Category Archives: Uncategorized

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. 

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

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

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

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

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

About Writ Large Press

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

About PUBLISH!

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

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

 

PAPER AIRPLANE Takes Flight in Grand Park

 

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

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

Dean and Elenita

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

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

 

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

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

#SPRINGTIMEREADS: For the Love of Lit

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

The Bradbury Room. Photo by Javier Guillen

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

The Bradbury Room. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

The Bradbury Room. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

¡Lunchtime! Writers Meetup. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

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

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

Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

Downtown Bookfest 2015. Photo by Javier Guillen.

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

 

PAPER AIRPLANES SOAR OVER GRAND PARK

Grand Park has a new landmark on the way…

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

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

Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff. Photo by Javier Guillen

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

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

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

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

Paper Airplanes by Elenita Torres and Dean Sherriff

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

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