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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.

 

PAPER AIRPLANE Takes Flight in Grand Park

 

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Yay! The Paper Airplane shade structure has landed in Grand Park!

An example of public art with a practical purpose, the structure can be moved and relocated to “take flight” in any area of Grand Park.

Dean and Elenita

Artists Dean Sherriff and Elenita Torres came up with the concept of the giant paper airplanes, and after a public vote, Los Angeles agreed that their concept would be the one to take flight to make A Cooler Grand Park.  Each plane represents one incorporated city in Los Angeles County and in its entirety, represents the 88 incorporated cities in the County.

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Canvas Specialty’s engineers and industrial designers took the artists’ concept, then created the airplanes and structure and brought the concept to flight.  This project was fabricated in East Los Angeles and took six months to complete from concept to installation.

 

This inaugural public art project in Grand Park would not have been possible without the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation’s My LA2050 Grants Challenge.

BTW If the inspiration hits you and you have an idea for a better L.A., this year’s My LA2050 Grants Challenge is up and running! Propose your vision by OCT 4.

#SPRINGTIMEREADS: For the Love of Lit

The smells of Spring are in the air. The sights of flowers are in bloom. Young couples finding new love are everywhere you look. But at Grand Park, the love of literature abounds. To celebrate this literary season, the Park presents SPRINGTIME READS, a series encompassing a multitude of free literary events for all, including THE BRADBURY ROOM, weekly ¡LUNCHTIME! WRITERS’ MEETUPS, and DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST. Here’s a glimpse into SPRINGTIME READS’ faces and spaces:

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The Bradbury Room. Photo by Javier Guillen

THE BRADBURY ROOM SAT MAR 12 // Click-Clack-Clickity-Clack. The sound of a dozen or so typewriters filled the air in Olive Court on a sunny afternoon in mid-March for THE BRADBURY ROOM. Fans of all ages, and all walks of life came together to celebrate the work of L.A.’s own Ray Bradbury and to kick off the literary season.

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The Bradbury Room. Photo by Javier Guillen.

For some, it was their first time using such a device, but for other’s it was a trip down memory lane.

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The Bradbury Room. Photo by Javier Guillen.

THE BRADBURY ROOM was part of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ The Big ReadGrand Park joined other L.A. schools, groups, museums and organizations in celebrating Bradbury’s seminal science fiction classic Fahrenheit 451. Participants of THE BRADBURY ROOM will get a chance to see their work in print on May 7th, at DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST.

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¡Lunchtime! Writers Meetup. Photo by Javier Guillen.

¡ LUNCHTIME! WRITERS’ MEETUP EVERY TUES THRU MAY 10th // Every week creative and curious minds are gathering for ¡ LUNCHTIME! WRITERS’ MEETUPS. Writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to pop in and join a literary community led by multi-talented writer traci kato-kiriyama.

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Photo by Javier Guillen.

GRAND PARK’S LITTLE LIBRARIES ALL YEAR ROUND // The Little Libraries are a perennial fixture in the park. If you’re looking for a new book to peruse, or to pass along a book you enjoyed. The concept is simple – leave a book, or take a book, and find a nook. The Little Library system is an organic way to spread the love of literature to fellow Angelenos.

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Grand Park Pop-Up Park, The Last Bookstore. Photo by Javier Guillen.

POP UP PARKS // The pink landscape of Grand Park has a way of popping up in all sorts of places, including Macy’s and The Last Bookstore! Next stop is LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’ Dia de los Niños on SUN APR 24.

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Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST SAT MAY 7 // What would #SpringtimeReads be without a thrilling conclusion? DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST is that grand finale.

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Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

This year, DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST will explore, “Literary LA: Places, Spaces and Faces,” a celebration and reflection of where Angelenos love to read and write – past, present and future. Explore works from 31 independent presses and publishers at the Pop Up Bookshop…

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Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

…or hear readings from local authors on three stages, or poke your head into one of four literary panels spread around Grand Park’s nooks and crannies.

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Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

Youngsters can get excited for fun activities including performances by Birdie’s Playhouse, The Chameleons and more. And don’t forget to pop into the Skylight Books Children’s Bookshop

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Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

Bring your curiosity, your imagination and maybe your reading glasses, Springtime Reads is blossoming all season long for booksworms big and small.

 

PAPER AIRPLANES SOAR OVER GRAND PARK

Grand Park has a new landmark on the way…

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

The results are in! L.A. has chosen the design to make A COOLER GRAND PARK. Soon, Paper Airplane will soar over Olive Court. Artists Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff have created a whimsical vision, inspired by both Grand Park and the Downtown landmarks that surround it. This project has been made possible by the Goldhirsh Foundation’s MyLA2050 Grants Challenge, which sought creative and innovative solutions to shape a better Los Angeles. The grant received by The Music Center will make it possible for Grand Park visitors to enhance their enjoyment and comfort by gaining much-needed UV protection, while increasing the park’s potential as the site for performances, exhibitions and festivals. Paper Airplane will be featured in the park for two years.

Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff. Photo by Javier Guillen

When Elenita and Dean first moved to Los Angeles five years ago, their love of their new city was immediately galvanized when they first discovered Grand Park. “I ended up coming here by accident,” said Torres who was instantly enamored, ”What is this place?!” When they heard about this design challenge they knew they had to throw their hats into the ring.

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

“I think it goes well with the architecture in the area, with Frank Gehry’s building, and it’s even a nod to the art deco architecture (of City Hall). It looks like it all belongs together,” said Dean. They have sought to synthesize DTLA’s classic past with its bright future while still complimenting the essence of Grand Park. “With the beauty of the park when everything is blooming, and all the different colors, we didn’t want to take away,” Elenita added.

Torres and Sherriff explain their design reflects the hopeful nature of Grand Park with a universal concept – the paper airplane – that appeals to all ages and is understandable no matter what language one speaks.  Like the park’s emphasis on providing free, accessible programming, the artists describe the paper airplane as free to create.
The artists chose white as the main color for the planes to provide a neutral palette that would complement the surrounding garden landscape, add an element of elegance and symbolize peace.

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

Of course, the function of this new structure is to provide some much-needed shade, but it also will also serve as a place for the Angelenos to gather. “It’s such a vibrant county, there’s so much movement going on, you need a park like this in the center of it to give people a sanctuary,” said Sherriff.

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

With summer on the horizon, work on this project is about to get underway. And what better way to usher it in than by catching a bit of cool shade on a beautiful day in the heart of DTLA.

Thanks to Goldhirsh Foundation, the community of talented artists who submitted their beautiful designs, and all of Los Angeles for helping build a cooler future for Grand Park.

Go 4th DTLA

In preparation for tomorrow’s 4th of July Block Party, Grand Park’s Social Media Ninja, Javier Guillen, has continued the ongoing #gentedegrandpark series, asking people to share their 4th of July memories. Check it out!

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Photo by Javier Guillen

“I’m from Alexandria, LA (near New Orleans). After Hurricane Katrina I went back home to visit. I drove around to check out what had changed. The damage was incredible. I felt really bummed about my city, and the government’s response. I couldn’t believe this happened in the United States.

One evening, while I was there, I drove near a firework show down by the bayou. A bunch of regular folks from the local town were shooting them off. I stopped and really enjoyed the show. It was magical! There was a really special feeling in the air. I loved how the town came together for this holiday, even though there wasn’t much to be happy about. That moment gave me hope for the future of New Orleans and this country.”

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happy b-day darling!

Photo by Javier Guillen.

“Beautiful day in the park!”

“Yeah, I love this park and all the events. Can you believe we were against the park when it was being built? We didn’t want to lose our parking! But now everyone I work with loves it.”

“Do you have any cool 4th of July memories?”

“Yes, We always celebrate 4th of July in a big way at home. Actually, 4th of July falls on my wife’s birthday. It’s always been a special day for us. Now that I have daughters, they get a kick that everyone celebrates with fireworks on their mom’s birthday. They think everyone loves their mom. Now they expect fireworks on their birthdays, too!

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viva Chile!

Photo by Javier Guillen.

“Cool shirt”

“Thanks! I love the US. I always wanted to visit and now I’m here in the middle of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I won’t be here for the 4th of July, but it sounds like a big party.”

“Very cool. Where are you from?”

“I’m from Chile.”

“Awesome, How do you celebrate Chile’s Independence Day?

“We celebrate in September for two days. It’s called Fiestas Patrias. Everyone has those two days off from work and sometimes the celebration goes on for a week. Everyone in the family is in a good mood, we go to fondas and eat a lot of empanadas. Maybe one day I’ll celebrate Independence Day in the US.”

Photos and stories collected by Javier Guillen, Grand Park’s Social Media Manager.