interaction Park will host large-scale interactive art installations, transforming Grand Park’s Event Lawn into an urban art gallery.

INTERACTION PARK Musical artists:

The Gaslamp Killer, Mike G (of Odd Future), Oscure, Bartek, Earthquake State, Captin’ Jay

Works include:

 

Through the Cattails by Aphidoidea

40 coroplast hexagon abstract cattails that provide shade during the day and emit animated light by night

 

Anthropocene by 5Gyers

A response to plastic pollution and inspired by Da Vinci’s Vituvian Man – the piece sends microbeads and light throughout the piece via attached stationary bicycles.

 

 

Melting Rainbows by Aaron Axelrod

The artist uses his face and various body parts to press up against a transparent plexiglass surface to create psychedelic drips and effects that are then live projected onto a theater screen

 

Jabba Barge by Adam Mostow

A large metal mutant vehicle fabricated and sculpted by David Haskell

 

 

 

Infinity Boxes by Matt Elson

An interactive social piece where participants’ faces are turned into contemporary portraiture.

 

 

Mechan9 by Tyler Fuqua

A giant fallen robot that is 35-feet in diameter.

 

 

Grand Park + I3 Arts Fest’s Interaction Park will be held on the Event Lawn. For more info about I3 Arts Fest, visit i3artsfest.com

+++++++++++++++++++++

BOOTCAMP // EVERY TUES JUN 6 – SEPT 26 // 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

All summer long, Grand Park visitors can explore the entire park and get a free workout at the same time at Grand Park’s Bootcamp. Open to everyone and all fitness levels, this free series is a fun way to connect with others and make an end-of-day workout accessible and fun. Boot camp sessions are held on Grand Park’s Event Lawn.

+++++++++++++++++++++

SUNDAY SESSIONS // MONTHLY JUN – SEPT // 2PM – 8PM

Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions celebrates Los Angeles’ contributions to the global art form of dance music. As a vibrant music scene bursting with ingenuity, creativity and boundary-pushing music making, Los Angeles offers a particular blend of urban spaces, global cultures, enticing weather, collaborative spirit and open mindedness.

SUN JUN 11 // Aaron Paar // Tony Watson // Scott K // Vikter Duplaix

SUN JUL 16 // Kristi Lomax // Thee Mike B // Lars Behrenroth // Mark de Clive-Lowe

SUN AUG 13 // Kaleem // Jun // Tony Powell // Mystery Guest (announced soon)

SUN SEPT 17 // Sunday Sessions Gets Deep: Celebrating 18 Years of DEEP-LA.

+++++++++++++++++++++

DANCE DTLA // EVERY FRI JUN 23 – SEPT 1 

A summer favorite now in its 13th year, The Music Center’s Dance DTLA is an evening of dance under the stars on most Friday nights in the summer months, from June – September, 2017.

DANCE DOWNTOWN // 7PM – 11PM

Hosted this year entirely in Grand Park, the series features Dance Downtown, every other Friday night, where participants can learn new dance moves in a judgment free zone with a different dance genre at each event.

DJ NIGHTS // 9PM – 12AM

Hosted this year entirely in Grand Park, the series features Dance Downtown, every other Friday night, where participants can learn new dance moves in a judgment free zone with a different dance genre at each event.

+++++++++++++++++++++

4TH OF JULY BLOCK PARTY // TUES JUL 4 // 2PM – 9:30PM

Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party returns with a wonderful way to celebrate America’s independence. Featuring picnics, play, music, dancing and a new fireworks show, the event is jam-packed with ways that make Fourth of July the ultimate summer holiday celebration. The afternoon offers games and art making for all ages including soccer, tag, bubble fun and chalk art. Two musical stages with DJs throughout the day and live performances in the evening will entertain audiences with sounds from America featuring everything from 70s Funk and Soul, to a full-scale Pops orchestra.

+++++++++++++++++++++

THE DISTANCE IS BEAUTIFUL // JUL 22 // 6PM – 9PM

Grand Park teams up with FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange) to present an international collaboration and dance performance by French video and performing artist Lola Gonzàlez and Los Angeles-based artists, choreographer Oguri and composer Paul Chavez. Inspired by the complex landscape of the city, the trailblazing performance entails a traveling processional, which tackles ideas of community, collaboration and the impact of urban living. Sixty performers, a mix of professionals and nonprofessionals, will set off from several distinct locations throughout Los Angeles. Echoing recent unrest in this country and the world, the groups will march through the corridors of Downtown to gather together at the iconic Grand Park for an epic performance, punctuated by individual actions and gestures as each participant acts out their role. The public is invited to join the journey! For the “call for participation” and to learn more, visit www.flaxfoundation.org

+++++++++++++++++++++

L.A. TACO FESTIVAL // AUG 26 // 12PM – 8PM

Benefiting the non-profit Jovenes, Inc., the L.A. Taco Festival welcomes more than 30 taco vendors from all around Los Angeles to Grand Park. Angelenos can enjoy the many varieties and flavors of tacos made throughout the county. DJs, games and art-making round out the day’s festivities and make for a full and fun day in Grand Park.

+++++++++++++++++++++

PROUD MOVIE NIGHT // SEPT 23 // 5:30PM – 10PM

The Music Center continues its series of intimate events that invite the Los Angeles LGBTQ and ally community to celebrate and connect with each other with Grand Park + Outfest Present PROUD Movie Night. Developed in collaboration with a coalition of partners and partner organizations to reflect the diverse interests and experiences of the LGBTQ Angeleno community, Grand Park partners with Outfest to present a picnic and screening in celebration of fresh and diverse voices in film. Filmmakers and actors will introduce the showcase of short films from the Outfest Fusion Festival and share insight about their craft. Guests can come early to enjoy a late summer afternoon in the park with the sights, sounds and tastes of the summer including DJs, food trucks and the park’s popular splash pad and playground. The screening will be held on the Performance Lawn.

Outfest Fusion is an annual film festival celebrating queer communities of color. To learn more, visit outfest.org.


Information subject to change

METRO RED or PURPLE LINE TO CIVIC CENTER/GRAND PARK STATION, GOLD LINE TO LITTLE TOKYO/ARTS DISTRICT STATION

Grand Park is an LA County park powered by The Music Center.

Los Angeles County. Grand Park. The Music Center.

Our L.A. Voices found in PUBLISH! Deconstructing Emily

This weekend’s Downtown Bookfest was ah-mya-zing. showcasing over a dozen literary partners and activities, performances by some of L.A.’s best emerging and established writers, artists and musicians, and the beautiful balmy weather added jelly to the proverbial toast.

As you sat on the park’s fabulous pink furniture, Peter, Jessica and Douglas of Writ Large Press gave a quick lesson on how to work a vintage typewriter and you were released into the writing wild – stamping letters, words, and lines with the intent of deconstructing Emily Dickinson’s poems, and creating something new.

Over ONE HUNDRED poems were written Saturday afternoon in Grand Park by Angelenos of all ages and backgrounds, here are the works – published, signed, sealed and delivered:

Big ups to the Writ Large team, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for providing free copies of Emily Dickinson’s works and all Downtown Bookfest partners for helping make Grand Park’s Downtown Bookfest a feel-good, inspiring day of unleashed OUR L.A. VOICES!

About Writ Large Press

Writ Large Press is a DTLA based independent press founded in 2007. In addition to publishing unique literary titles, Writ Large Press is dedicated to challenging the role of the book to engage community and respond to the times through three ongoing project: Ghostmakers, a book that was written, presented, and destroyed through the course of 2015; Publish!, a community writing and publishing project; #90X90, 90 consecutive days of literature as resistance. #ResistanceIsLit

About PUBLISH!

PUBLISH! is our ongoing participatory, community writing and publishing project. Kicking off in 2013 in the Old Bowery Subway Station in NYC, PUBLISH! has traveled from art galleries, to train stations and parks, engaging writers, new and experienced, in DIY publishing through the use of typewriters, speech-to-text software, broadsides, Instagram, and mathematical equations.

Publish! is about more than writing a poem. It is about more than a book. It is about you. It’s about authoring your own narrative. It’s about owning your own stories and sharing them with your community through the act of publishing.

 

Spring is for OUR L.A. VOICES

An intro to Grand Park’s Our L.A. Voices, a season-wide celebration of Angeleno expression.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Photo by Javier Guillen for Grand Park/The Music Center

LUNCHTIME! Concerts // EVERY THURS MAR 2 thru MAY 25 // 12:15PM – 1:15PM

Young Angeleno artists voice their creativity and expressions through music.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Photo by Javier Guillen for Grand Park/The Music Center

LUNCHTIME! Writers’ Meetup// EVERY TUES MAR 7 thru MAY 30 // Noon – 1:30pm

Write where you are. Grand Park’s Teaching Writer-in-Residence traci kato-kiriyama curates writing exercises for all levels. Meetups will have special guests, including leaders in journalism and script-writing to support cultivating new writings or to nurture existing works.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Photo by Javier Guillen for Grand Park/The Music Center

DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST // SAT MAR 11 // Noon – 5PM

In collaboration with the City of Los Angeles’ Big Read Festival honoring the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Grand Park’s Downtown Bookfest welcomes all to an afternoon of readings, performances and activities geared towards families.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Photo by Javier Guillen for Grand Park/The Music Center

PROUD Story Slam // SAT MAR 25 // Noon – 4PM

Part of Grand Park’s ongoing PROUD Series celebrating LGBTQ L.A., the PROUD Story Slam presents narratives about how Los Angeles connects us no matter who we are or whom we love. From L.A. gay rights pioneers to Angeleno trans comedians, hear amazing stories that transcend geography, generation, gender, race and background. Be prepared to laugh and perhaps even shed a tear.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Photo by Shared Studios

PORTALS PROJECT at Grand Park // MON APR 10 thru SUN APR 23

The Portals Project brings an immersive space – a gold shipping container with screens and speakers – to connect Angelenos to faces and places that are curious about L.A. life.  Exchange thoughts, ideas, recommendations for music, recipes, and anything in between in this two-week activation.

 

Love is in the Air…

Are you looking for a last minute date idea for Valentine’s Day?

Grand Park is your perfect (and free) romantic destination.

Grab your special somebody and stroll side-by-side among the glimmering (electric) candlelight – a little more sparkle to an already spectacular vista.

Hold hands to the tunes of classic Motown and sultry R&B – playlist lovingly selected by Master of Love Adrian Younge.

Pack a picnic and head on down after sunset – tables are first come first served – but make sure to leave the vino at home.

Last minute ain’t no thang, when Grand Park is your personal Lover’s Lane.

 

Let Grand Park be the place where love of one other flourishes. Donate today on behalf of someone special or on behalf of the love you feel for a special place like Grand Park.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

 

Master Altar-Maker Ofelia Esparza: L.A.’s National Treasure

Ofelia Esparza at Noche de Ofrenda. Photo by Rafael Cardenas

For Ofelia Esparza, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is her busiest time of the year. The weeks leading up to Día de los Muertos are spent planning and creating altars at numerous locations are town. She’s gives presentations at college campuses on the meaning and history of this celebration. With Día de los Muertos growing in popularity every year, community leaders like Ofelia are essential in keeping the essence of this tradition alive and well. Her unwavering commitment can be seen in the altars she creates. As a retired educator and life long artist, she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

With the support of her family and the community of artists that she belongs to, Ofelia has been able to instill the true meaning of Día de los Muertos with countless individuals. For her, the meaning of Día de los Muertos is something that was instilled in her at an early age by her mother. Usually in coordination with the Catholic calendar, her mother had altars at home at various times of the year. They weren’t elaborate or large like the ones Ofelia makes today, they were small enough to fit on top of a dresser, table or shelf, emphasizing intimacy. They were adorned with flowers from the family garden, which included the traditional marigold, also known as the Cempasúchil.

Community Altar created by Ofelia Esparza, Grand Park. Photo by Javier Guillen, Oct 2015

Community Altar created by Ofelia Esparza, Grand Park. Photo by Javier Guillen, Oct 2015

Her mother never went into detail to explain why she placed certain items or did things a certain way because her practice of the tradition was rooted in an indigenous tradition – it was simply something that was done generation to generation. However, through Ofelia’s own research, experience, and learning from others who celebrate Día de los Muertos, she has been able to piece together the meaning and significance of items commonly found on altars. For example, the Cempasúchil attracts spirits through its bright color and distinct scent. In addition, calaveras (skulls) have been used since pre-Colombian times to represent the dead. Artists like Jose Guadalupe Posada, who used calaveras in his political cartoons and artwork, contributed in establishing the skull as part of the Día de los Muertos language of symbols and icons.

While the visuals of the tradition have changed over the years, the spirit of the celebration has not, which is to honor and remember ancestors and loved ones. In our lives, we go through what Ofelia explains, is three deaths. The first is the day we take our last breath. The second death is when we are buried, never to be seen again. The third, and the worst death anyone can go through, is when we are forgotten. “We’re only here for a short time and just like a flower that wilts or gold tarnishing, all things are temporary, but we live on in the memory and hearts of our ancestors because we are all here for a purpose.”

Los Angeles’ own Self Help Graphics & Art has been instrumental in growing the tradition of Día de los Muertos in the United States. Through happenstance, Ofelia’s beginnings at Self Help Graphics & Art date back to 1979 when a posted sign for instructors lead to her first meeting with founder Sister Karen Boccalero. In need of instructors for Día de los Muertos community workshops, Ofelia was hired on the spot after sharing her family’s history with the tradition. Since that day, Ofelia and her family has been a staple at workshops, but also in creating the community altar that has come to define Día de los Muertos at Self Help Graphics & Art.

Starting out as a participant in the building of the community altar and eventually leading the project, the altars themselves took a life of their own. Community residents would share their personal items and display personal pictures to honor their loved ones. With her families’ help, Ofelia also created themed altars in the downstairs space of the old Self Help Graphics & Art building called Galeria Otra Vez, which lead to the creation of Noche de Ofrenda, a Self Help Graphics & Art tradition that continues to this day, now in Grand Park. Noche de Ofrenda began in the mid-90s by Tomas Benitez, and the event was intended to host guest in the space to see the altars and art for that year’s celebration. Over time, the night transitioned into more of a community-oriented space for individuals to contribute to the community altar, but also for Ofelia to talk on the history of Día de los Muertos and its tradition.

Self Help Graphics & Art, along with Galería de la Raza in the Mission District of San Francisco, is one of the oldest institutions in the U.S. that have helped popularize Día de los Muertos. By continuing the tradition of bringing community together, these organizations are true to the spirit that inspired Sister Karen as she began building the tradition.. At the same time, she also involved community artist to participate and share their works on Día de los Muertos, a tradition that is continued to today, culminating in artist and community members coming together in celebrating the lives of loved ones.

Self Help Graphics & Art Day of the Dead circa 1970s. Photo by Self Help Graphics & Art.

Self Help Graphics & Art Day of the Dead circa 1970s. Photo by Self Help Graphics & Art.

As Día de los Muertos continues to grow and change, Ofelia is steadfast to remind individuals that Día de los Muertos isn’t just a “Mexican Halloween” celebration, despite the days being right after each other. “One shouldn’t consider Día de los Muertos a holiday because it devalues the tradition and meaning behind it.”

Ofelia Esparza. Photo by Javier Guillen

Ofelia Esparza. Photo by Javier Guillen

Ofelia encourages the curious to ask questions about Día de los Muertos and to not be afraid to inquire more about altars, or to contemplate and reflect on the idea of how our loved ones are remembered once they leave this world. “It’s not my job to say you can’t do this or you can’t do that. What I want to pass on is the tradition of remembering our loved ones, celebrating their lives, and keeping up their legacy for the next generation” says Ofelia, remembering what her mother used to tell her: “Ojala sigas con las tradiciones (I hope you carry on these traditions).”

-Guest blog by Erick Huerta, @ElRandomHero

See Ofelia’s Community Altar revealed at NOCHE DE OFRENDA on OCT 29, as part of GRAND PARK’S DOWNTOWN DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS. All altars will be on display thru NOV 6.

 

Fall and Winter Magic in Grand Park

foliageheader-500x333

A warm welcome to the changing seasons as we deepen roots one gathering at a time.

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

MAKE YOUR MARK IN THE PARK // SUN OCT 2 // 11AM – 4PM. 

Presented in partnership with Ryman Arts as part of the global initiative The Big Draw.

The concept is simple: drawing, doodling, simple expression no matter what age or background. Let the park gardens and breezes inspire you (the morning Starbucks jolt will help).

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

DOWNTOWN DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS: NOCHE DE OFRENDA // SAT OCT 29 // 7PM – 9PM. 

Presented in partnership with Self Help Graphics & Art.

The night evokes memories of the past and passed. Traditions are linked and Angelenos connect with traditions across borders and states.

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

DOWNTOWN DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS: ALTARS + ART // SUN OCT 30 – SUN NOV 5 // ALL DAY EXHIBITION 

Each individual altar comes with its unique story –  from family history to social justice narratives. Connect with these stories by walking through the park’s paths and gardens.

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

¡LUNCHTIME! FOOD TRUCKS // EVERY TUES + WED + THURS // 11AM – 2PM

Trucks come to two locations – Olive Court and the Marketplace (near CIty Hall).

¡LUNCHTIME! YOGA reTREAT // EVERY WED + FRI NOV thru MAY // 12:15PM – 1PM

Breathe, relax and sink into Grand Park bliss. Bring your own mat or borrow one from Grand Park at no cost.

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

 

WE ARE LOS ANGELES // SAT NOV 12 –  WED NOV 17 // ALL DAY EXHIBITION 

30 unique angel sculptures by local artists spread their wings in Grand Park.

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

GRAND PARK LIGHTS UP THE HOLIDAYS // SAT NOV 26 –  SUN DEC 25 // ALL DAY 

Grand Park shines and glitters with the spirit of the season

+++++++++++++++++++++

 

GRAND PARK + THE MUSIC CENTER’S N.Y.E.L.A. // SAT DEC 31 // 8PM – 1AM

Ring in the New Year at the flagship West Coast public New Year’s Eve countdown.