Tag Archives: Grand Park

L.A., which do you LOVE?

Thanks to the Goldhirsh Foundation’s My LA2050 Grants Challenge to make Los Angeles the best place to play, Grand Park is piloting the installation of a permanent shade structure featuring the design of a local artist at The Park for Everyone in Downtown Los Angeles.

Over 50 submissions were received from L.A. artists. Now it’s time to help the selection committee decide on which of the three final designs will be piloted this summer.


  • The theme of the design should reflect the park and its role in civic life in Los Angeles County
  • The shade will be installed in Olive Court – the gathering area between the fountain and the Performance Lawn
  • The inaugural design will be featured in the space for 2 years
  • The selected artist will receive a commission of $15,000
  • Voting has ended as of March 25, 2016


Call for Artists for a Cooler Grand Park

As winners of the Goldhirsh Foundation’s My LA2050 Grants Challenge to make Los Angeles the best place to play, this summer Grand Park will pilot the installation of a permanent shade structure featuring the design of a local artist at the Park for Everyone in Downtown Los Angeles.

Grand Park’s Olive Court, a highly trafficked central gathering space for park events & weekly food truck events (22K DTLA residents & employees a year).  Visitors consistently request additional shade particularly for our most vulnerable visitors; children and elders. Adding shade areas will increase capacity and enhance the comfort of the 1M people who access Grand Park annually to play, enjoy quiet green spaces and attend free events in downtown LA.

The theme of the design should reflect the park itself and its role in civic life in Los Angeles County. Artists are encouraged to draw on their own experiences with and at Grand Park in developing their designs. The inaugural design will be featured in the space for 2 years. The selected artist will receive a commission of $15,000. Prior public art experience is not a requirement.

Artist Commission: $15,000

Eligibility: This call is open to emerging and established professional Los Angeles based visual artists who are legally authorized to work in the United States (per U.S. Department of Labor).

Application Deadline: 5:00 PM (PST) Friday, February 26, 2016

Info Meeting Date: 5 PM, Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ Grand Park on Olive Court (between the fountain and the Performance Lawn). Please visit our page, Getting Here for tips on how to arrive. If you plan on attending please email us at [email protected] Thanks!

Entry Procedure: Entries are officially closed, thank you to all who have submitted!

You can review the Call for Artist request at Grand Park LA2050_Call to Artist.

Finalist Announced: Saturday, March 12, 2016

Contact: Alejandra Cisneros
Email: [email protected]



Puppets Grandmother and Grandfather. Photo by Javier Guillen

Travel back to the beginning of time with El Teatro Campesino and Center Theatre Group, at Grand Park October 10th and 11th.

On October 10th and 11th, El Teatro Campesino, the renowned Chicano theatre company, will be at Grand Park to perform their latest work “Popol Vuh: Heart of Heaven”.  Brought to Los Angeles by Center Theatre Group, they are set to share a stunning visual rendering of the Mayan creation myth.

Generated by a yearlong process between company members and Boyle Heights’ residents, “Popol Vuh” brings the heartland of California within the heart of Los Angeles.

Diane Rodriguez, Associate Artistic Director at Center Theatre Group, shares personal experiences with with El Teatro Campesino.  In her formative years as a theatre artist, she traveled the world as a member of ETC.  She stopped by Grand Park to offer a unique perspective on this upcoming collaboration.

“It’s an authentic California company that grew out of the land practically”, says Rodriguez.  In 1965, founder Luis Valdez approached Cesar Chavez in Delano.

“He went to Cesar and said ‘I want to start this theatre company that would organize farmworkers and educate them on the issues of the day, within the strike’, and Cesar said ‘You can do that, but you have to be an organizer, and you have to do that at night.’ And so that’s what he did.”

The activist spirit rang loud amongst the company.  They drew from the land, they worked with their surroundings.  Performing in the backs of pick-up trucks, Valdez summoned artists from the midst of the farm community, to share their message throughout the Central Valley.

A performance of El Teatro Campesino featuring Don Sacato, location unknown. John A. Kouns. 1966

By the mid 1970’s, ETC had become a force in the global theatre scene, touring the world and worked with artists such as Peter Brook.  Their collaboration with Center Theatre Group came in 1978 with Valdez’s landmark “Zoot Suit”, forging a relationship with the Los Angeles community that still runs deep.

Birthed directly from the community, the concept of a collaborative ensemble has always been important.  “Within El Teatro, it was an ensemble”, reflects Rodriguez “we would improvise the work, and Luis Valdez would then script it.”  That same collective spirit is alive in the “Heart of Heaven.”

In this case, locals are thrown right into the ring and are letting their creativity thrive, allowing the collective ensemble consciousness to steer the play.  “On top of that”, adds Rodriguez, who has sat in on rehearsals “they’re larger than life!  You have these community members being treated as professionals.”

The puppet Kukumatz. Photo by Javier Guillen

Diane was blown away by how quickly these 40 performers adapted to the work.  “They’re moving, they’re tumbling balls, and they’re carrying puppets, and its like, ‘Oh My God, it’s so complicated!’”

Staging the piece in Grand Park seemed ideal to those involved.  “El Teatro’s project was perfect because it worked with a community that is very close to us, the Boyle Heights community and East Los Angeles.  They were able to do a whole yearlong process with these community members, and culminate in the presentation right in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles,” beams Rodriguez, “It’s a very symbolic claiming of the land.”

“How Popol Vuh: Heart of Heaven, in terms of being a creation myth it told, is visual, which makes it very universal.”  The universality, as it seeks to break down cultural preconceptions, make the Grand Park a fantastic backdrop.   “Sharing a creation myth from another culture is always universal.  And the physicalization, people will relate to it.”

“It’ll be a great gift for Los Angeles, even if you pass by and happen to catch it”, Rodriguez added.   Get ready to turn back the clock to the beginning of time, in the Park for Everyone.


Fall and Winter in Grand Park

Falltime in Grand Park is just magical. The blooms change, the weather shifts, but the love and joy that comes out of this park pink paradise remains a constant beat emanating from the core of Los Angeles.  Let’s continue to share space together this season as we transition from 2015 to 2016:


Hear stories of love, acceptance, and joy through the powerful voices of LA’s LGBTQ and ally community.


Under the direction of Music Center resident company Center Theatre Group, the famed Chicano theatre company El Teatro Campesino will create an epic visual feast, Popol Vuh: Heart of Heaven. This performance tells the story of the Mayan creation myth with an L.A. twist through towering puppetry, music, and dance.


Take a break along the Ciclavia route and get creative on the park’s Event Lawn.  Experiment with colored tape to create giant geometric patterns along the sidewalks, or collaborate on comics, masks and banners. All art materials are provided free of charge.


Grand Park partners with Self-Help Graphics & Art to present a traditional Noche de Ofrenda ceremony honoring the dead and featuring prayer led by the local indigenous community. 40 altars and large sculptures will be revealed this night and will be on display throughout the park.


See 40 altars focusing on both traditional and contemporary topics and explore the connections between the holiday’s origins and the daily lives of Angelenos as well large scale sculptures by L.A. artists throughout the park.


Something to do during the lunch hour of power, including yoga sessions, lunch trucks, crafting, concerts, and more!


Grand Park gets dressed up for the holidays. Take a stroll after sunset to enjoy the lights of the season.

DEC 31 – N.Y.E. L.A.

Welcome 2016 with family and friends in one remarkable countdown, featuring 3-D digital video mapping on two sides of City Hall.

FEB 13 – PROUD Love

PROUD Love is a Valentine’s Day celebration and dance party for the LGBTQ and ally community in the Park for Everyone.




“There doesn’t need to be 500 of us in a picket line on the steps of City Hall. We are out here, taking in the sun, our children are here, our families. This is history right here.”

— PROUD Patron

This past Saturday, August 22nd, 2015, marked the first event in Grand Park’s PROUD Series, The PROUD Picnic.

I arrived at the park on my bicycle, in the early afternoon, to celebrate this simple and undoubtedly profound moment in Los Angeles.

Azul 213 | Photo by Javier Guillen.

I was embraced by the energies of those I knew and some that I was about to meet. As I walked on to Grand Park’s event lawn, I noticed that Azul 213 was looking out from behind the decks at the groups that had began to gather, finding refuge as patrons claimed spots in the shade. The music beamed into the summer sun. The sense of community was astounding. We had arrived.

Love Exists In… | Photo by Javier Guillen.

On April 26, 1928, Los Angeles City Hall opened its doors.

One of the things you notice about the Civic Center of Los Angeles, when you spend enough time, is that it carries a weight. It is a place of civil dissension, a place where you go to get divorced, a place to be declared innocent or guilty, a place to dream up public policy, a place where legislation gets enacted and becomes history; it is a place in constant flux.

On October 6th 2012, Grand Park opened to the public and quickly became the beating heart of the Civic Center, a place where every Angeleno in the county could take refuge. The gem of Los Angeles County, it is the park for everyone.

<3 | Photo by Javier Guillen.

Grand Park is a place to relax, to connect with others, to bring the whole family, to exercise, to walk the dog, and, unsurprisingly, to get married. Despite the shadows of the surrounding buildings that make up the Civic Center, Grand Park has quickly grown to be a place that everyone can utilize, enjoy, and be proud of.

Once I had my footing at the picnic, I raced over to check out the pop-up installations. Volunteers from Jovenes Inc. were there to greet me and asked if I wouldn’t mind writing some small moments of where I thought love exists. I placed notes on walls dedicated to love existing in the past, in places, and in people.

As I read the other notes, I got this supreme sense of togetherness within a community of strangers; each note a window, each window a world.

On June 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court ruled that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, almost exactly two years after Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional in the State of California.

Photo by Javier Guillen.

The LGBTQ community is no stranger to obstacles and has undeniably overcome many, same-sex marriage being one. The community has many factions, many individuals, many voices, and many priorities. These do not all consistently gel in perfect harmony. The need to overcome obstacles can provide a common ground in the search for equality. It is in itself an equalizer.

Joseph Shuldiner, Director, The Institute of Domestic Technology. | Photo by Javier Guillen.

As I came upon Joseph Shuldiner, the Director of The Institute of Domestic Technology, as he was leading sauerkraut-making workshops, I had a thought that food is also an equalizer. We all deserve to eat, just as we deserve to be treated fairly and provided basic rights. We all deserve to take our seat at the table; or, in this case, at the picnic blanket.

Game on. | Photo by Javier Guillen.

I spent the afternoon playing badminton, watching the board games as they expired the time, reconnecting with some of my best friends, and taking small moments to meet new ones.

Late in the afternoon, I came upon Javier Guillen, Grand Park’s Social Media Manager, engaged in a conversation with a woman. It was her first time at the park. She had come to witness this day in history. A day in which one community, with all its unique faces and identities, could be together; one community with no political agenda, with no immediate discrimination near, celebrating being together for real.

All smiles. | Photo by Javier Guillen.

“There doesn’t need to be 500 of us in a picket line on the steps of City Hall. We are out here, taking in the sun, our children are here, our families. This is history right here, right now. I came out here to see it and I’m glad that I met you. I’m glad that we had this conversation today.”

On October 3rd, 2015, Grand Park will hold its second event in the PROUD Series, PROUD Stories. I plan to be there with my loved ones, waiting to have another conversation.

–Mitchell Colley, Grand Park’s Resident Blog-O-Tron 3000