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Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020 – Ladies First

Click here to watch the live stream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVigj7YDDGSLWCDXRhmqj6g

Welcome to Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020! We’re so happy you’re joining us this year for the first of a select group of Sundays, which you need to mark on your calendars right now (June 14, July 19 & August 23). 

Calendar all marked? Perfect! 

This year Angelenos, you will be welcoming folks from around the globe who will join our dance and music community online. From Berlin and Brooklyn to the Bay area, and everywhere in between, we will introduce numerous visitors to our eclectic city. They’ll get to know us through our most talented and original musicians, and we are ready to represent. 

“Ladies first, there’s no time to rehearse. I’m divine and my mind expands throughout the universe.” 

– Ladies First (Queen Latifah) 

LADIES FIRST, the all-female lineup of LA’S top open-format DJs, are curating the first installation of this year’s summer series. DJs Rashida, Kim Lee, Storm the DJ, Kronika, Lani Love, Novena, Bella Fiasco & Suga Shay will be the first group of creative talents we get the honor to share with the world. These women, with their diverse experiences and offerings, are just the prescription the musical doctor ordered when deciding who should premier at Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020. The eight DJs – all women of color – know the importance and advantage that their voice and platform could add to fighting injustice, and decided to dedicate Sunday Sessions to the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

“House music is black music, so it’s really fitting for house music to be part of the soundtrack for the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement. House music is just one example of how black culture has given us so much,” said DJ Lani Love, giving props to where house music originated. The importance of her giving credit where credit is due in regards to House music speaks volumes of DJ Lani Love’s true respect for the art form. 

DJ Kim Lee talks about the how the community can heal and connect through music and action. “House music and music overall unites people. People of all different races and color are coming together (right now) in protest of what happened to George Floyd and music has the same effect. We can have social distancing awareness shows, Spotify live DJ playlists or a “We are the World” dance track with the top artists that would raise money for BLM and social injustice movements. Now is the time for action and love!” 

And Storm the DJ adds, “Fortunately, music has been one of the few platforms for the Black community to have a voice. From James Brown’s “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” to the house music track “Follow Me” by Aly-Us, to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright”. Music lifts spirts and unites, while empowering and strengthening both. Music is a sounding board for change.” 

No truer words were said. Music is a sounding board for change – specially the house music scene that Sunday Sessions is deeply-rooted in. Let’s think back to any house music party, night, event, festival I/you have attended. For many of you, maybe it was at one or all of last year’s Sunday Session events. For me, I’ll think back to eons ago when I used to bartend at a venue in East Hollywood that housed a Friday night jam called “More.” Every week behind the bar, I witnessed the most diverse group of people dancing to the deepest cuts of house, soul and dance music in pure bliss; one nation under a groove, indivisible, with vodka & cranberry for all. The loving energy, the accepting people, the light vibe, everything about those Friday nights – was a microcosm of what life and society should be like – unity. 

For our first Grand Park Sunday Sessions Home Edition, we expect an energetic and electric gigs from each DJ. Many, including the aforementioned artists Storm the DJ, Lani Love, Kim Lee, as well as Bella Fiasco, are doing their first sets at Grand Park ever and are humbled by the experience. 

DJ Bella Fiasco on experiencing her first Sound Sessions on Sunday: “I’ve always loved Sunday Sessions at Grand Park, I’ve attended but never got to play as a DJ. Really excited to add this to the repertoire, but most excited to bring people from all over the world together through music virtually- specially those who are not in LA and will probably never get a chance to physically attend Sunday Sessions.” 

Storm the DJ echoes Bella Fiasco’s sentiments. “I’ve been to Sunday sessions in the past and I remember saying how much I wanted to play at one… Now, I finally get that opportunity! Even while quarantining. This will always be a Sunday session to remember.” 

Long-time LA-nightlife stalwart Rashida, KCRW’s Novena Carmel, Filipina-American Kronika from Soulection Crew, and Suga Shay from Philly round out the incredible line-up for what is sure to be a Sunday Sessions to remember. 

Dear Los Angeles, I guarantee that all the DJs in Sunday’s lineup are going to rock their sets June 14th to give you the best shows from their repertoire. Music is a salve for the soul especially during tumultuous times. These amazing DJs’ collective energy and genius will be a welcome Sunday vitamin for all of us. The power of music is immeasurable. It can inspire people beyond what they think they are capable of. 

Music can inspire people to dance. It can motivate people to gather around and move. It can encourage someone to cast a vote, to cook a fabulous meal, to ask someone on a date, to run for office, or make a new friend. As we foray into our first Sunday Sessions, we now need the power of music, dance and the arts more than ever, to connect with each other. We need music to connect with nature. We need music to get lost in so we can connect with ourselves. We need music for our children to lose themselves into, and maybe find a new way too. 

And now, more than ever, we need music, dance and our Sunday Sessions as a respite during the Black Lives Matter fight and other movements. 

Stay strong and keep dancing, L.A. 

–Haydee Vicedo 

Haydee Vicedo is a Manila-born, Los Angeles-bred, and Torrance-based freelance writer (fittingforty.com) and budding social entrepreneur (pinayclothing.com / IG: @pinay_clothing) – just trying to live her best life. For the fantastic health insurance that helps her live said best life, she works from home for a huge corporation. Ask anyone who knows her, Haydee LOVES L.A. – pure and simple. 

The interviews have been edited for length and clarity

Featured post

Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020

Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions: Home Edition lets the beat drop at home this summer as the annual dance and music party goes online. Some of L.A.’s finest House music curators will host multiple-hour sets on select Sundays (June 14, July 19 and August 23, 2020) from 2:00–8:00 p.m.

SUN JUN 14 from 2PM-8PM

Grand Park presents Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020, and we are excited to partner with Ladies First as curators for the first one of the season.

Ladies First (@ladiesfirst.co) brings us a diverse, all-female DJ lineup of LA’s top open-format DJs, who will have special sets featuring House music. These ladies are carving out their own lane in the music + nightlife industry not just as women, but women of color. Each known to rock the dance floors, and each with their own unique style & flavor.


Lineup includes Bella Fiasco, Kim Lee, Kronika, Lani Love, Novena Carmel, Rashida, Storm the DJ and Suga Shay 🎧🌴 Subscribe to our YouTube HERE for all the live DJ sets.

About the curators:

LADIES FIRST features a diverse, all-female line-up of L.A.’s top open-format DJs. Through their curated content and experiences, Ladies First aims to be the catalyst for the next generation of female creatives and entrepreneurs who break boundaries. A mix of Asian American and Black voices will rock the Sunday Sessions virtual dance floor and shine a light on the community’s strength and endurance during this pandemic.

Media partner: FUSICOLOGY

About the DJ’s:

Bella Fiasco

Bella Fiasco is a Los Angeles and Las Vegas based DJ most reputable for her dynamic taste and technique in open format style DJing, earning her a notable repertoire of career highlights and growing popular demand in the world of music. Bella Fiasco has opened for artists such as Cardi B, Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Skrillex, Snoh Aalegra, Nipsey Hussle, G Eazy, and most significantly- rock legends U2. You may have also heard Bella Fiasco mixing on the airwaves all over the country- she has played on air for stations such as LA’s #1 old school radio station 93.5 KDAY, LA’s #1 hiphop station Power 106, Hawaii’s hit music station 102.7, Radio Bassment, and more. Bella Fiasco is also no stranger to the Serato family, she has been a consistent feature in their Seratocast and In The Mix series. Currently, Bella Fiasco is proud to represent The World Famous Beat Junkies brand as their dot com ambassador. Respectably dubbed as one of the most in-demand DJs in the game today, Bella Fiasco is proud to break barriers in a male dominated field and continue to thrive in different markets of the music world.

Kim Lee

Kim Lee first made a name for herself as a fashion model. She walked runway shows in Paris, Los Angeles, and at New York Fashion Week for top designers including Emanuel Ungaro, Marc Jacobs and Cynthia Steffe. Kim Lee has appeared in editorials for Maxim, Elle, Hip-Hop Weekly, Vanity Fair, Show Magazine, Low-rider, Sports Illustrated,
and Chinese, Japanese, French, American, Spanish, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Russian versions of FHM. She was chosen as FHM’s Sexiest Woman in the World!
You will also recognize Kim Lee from her role in the film “Hangover 2,” and from her appearances in music videos including Neyo’s “Beautiful”, Kid Cudi ft Kanye West’s “Erase Me”, Flo Rida ft David Guetta’s “Club Can’t Handle Me” and “Hot n Cold ” Katy Perry. Kim continues to model and act professionally, all while managing her busy DJ tour schedule! Kim Lee travels across the world djing as one half of renowned duo KIMKAT, and for her solo DJ shows as KIM LEE. Recent shows include: MAD DECENT BOAT PARTY, ULTRA KOREA, ULTRA JAPAN, LIFE IN COLOR KOREA, BUDWEISER TOUR
VIETNAM, EDC NEW YORK (mainstage set). As a dj, KIM LEE’s performances pack the house in top venues including Drais BeachClub Las Vegas, DJAIS Jersey Shore, Borgata Atlantic City, The City Cancun, Tao Beach Las Vegas, Marquee Las Vegas, Skygarden Bali, and so many more. Kim has appeared on MTV Vietnam, and she currently has her own television series in Vietnam as well.

Kronika

“SouL Sista.
Headnodika.
Fire Starter & Bomba Sound Selekta.
“Fierce and unforgettable, yet tender and giving.“


Angel Mercado aka Kronika is a core member and a familiar presence in the Los Angeles music scene. Through her soundcloud mixes (or as she playfully calls them “Mixtures”) and her DJ and A&R positions for Los Angeles based record label/Movement “Soulection”, Kronika has become a trusted source for global audience interested in learning about new artists and over all discovering quality music. Kronika is known for her vast musical knowledge, truthfully nurtured from her early years growing up in the
Philippines. Exquisite and Eccentric in taste, Kronika understands and lives artistry. She commands and engages her listeners in a musical journey that “flows like water.” Her transitions are so swift and smooth you forget they are even “transitions.” Kronika’s mixes and live sets are unpredictable. Her energy is contagious, which makes the experience of seeing her live all the more powerful and memorable. Kronika is a powerhouse of musical knowledge, constantly sharing her divine energy with the world.”

Lani Love

An ear for beats and eye for style, Lani Love is known for her eclectic and curated collection of music.

After a gig as an internet radio music director in Southern California, she started her
adventures as a club DJ in New York City in 2007. In late 2011, Lani Love relocated to
Chicago and quickly landed residencies at city hotspots: Soho House, Virgin Hotel, and
East Room. Her sets were well received, as she was featured in the Chicago Tribune
(2015) and voted Chicago’s Best DJ by Chicago Magazine readers three years in a row
(2014, 2015, 2016). In 2018, Lani Love was an official SXSW artist playing showcases for
Tidal, Mercedes-Benz, Showtime, and Maltesers. Lani Love currently has DJ residencies in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Novena Carmel

If you find yourself in a room with Novena Carmel, you’re in the right place. With music royalty in her blood, Novena is an eclectic and energetic Bay Area raised, LA-based DJ, singer, host, and curator known to lure a crowd and turn the party out. As a DJ, her love for and knowledge of music emanates through her vast, open-genre music selection, signature smile and dance moves. You can catch Novena live on-air Sunday nights on KCRW, locally in Los Angeles and beyond.

Rashida

After getting her first pair of turntables in 1998, DJ Rashida has gone on to play her signature fusion of hip-hop, funk, soul, dancehall, and house around the globe at music festivals, concerts, private events & on television. In 2004 after playing what would be the first of many parties for The Artist, Prince approached her about collaborating. Soon after, (and for the next 10 years) she would tour the world with the superstar, spinning as an opener for his shows, as well as at his private parties, special events and performing live with him on shows such as The Tonight Show, George Lopez, and The BET Awards. In addition to her work with Prince, she is a familiar sight at the world’s most important music festivals, playing for thousands at Super Sonic in Tokyo, Good Vibrations in Sydney & the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago to name a few. She was the house DJ on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew as well as on The Arsenio Hall Show revival. She is frequently called upon to spin for a bevy of corporate and celebrity clients worldwide. Rashida has also crossed the globe touring with Grammy-winning & nominated artists Kelis, Cee-Lo Green, and Pharrell Williams. Today she continues to tour and play for artists & clients around the world, most recently as the opener for Bruno Mars 24k Magic World Tour (the US, Europe & Africa.) Acclaimed not only for her deejay skills, but also as a cultural influencer, and fashionista, Rashida has been featured in Vogue Italia, Essence, Vibe, The Source, Flaunt, Remix, Dazed & Confused & Refinery 29 to name a few. She is currently the campaign model for avant-garde sunglass makers GreyAnt. Rashida has also made cameos as herself in music videos like Prince’s Black Sweat and most recently Finesse by Bruno Mars.

Storm the DJ

Dominating both beauty and bass, Storm captivates audiences worldwide as an
international DJ and producer. Based in Hollywood, California, her global appeal
transcends boundaries and has earned her repeated tours and performances around
the world including Hong Kong, Taipei, Vietnam, Shanghai, and Bali. She has also
opened up for Kaskade at LA’s Staple Center and performed alongside Kendrick Lamar,
DJ’ing his shutdown of Sunset Blvd. Storm has also been featured in Vogue, Glamour,
W, and Cosmopolitan Magazines. In a setting dominated by bright lights and massive
drops, it’s hard to ignore how entranced fans are with her infectious energy and sexy
vibes – she is Music’s Perfect Storm.

Suga Shay

Widely known across the US for her bold DJ sets, Philly native Suga Shay is a force to be reckoned with. Her versatile underground style spans countless genres and has been showcased at many of Los Angeles’ favorite parties. As comfortable on large stages as she is in basement afterparties, she’s been seen DJing alongside chart-topping mainstays such as Diplo, Mark Ronson, Miguel, and Solange Knowles, and has toured internationally with rising star Bhad Bhabie.

Featured post

Coronavirus updates

July 3, 2020

Regarding 4th of July:

Grand Park is open during regular operating hours (5:30 AM – 10:00 PM). However, there is no July 4th event and no fireworks for the holiday. We encourage you to stay home and enjoy our virtual program:

Grand Park + The Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party: Home Edition will be on TV and online this year. Tune in:

If you decide to visit Grand Park, please practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet, wear a mask, and please stay home if you feel sick or exhibit any symptoms related to COVID-19.

April 10, 2020

Hi L.A.,
in alignment with LA County Parks, Grand Park will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 12th. While parks are a favorite location to celebrate Spring holidays, the closure is part of ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Let’s continue to take care of each other and keep each other safe.

¡Hola Los Angeles! En alineación con los Parques del Condado de Los Ángeles, Grand Park estará cerrado el Domingo de Pascua, 12 de Abril. El parque estara cerrado para proteger nuestras comunidades de la propagación de COVID-19

Love always, siempre con ustedes ❤️
Grand Park

*******

March 20, 2020

Dear L.A.,

As you may already know, on March 19, the County and City of Los Angeles issued the “Safer at Home” public order, “ordering all residents of the City of Los Angeles to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely essential … in an effort to stem or slow the spread of COVID-19 within the greater Los Angeles community.” This order includes curtailing non-essential business. Since our staff is now prohibited to gather for work, we are canceling the following programs:

Lunch à la Park programs:

  • Food Trucks
  • Yoga reTREAT (online included)
  • Spring Concerts (originally scheduled to start April 2)

Earth Day LA (originally scheduled for April 22)

The order does allow outdoor activity and recreation, provided that social distancing measures are followed – at least 6 feet distance from another individual. Grand Park grounds are still open to walk, breathe and take a break. Please practice social distancing, and please do not gather in a group of more than 10, as required in the order. Also note, that our playground and restrooms will be closed out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you to everyone who has already been practicing social distancing. Your care for your wellness and the wellness and safety of our community, especially for the most vulnerable, is so appreciated.

We will continue to keep you updated. Stay tuned to our Instagram, Facebook and website for the latest news pertaining to Grand Park.

Take care of yourself, each other, and our beloved Los Angeles.

Siempre con ustedes ❤,

GRAND PARK

For more information on the current order, visit:
https://lacounty.gov/covid19/
https://corona-virus.la/

*******

March 13, 2020

Dear L.A.,

There’s a lot going on right now and we wanted to check in. We love you and appreciate you and want to affirm that our commitment to you stays the same: we are here with you and for you. Just like all LA parks, Grand Park is open and our hours remain the same. Our commitment to your safety and wellness remains our top priority and always will. We are taking things one step at a time, day-by-day, attentive to the directives from the LA County Department of Public Health.

Our Lunch a la Park Food Trucks (TUE-THUR) will still continue service, and we are adding hand sanitizing stations near each truck. We are also implementing enhanced daily cleaning and disinfecting practices across the park. Pending weather conditions since it’s been raining, we will have more info about Lunch a la Park Yoga next week.

We know you’re doing your best to stay well, and to keep our community well. We’re here for you.

Estamos con ustedes always ❤,

Grand Park

GRAND PARK’S OUR L.A. VOICES 2020 Photography Installation

The End of an Era: Union Swap Meet’s Last Days
by Samanta Helou Hernandez

The swap meet is a mythic place in Los Angeles. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, it’s where kids in Black and brown neighborhoods bought fits for school: Pro Club white tees, Dickies, Nike Cortezs, and gold nameplates. These in-door markets were a hangout very much like the malls of white America. 

Back then, South Central swap meets were often the only place that sold West Coast rap mixtapes. The Compton Fashion Center was featured in both Tupac and Kendrick Lamar videos. When it closed and became a Walmart, it was as if a piece of Compton had been erased.

Swap meets are much more than an affordable place to shop. They’re where neighborhoods create community, re-affirm identity, and build collective memories. They’re historical landmarks. But as the city changes, people are displaced, and younger generations shop online, the swap meet’s days are numbered.

This is the story of one such place: Union Swap Meet in East Hollywood. 

Joo Lee opened Union Swapmeet on Vermont and Santa Monica Blvd. in 1986. He modeled the concept on ones from his home country of Korea that allowed multiple people to own businesses in one place.

For merchants, the rent was more accessible than a traditional brick-and-mortar, and it attracted new immigrants who wanted independence—but didn’t have the capital for a larger enterprise.

At the height of Union Swapmeet in the ’80s and ’90s, lines of people would wait to shop at 70 different stalls.

Families sent money to their home countries and bought clothes, toys, and pets. They could get acupuncture, a haircut, tailor clothes, eat, and buy alternative medicines from Mexico, all in a day.

Latino radio stations held events, mariachis played, and there were even car giveaways. Latinos and Koreans, hundreds and thousands of miles away from home, spoke their native languages. A trip to Union Swapmeet was an all day affair.

Naturally, friendships formed. Kids who grew up going to the swap meet with their families, later took their own children. Some patrons went on first dates here and others even met their spouses. 

Joo retired four years ago, leaving Union Swap Meet in the care of his two daughters and son-in-law.

The Lees adapted to the changing demographics of the neighborhood by repainting the exterior with murals of long-time vendors and even added an Instagrammable set of wings. They threw pop-ups and a heavily attended Hong Kong-style night market and tried to fill some stalls with Etsy vendors.

It wasn’t enough.

The Lees struck a deal with Koreatown developer Jamison Services to demolish the market and turn the property into a seven-story residential and retail complex.

Throughout 2019,  customers continued to trickle in to pay their cell phone bills, buy jewelry, and visit longtime friends.

Vendors at Union didn’t plan to move to another swap meet after the closure. To them, it’s a futile attempt. They understand they’re a dying breed.

What follows are the voices of the longtime merchants that remained that year.

Olga Avila originally from Michoacan, Mexico. Owner of Incense, Arts, and Crafts at Union Swap Meet since 1986: 

“When I first opened, this was a music store. I sold all kinds of music like merengue, salsa, cumbia, punta, soca, ranchera, nortena, balada, everything. My customers were from  Mexico and Central America. I had to have something for everyone.

When one first arrives in this country, it’s easier to go to a swap meet and be able to speak your own language than going to a mall and having to speak English.

It’s a place where Latinos can feel like they’re in their own country. They don’t feel so sad, because when you leave your country, it’s a sad thing. You feel alone.

It has changed a lot. Now there is almost no one. All the young people who are born here go to the malls.

I’m a little sad. I spent many years here. My children grew up here, my grandchildren grew up here. My daughter has a stall here. It is very painful to leave it.

All the time I spent here was very beautiful. I got to know many people. I got to know their stories from joys to sorrows, everything.”

——————————————

“Cuando yo abrí esta era una tienda de música. Vendía de todo tipo de música merengue, salsa, cumbia, punta, soca, ranchera, norteña, balada, todo. Escogía de todo porque venía gente mexicana y Centroamericana. Entonces tenía que tener un poquito de todo para todos gustos.

Cuando uno llega a este pais es mas fácil ir al swap meet donde puedes hablar tu idioma en lugar de ir a un mall donde tienes que hablar inglés.

Es un lugar donde Latinos se sienten en su país. No se sienten tan mal, porque cuando uno deja su país, es algo triste. Te sientes triste.

A cambiado muchísimo. Antes había más gente ahora ya casi no hay.

Estoy un poquito triste. Tengo muchos años aquí. Mis hijos aquí crecieron, mis nietos aquí crecieron. Y mi hija tiene un local. Es muy doloroso dejarlo.

Todo el tiempo que pase aquí fue muy bonito. Conviví con mucha gente. Conocí muchos sentimientos de muchas personas, tristezas, alegrías, de todo.” 

Francisco Gutierrez, originally from Guatemala. Owner of F&G Shoe Repair at Union Swapmeet since 2000: 

“I’m from Guatemala. I repair all kinds of shoes, women’s bags, luggage, leather jackets. I learned this in my country, when I was 8 years old. My mother made me learn this work. I know how to manufacture the entire shoe, not just repair it. I am 65 years old now.

I wanted to become independent and be my own boss, that’s why I’m here. Thank God I’m doing very well.

This job cannot be done online, so I still have customers. If this were just retail, I would have left, because it is easier to buy online.

I have a lot of American customers now, before it was only Latinos that came here. 

A lot of swap meets are disappearing. I think once this closes I’ll look for a place outside. I do not plan to close. The swap meet gave me a lot of life. It has given me everything—a way to survive, everything.”

——————————————

“Yo soy de Guatemala. Reparo toda clase de zapatos, bolsas de mujer, las luggage, las chamarras de piel. Yo aprendí en mi país a los 8 años mi madre me puso a aprender el trabajo. Yo sé hacer el zapato completo no solo reparación. Tengo ahorita 65 años.

Me quise independizar y ser yo mi propio jefe por eso estoy acá. Gracias a dios me va muy bien.

Esto no lo pueden hacer por internet por eso sigo con clientela. Si fuera esto solo ventas, ya me hubiera ido.

Tengo mucha clientela americana y antes era puro Latino.

Ya se están acabando muchos swap meets.  Yo creo que buscaré un local afuera. No pienso cerrar.

El swap meet me dio mucha vida. Me ha dado de todo. Como sobrevivir, de todo. ”

Lilia Ochoa, Michoacan, Mexico. Owner of Travel Latino Express at Union Swapmeet since 2004: 

“The majority of my clients are from Mexico. Many are from Durango and Oaxaca, but I also have many from Guatemala. What I do most is send money.

When Trump first won, my clients sent and sent money. They took their money from the bank because of all the changes that were happening. They were afraid of being deported and so they sent the money.

My clients come with the illusion of helping out their families back home and building their houses. That is why they come and work so many jobs so they can send money and finish their houses back home. And then they return to their home countries. Those stories are very common in this type of business.

It’s very nice because sometimes they tell me their stories, they tell me their lives, about how they left children back home. They feel trust in me and maybe that keeps them coming back.

I like to take care of people. I like listening to them.

I do feel nostalgia about the swap meet closing, but these are the changes of life and you have to accept them. Everything has an end, right? What can we do?” 

——————————————————————— 

“La mayoría de mis clientes son de México. Hay muchos de Durango y Oaxaca, pero también tengo muchos de Guatemala. Lo que más hago es envió de dinero.

Al principio que ganó Trump mandaban y mandaban dinero. Sacaban su dinero del banco por todo el cambio que pasó. Tenían miedo que los deportaran y entonces mandaban el dinero.

Mis clientes vienen con la ilusión de ayudar a sus familias en sus países y construir sus casas. Por eso vienen, agarrar dos tres trabajos para mandar y mandar y terminar sus casas. Y después se regresan a su pais. Esas historias son muy comunes en este tipo de negocio.

Es muy bonito porque a veces me cuentan sus historias, me cuentan sus vidas, que dejaron hijos allá. Sienten yo creo confianza en mí. Y eso tal vez los hace que sigan viniendo.

Me gusta mucho atender a la gente. Me gusta mucho escucharlos.

De repente si siente uno nostalgia que se vaya a cerrar el swap meet, pero son cambios de la vida y hay que aceptarlos. Todo tiene un final verdad? ¿Qué podemos hacer?” 

Casey Yoo, originally from Korea. Owner of Easy Alterations at Union Swap Meet since 2015: 

“When I retired a doctor, I was bored so I thought this would be a good way to spend time. I’m also a background actor.

I’ve owned this business for four years now. I took over because the previous owner passed away. But this stall has been here since 1986.

The original owner of the swap meet is actually from my hometown in Korea. We graduated middle school together. When I started this 4 years ago, I realized I knew him.

The tailor is my friend. He has over 40 years of experience. I do the cutting and trimming, and he sews.

I heard when this swap meet first opened it was very busy but people from Mexico and El Salvador they don’t come here anymore so business is down.”

But alteration is still a busy business and so is shoe repair because it’s a good service at a cheap price.

This building will be torn down and rebuilt. I hope I can come back, because the first floor will be commercial.”

Sonia Gomez, originally from Mexico City, Mexico DF Mexico. Owner of Naomy’s Hair Salon at Union Swap Meet since 1997: 

“The majority of my clients are Latinos and Filipinos. A lot of Americans are coming to this neighborhood, but they don’t enter the swap meet.

Until now, my business has not been affected. Thank God it hasn’t. It will affect me when they close this. I have many clients that have been coming here for many many years.

They are taking a lot of Latinos out of here. A lot of my clients lived around here but they kicked them out. That’s what’s going to happen to this whole area. They are going to Americanize this bit. In the building next door, they gave people money to move out of their apartments but they still come here. They come from places as far as Hesperia.

For me the hours go by when I’m working. I forget the clock. This is where I live my life. I love to see that people leave happy, that they feel different with a haircut. They leave with more self esteem. And I’m happy that they leave happy.

Since I was 7 years old, I used to say that I wanted to curl hair and look here I am curling hair.”

—————————————— 

“La mayoría de mis clientes son latinos y filipinos. Está llegando mucho americano a esta vecindad, pero al swap meet no entran. Aquí no entran.

A mi hasta ahorita no afectado mi negocio. Gracias a dios no. Lo va afectar cuando ya me cierren. Tengo muchos clientes de muchos muchos años y siguen viniendo.

Pero están sacando mucho a los Latinos. Toda esta área es lo que va a pasar. Van a americanizar este pedacito. Aquí alrededor eran mis clientes y a todos los sacaron. Les dieron dinero para que se salieran de los apartamentos de aquí al lado y todavia vienen hasta acá. Hasta vienen desde Hesperia.

Para mí se me pasan las horas y sin comer. Y sin acordarme del reloj. Aquí se me va mi día y mi vida. Me encanta ver que la gente sale contenta, que se sienten diferente con un corte de pelo. Se sienten con más auto estima. Y me quedo contenta que se vayan contentos.

Yo desde que tenía 7 años decía que quería hacer chinitos y mira estoy haciendo los chinitos.” 

Christian Lopez owner of City Pets at Union Swap Meet:

“I’m from Los Angeles, but my parents are from Guatemala. I opened this up when I was 18. I like animals, so it’s kind of like a passion and a business at the same time.

I’ve been coming to this swap meet since I was maybe three or four years old, because I grew up in the area. I actually have pictures of me as a kid when we would come and visit the swap meet and buy jewelry. When we would visit, I would buy animals without my mom noticing, and I would hide them until we got home.

I went from having one small 500 square feet locale to having four little spots. The next step I think for me would be to get an actual brick-and-mortar location.

I have customers that come in here, and I’m like a therapist to them. They’ll talk to me not just about their animals but about family. It’s a community based business. You’re serving the community.

The swap meet is a dying industry. The products that we have in here don’t cater to the people that are in the neighborhood now.

But swap meets are important, because they preserve culture and preserve history. They service the community. It holds for people an emotional part. They’re unique.”

In March of 2020, all remaining vendors left and the swap meet officially closed. A locked fence kept hopeful shoppers out as they walked by trying to visit one last time.

Signs from vendors hang on the market’s exterior announcing their new locations. Inside, the stalls are empty. The once bustling swap meet stands desolate awaiting the tractors that will tear down each wall, one by one.

All that will remain of the market are the cherished memories of the vendors who opened their first businesses here, of the second generation kids, now adults with their own children, who remember spending weekends shopping with their families, and of the immigrants who found a sense of comfort and familiarity speaking their native language, listening to cumbia, punta, and merengue, and building a community with fellow shoppers and vendors. They know the new development is not meant for them, and when construction ends, the neighborhood they’ve called home for decades will be even more unrecognizable.


Visual art segments of Grand Park’s Our L.A. Voices are made possible by Jardín deLArte

N.Y.E.L.A. Countdown to 2019 Featured Artists


Aloe Blacc

With the release of his major-label debut Lift YourSpirit, Aloe Blacc moved and inspired audiences across the globe through hispowerful fusion of soul, folk, R&B, and pop. Arriving in 2014, the Grammy Award-nominated album spanned from feel-good anthems like the platinum-selling single “The Man” to intensely charged tracks like Blacc’s acoustic version of “Wake Me Up”—the massive hit he sang and co-wrote for Swedish DJ Avicii, which topped the charts in more than 100 countries. Now at work on the follow-up to Lift Your Spirit, the L.A.-born rapper/singer/songwriter has expanded his emotional terrain to capture an even more personal element of the human experience. “My goal for this next album is to continue with the aspirational songs I’ve been writing for a while now, but add a dimension that’s more focused on love and relationships,” says Blacc. “My own relationship with my family and my wife is so important to me, and I want these songs to give people the opportunity to celebrate the love in their life.”

Raised on salsa, merengue, and cumbia, Blacc fell in love with hip-hop as a kid and started writing rap songs when he was nine. With his lyrics drawing influence from socially conscious artists like KRS-One, he put out his first hip-hop mixtape at age 17. Later developing a fierce admiration for such soul musicians as Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye, he also discovered an affinity for folk-rocksinger/songwriters during his college years. “One of the most important factors in my transition from hip-hop to being a singer was listening to people like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, and Cat Stevens,” Blacc says.“Their songs are full of emotion that’s expressed in strong lyrics, and that had a big impact on me.”

After inking a deal with indie label Stones Throw, Blacc released his solo debut Shine Through in 2006 and sophomore album Good Things in 2010. Boosted by the breakout success of “I Need a Dollar” (which was selected as the theme song to HBO’s How To Make it In America), Good Things reached gold status in countries around the world and paved the way for his signing to XIX Recordings/Interscope Records in 2012. Made in collaboration with groundbreaking producers like Pharrell Williams, Lift Your Spirit dropped on New Year’s Day in 2014, debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Album. 

Looking back on his musical path so far, Blacc notes that landing a deal with XIX Recordings/Interscope prompted a major moment of reckoning, and led him to re-examine his artistic intentions. “When I signed a major-label contract, I recognized the power of having a larger audience, and Ipromised myself that I’d use my voice for social change,” he says. And increating his upcoming album, Blacc has kept focused on making music meant toinspire a positive shift in mindset. “When things happening in the world seemso terrible and dark, it’s so easy to get stuck in all the negative,” he says.“But I try to do whatever I can to help people out of that. I want my music tobe the light.”


Maya Jupiter

Born in La Paz, Mexico to a Mexican Father and Turkish Mother, Maya grew up in Sydney, Australia. It was in Sydney’s Western Suburbs where she first fell in love with Hip Hop. Maya’s love of writing rhymes helped her express her fear, pain, joy and hope as a teenager and later on she realized the power music held in using it as a tool to make apositive difference in her community.  

It is with this ideal that she co-founded Artivist Entertainment, an entertainment company committed to creating and supporting art and music that inspires positive social change alongside Quetzal Flores, Veronica Gonzales, Alberto Lopez and Aloe Blacc. Maya’s Artivism began in her early twenties when she facilitated Hip Hop workshops with underserved youth in Sydney’s south and west, teaching young people how to write record and perform songs. In 2012 shewas an official Ambassador for ‘The Line campaign,’ an Australian governmentanti-violence initiative. 

In Los Angeles she volunteered as a mentor with Peace over Violence’s Youth Over Violence Summer Institute, facilitating a song writing and recording internship around songs that discussed healthy relationships. Since 2014, she has been a spokesperson for their Denim Day Campaign bringing awareness to Sexual Violence and was recognised with the Voice Over Violence Humanitarian Award. Maya is on the advisory board and volunteers with Tiyya as a writing instructor for the Storytellers writing course dedicated to refugees and first and second generation immigrants of Los Angeles and she has co-facilitated a Youth Radio Internship at Radio Sombra, teaching high school students from Boyle Height show to present and produce their own radio shows. Currently Maya is writing new music produced by Quetzal Flores for an album to be released August 26th 2018.


Irka Mateo is a Dominican singer who has managed to bring the sound of her country throughout the world, being one of the precursors of alternative music and the fusion of Afro Caribbean Dominican music. His work is an essential reference and inspiration forthe new generations of musicians. The artist writes contemporary music mixing popular and folkloric Dominican rhythms of Afro / Indigenous / European origin, such as mangulina, carabiné, sarandunga and congos with other Latin Americans and Africans such as cumbia, compa, tango and afrobeat.

 Irka conducted aninvestigation of Dominican folk music for ten years, (1997-2007) in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic, documenting more than thirteen genres of folkloric musical traditions, unknown in the wider Dominican culture and beyond. The Grammy Foundation supported this initiative that culminated in the folk music archive of the Dominican southwest. During this time Irka, with her band, introduced the accordion in the Dominican alternative scene, brought to light the ‘Comarca’, a genre of accordion completely unknown outside the field, and was the first woman to play traditional percussion in urban environments. The artist has performed at venues such as the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, NYC, where she released her most recent album “Vamo a Gozá” at the end of 2017, a production that quickly positioned itself in the ranking of music stations, blogs and music magazines of alternative Latin music and world music. At the beginning of 2018 the artist did a launching tour of “Vamo a Gozá” in her country supported by the Ministry of Culture. Irka Mateo has three (3) albums published “Vamo a Gozá” 2017,”Anacaona” 2009 and “Tres Américas”, Irka and Tadeu Silence Records, 1996, as well as a Dominican folk music archive of 33 hours (2013). She is a guest singer on Magín Díaz’s album “El Orisha de la Rosa”, nominated for the best folk album 2017 in the Latin Grammys.


Georgia Anne Muldrow has earned the respect and admiration of listeners and peers alike via her incredible talent not only as a vocalist and songwriter spanning jazz, soul and hip-hop, but her long standing role as a producer and musician during her 12 year career. “Music is my discipline. It’s my way of meditating, it’s my way of thanking God, it’s my way of communicating… It’s my way of life,” Georgia explains. Typically working alone, her new album flips that dynamic and takes Georgia out of her comfort zone forthe first time since “Seeds” (2003) which was entirely produced by Madlib.“Overload” bears the fruits of numerous collaborations, most notably with duo Mike & Keys (50 Cent, Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, G-Eazy) who contribute production to four tracks including the sleek, anthemic title track – Pitchfork ‘Best New Track’ on 25 June 2018 – alongside Khalil (Dr Dre).

Georgia was 17 when she began making beats in earnest, but first lit up the scene with her debut album“Olesi: Fragments Of An Earth” in 2006. It was at this time that Georgia met, befriended and collaborated with the likes of Madlib, Oh No, MED (fka Medaphoar), Wildchild, DJ Romes and her future partner Dudley Perkins akaDeclaime. She co-founded the SomeOthaShip Connect record label with Dudley in2008, the platform and springboard for many of her musical travels that have expanded and extended down myriad pathways. Georgia has collected many namesover the years: Ms. One, Pattie Blingh & The Akebulan 5, an electro fusioncollaboration with DJ Romes called Blackhouse and astral jazz outings as Jyoti- a Hindu name given to Georgia by her Aunt Radha’s friend Alice Coltrane (they attended the same ashram) and serendipitously Great Aunt to one Steven Ellisonaka Flying Lotus. “She showed me so much love as a child. She knew I was goingto work with synthesisers before I did,” laughs Georgia.


DJ Day (Damien Beebe) is a DJ, producer and musician hailing from Palm Springs, California. With an illustrious career spanning two decades, he was recently named “Palm Spring’s Finest” and for good reason: His contributions to the various avant-garde music scenes in Southern California run deep. From the historic Root Down parties of Los Angeles to the infamous Do-Over, Day has garnered respect from peers and fans alike for his eclectic, well-executed DJ sets and diverse taste in music. His debut album, The Day Before rose to the top of numerous notable playlistsincluding those of Gilles Peterson (BBC), Jeremy Sole (KCRW) and Philly’s CosmoBaker.

Not content being defined by one craft, he gracefully transitions between being a DJ/turntablist, musician and beat maker; a talent best exemplified by his ambitious release Land Of 1000 Chances. He has toured the world many times over as a solo artist and with fellow musicians Aloe Blacc, Exile and People Under the Stairs. Amongst numerous accolades, he was nominated for Song of the Year awards both by the BBC and The Village Voice and his music has been licensed for commercials by DC Shoes, Red Bull Music Academy, Rane/Serato, and numerous full length feature films. Day recently returned from The Playlist Retreat, an annual, invitation only event at the home of DJ Jazzy Jeff to start work on his next album. Currently, Day is working with Thes One on the management and expansion of the artist collective Piecelock 70 and holds a residency at the renowned Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.

GET DOWN STAGE


Spiñorita is a Los Angeles-based Xicanx DJ and a radio host on NTS Radio. She is a music lover at heart. Influenced by her family, music has been a part of her life since birth. In 2009, Spiñorita finally followed her passion for spreading good music & picked up some turn tables and a mixer. She holds DJ residencies around Los Angeles, has performed in New York, San Francisco, and Amsterdam and most recently interviewed Chef Roy Choi on her radio show, Casual Play. Spiñorita has roots in the entertainment industry working as a freelance music supervisor by helping choose and license music for short films and documentaries. She is determined to spread good music to anyone who is willing to listen. As long as it has soul, Spiñorita will play it.


Erica aka Ericlandia is a globetrotting dj, producer and music journalist nerd. She’s opened for Beyonce and BrunoMars, played Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle, London, Tokyo, Paris. She has a crush on intersectional remixes and setting vibes. She has set a personal goal of playing all the museums. Her favorite settings are beautiful and/or weird, preferably both and things like silent discos. An open format dj with her finger of the pulse of bubbling genres, you can catch her playing kawaii Future Bass in Japan, Future Soul at the Guggenheim or Afrobeats at Everyday People coast to coast. Erica gets called in to play for Tiffany and Co, Rihanna’s Fenty line, Converse, Nike, Adidas, Tastemade and Soul Pancake and has been featured in New York Magazine, Martha Stewart and Forbes Magazine as a tastemaker. She’s lived in SF, NYC and now calls LA home.


Angel Mercado aka Kronika is a core member and a familiar presence in the Los Angeles music scene. Through her soundcloud mixes (or as she playfully calls them “Mixtures”) and her DJ and A&R positions for Los Angeles based record label/Movement “Soulection”, Kronika has become a trusted source for global audience interested in learning about new artists and overall discovering quality music. Having commanded a wide range of dance floors from major cities in the U.S., to the legendary Low End Theory, SXSW and Jazz Reggae Fest, as well as joining the Swedish band Little Dragon on their 2017 Spring Tour.  Kronika is known for her vast musical knowledge, truthfully nurtured from her early years growing up in the Philippines. Exquisite and Eccentric intaste, Kronika understands and lives artistry. She commands and engages her listeners in a musical journey that “flows like water.” Her transitions are so swift and smooth you forget they are even “transitions.” Kronika’s mixes and live sets are unpredictable. Her energy is contagious, which makes the experience of seeing her live all the more powerful and memorable.


Valia Basalious is 36 years old, of Egyptian and Greekdecent, bi-lingual, Culver City raised, music and business major turned psychology major, fashionista, who is in love with public speaking / hosting /singing and the arts in its entirety.

Valia has been singing her entire life and started to sing with church choirs at an early age. After gaining much-needed confidence, she perused a singing career at a young age that was not as picture perfect asassumed… And shortly after, a modeling career that ended after many years. After many corporate jobs, she decided to follow my true passion in hosting, which landed her the hosting of the 2nd and 3rdannual festival, “Head Wraps in the Park” held at Grand Park! 

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


 

2018 Big L.A. Portrait Gallery

For the second year, Grand Park transforms into a nighttime art gallery featuring photography by L.A.-based artists projected to 100 feet wide by 100 feet high on the south wall of the historic L.A. County Hall of Records. Built by famed architect Richard Neutra, one of his few high-rises, this iconic modernist building serves as the perfect canvas for larger-than-life artwork. Featured images will tell stories and share visions of L.A.’s future as envisioned by some of the county’s best photographers. Park-goers can enjoy the exhibit over a picnic, view the gallery during their nighttime commute or take in the images during a stroll through the park.

Featured artists:

Aly Aliano
Real Mother
Real Mother is a personal project I began when my twins, Hallie and Ellison, were 9 years old. I married their father when they were five. I was instantly a parent at age 26. I did everything I thought a parent did: dentist appointments, parent-teacher conferences, playdates, sleep-overs, etc.  People would ask, “Aren’t you going to have children?” Implying that as a stepmom, I was not a “real mother.”

I began photographing any mother who would allow me into their world and share their story.  With Real Mother I attempt to raise questions such as, “What makes a mother? I seek to understand my own experience as a mom and my own legal emancipation from my mother at 19.  I hope that all mothers will have the support of their employer, family, healthcare, accessible education for every child, and paid family leave. My intention is that this project raises awareness and understanding around the many forms a “Real Mother” can take.

 

Emily Shur
Nature Calls
Emily Shur started Nature Calls in 2009 when she first noticed strange looking trees here and there. Little by little, these poor excuses for foliage were slowly infiltrating her day-to-day scenery, until she ultimately found out they were disguised cell phone towers.

Emily set out to create a document of these objects within the genre of classic landscape photography. Her intention was to photograph through the eyes of an explorer. She imagined Edward Curtis roaming the American West armed with nothing but a camera and a tripod. So, that is what she did…except she roamed in a Prius. During the documentation process, it became clear that she was also documenting technology, and how it changes our lives and now has begun to change our landscapes.

 

Gizelle Hernandez
Underrepresented Glamour
The following subjects are all people of color who work in LA’s creative industry.

As a fellow person of color, I find it important to highlight, connect and collaborate with other like-minded creatives.

Their concern for inclusion and culture have drawn me to them and their individuality and vibrancy are at the root of these photographs. Each artist has a strong sense of who they are and where they come from, and I was inspired to create environmental portraits based on their bold sense of self and style.

 

Gregg Segal
Daily Bread
When I was growing up, 1 in 40 kids were obese. Today, it’s 10 in 40. For the first time in many generations, life expectancy is declining. Unfortunately, we have outsourced making our own food, this essential part of our lives, the connective tissue of families and culture. There’s an old adage: “The hand that stirs the pot rules the world.”Well, the hand stirring the pot is more interested in profit than in our health. It’s time we take back food by stirring our own pots and demanding healthier options.

In shooting Daily Bread, I ask kids to journal everything they ate for week and at the end of the week, I shot a portrait of them with their food arranged around them. I started shooting in my backyard in Altadena and expanded to include kids from other LA neighborhoods, and the whole world.

 

John Francis Peters
The Young Visionaries of Los Angeles

One of the most defining aspects of movements like March for Our Lives is the unbreakable passion and resolve today’s youth have in facilitating change that will build a better future for us all. In his series, The Young Visionaries of Los Angeles, Peters photographs 4 young leaders in the Los Angeles area that are working hard to administer a brighter tomorrow.

 

Matthew Scott
The Concrete River
The concrete River, a.k.a. The Los Angeles River, follows roughly 48 miles, weaving through the urban sprawl and diverse neighborhoods of LA.

The images featured are from a stretch known as the Glendale Narrows, located in Northeast LA. It runs through Atwater Village, the edge of Elysian Park and Glendale. Like most sections of the river, it allows you to escape the city without leaving your neighborhood;  simply hop a fence and walk down the concrete embankment.

 

Melodie McDaniel
Daring to Claim the Sky
Compton Jr. Posse is an organization that was created to provide a year-round after school program for inner-city youth using equestrian activities to inspire young people to reach personal, academic and career goals. This was a powerful alternative to the equally powerful lure of gang and drug lifestyles. Under the leadership of founder Mayisha Akbar, the Compton Jr. Posse has given inner city kids hope for over 29 years by teaming them with horses. Many of the students go on to earn scholarships to colleges and universities.

 

Philip Cheung
Predictive Policing in L.A.
The future of surveillance has arrived on our city streets. L.A. has a new observer, the all-seeing, never forgetting eye of the LAPD—who attempt to use the past to predict the future. Backed up by new data technology and an internal culture of organized tracking, the LAPD now uses predictive policing to identify where potential criminal activity might happen, and, troublingly, who might commit these crimes. The LAPD keeps their methods and algorithms close to their collective vests, but in an attempt to record this invisible web of surveillance, photographer Philip Cheung photographed neighborhoods in South LA where predictive policing programs are known to be in effect.

 

Ryan Schude
Them & Theirs
Them & Theirs is an ongoing portrait project about people and their vehicles. Starting in 2001, I found subjects by placing notes on parked cars I found interesting and wanted to know about the people who drove them. Collaborating with the owners, we would find a location, props, and wardrobe that told a story about the relationship between them and their preferred mode of transportation.

 

Sam Comen
Newest Americans
Los Angeles is a city of immigrants. And just as the dreams of past generations of immigrants built the Los Angeles of today, so too will the dreams of today’s immigrants shape the future of our city. Through interviews and photos, Newest Americans explores the dreams and stories of 28 immigrants who came here from all over the globe in search of a better tomorrow.

The full exhibit is on display at The California Museum in Sacramento. Photographs by Sam Comen and reporting by Michael Estrin.

 

Spencer Lowell
Future of LA Technology
Los Angeles perpetually exists in the future. As a city that constantly reinvents itself, it’s fitting that it would be a hotbed of invention. From drilling and refining oil at the turn of the 20th century, to discovering the Big Bang in the 20s at Mt. Wilson, to developing robots to send to Mars at the turn of the 21st century at JPL in Pasadena, LA is more than sunshine and traffic.

 

Walter Thompson-Hernandez
Blaxicans of L.A.
This series of photos presents people in Los Angeles who identify as “Blaxicans.” As the city of Los Angeles and the United States continue to become increasingly multiracial, multiethnic, and multilingual, this series highlights the experiences of Blaxicans throughout Los Angeles as ways to think about the future.

 

Music playlist by: SeanO
Sean Osborn has been behind turntables since 2006. He cut his teeth at the Scratch DJ Academy and then honed his skills as the resident DJ at The Whisky A Go-Go.

After spending some time throwing one off parties and doing guest DJ sets at various clubs around the country, Sean soon found himself the co-host and producer of Soundwaves Radio, which airs 2-4am early Saturday mornings on 90.7FM KPFK Los Angeles.

His other radio show, The Treehouse, can be heard every third Monday of the month from 4-6pm (PST) on dublab.com.

He is the co-producer for the monthly soul showcase Devil’s Pie at Lock and Key and can also be seen each and every Friday night at The Shortstop in Echo Park for DOIT as well as Saturday night at The Perch in downtown Los Angeles.

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.