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Leimert Park Art Walk: Festival of Masks

The July Leimert Park Art Walk featured the 7th Annual Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks. The annual festival is organized by LA Commons with support from Art Walk founder and GLPVCC BID Advisory Board member Ben Caldwell of Kaos Network.

“Restoring Balance” was the theme of this year’s Festival of Masks which leveraged the power of the arts to invoke compassion and inspire connection regardless of perceived differences among people of different backgrounds. LA Common’s Community Arts Program Director Beth Peterson worked with over 100 community members and youth for two months to develop the oversized masks. The Day of the Ancestors is based on the tradition of remembering and honoring the dead.

The day began with ceremonial blessings in English, Spanish and Yoruba followed by a lively dance and drum procession with community participants marching inside the handmade masks. After the procession, dancers, drummers, youth groups and community members engaged in a celebration of the global African village on a stage in front of the Vision Theatre.
Artist performances include Kehinde, S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi, Kouman Kele West African Dance & Drum […]

August 2nd, 2017|News & Updates|

Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices Prepare for Opening

As Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices prepare for their grand opening this fall, the community is invited to get a sneak peek of the new 100,000-square-foot facility at its Community Open House event on Saturday, August 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will be held at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices located at 3782 West Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Los Angeles, and feature tours of the new facility, a chance to meet with some of the providers at the facility, food trucks, yoga, line dancing, and a kid’s zone featuring a rock-climbing wall, arts and crafts and face painting. Kaiser Permanente’s Mobile Health Vehicle will also be at the event to provide free health screenings.

When the Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices officially open their doors for member visits beginning in mid-September, the 100,000 square-foot building will include a conference room and outdoor event space that will be available to local community groups. It will incorporate 2.5 acres of “green” space, including a contiguous, two-mile walking path. The medical offices will bring high-quality primary and specialty care services to an estimated 50,000 members who […]

August 2nd, 2017|News & Updates|

Unity Festival

Unifying the myriad of events and activities taking place in and around Leimert Park Village is the idea behind the Unity Festival, August 4 – September 4.

The Unity Festival will incorporate the design concept of the popular African Marketplace by highlighting the African Diaspora and diverse cultures. The four-week event will include the Africa USA International Chamber of Commerce Trade Conference; daily educational seminars and tours; the 4th Annual Leimert Park Theater Festival produced by the Vision Theatre and Los Angeles Inner City Cultural Center; nightly music and dance performances at the World Stage, Regency West, Barbara Morrison Arts Center, KAOS Network and Historic Maverick Flats; “Pop-up” street performances at locations throughout the Village; Cinema After Dark Film screening on People Street; Los Angeles Police Department’s Low Rider’s Auto Show; and Touch the World’s Gospel Fest, hosted by the Vision Theatre.

In addition to one-time events, the Unity Festival will encompass Leimert Park’s existing ongoing activities such as exhibitions at Art + Practice, book signings at Eso Won Books, Regency West’s Taco Tuesdays and Jazz at LA 3rd Church of Spiritual Living taking place every other Wednesday night.

In coordinating the […]

August 2nd, 2017|News & Updates|

Art + Practice Public Programs

In Conversation: Erin Christovale and Sune Woods

As part of Art + Practice’s ongoing public programming about artistic expression and its relevance, Hammer Museum Assistant Curator Erin Chrisotvale discussed cultural production and vulnerabilities with artist Sune Woods. Woods is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work includes video installations, photographs and collages.

In a discussion entitled “Loving Then, Loving Now,” Christovale and Woods reviewed samples of Woods’ art and how it paralleled the A + P exhibition by artist Al Loving, “Spiral Play – Loving in the 80s.” Loving experimented with a variety of materials and processes to expand the definition of modern painting, drawing on everything from experimental jazz to his family quilting tradition. Loving broke free of the flat image, using heavy rag paper to make three-dimensional collages in brilliant colors. His work was known partly for his use of spirals as a symbol of life’s continuity.

A video of iconic images and comments from leading figures in the 60s, 70s and 80s provided context for the discussion on Al Loving’s artistic influences. Loving was the first African American artist to have a solo show at the […]

August 2nd, 2017|News & Updates|

EsoWon Book Signing

Locking up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

EsoWon Books continues to be the leader in educational and culturally relevant events. Exploring the context of the penal system and the mass incarceration of Black men was the subject of James Forman Jr.’s book “Locking Up Our Own – Crime and Punishment in Black America.” EsoWon Books hosted a discussion for the visiting Stanford University Law Professor with noted scholar and author Elizabeth Hinton. Hinton is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America.”

Based on his six years as a public defender, Forman detailed how people, acting with the best of intentions, could create a problem more harmful than the one they were trying to solve. In his book, Foreman tells the story of unsuccessfully trying to keep a 15-year-old out of a juvenile detention center. Looking around the courtroom, he realizes that everyone associated with the case was African […]

August 2nd, 2017|News & Updates|

Southwest LAPD Foot Patrol: Maintaining the Quality of Life

Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor Business Improvement District (GLPVCC BID) has two new foot patrol officers, bringing the total to four officers assigned to the business and residential community. Officers Rickey Crowder and Larry Cole joined fellow officers Lester Bodiford and Marcus Whitehead in monitoring quality of life issues along the Crenshaw Corridor from Vernon to Rodeo. All officers are based out of the Southwest Los Angeles Police Division.

Officer Cole says one of the main issues plaguing Leimert Park Village is illegal parking. “Cars that are double-parked, parked in the red, unattended vehicles with blinking flashers that block access – that’s one of the biggest challenges.” Cole noted that most of the parking violations occur on Sundays. He warns that enforcement of parking restrictions will increase in the days and months ahead.

The foot patrol is an effort for law enforcement to build relationships with the communities that they serve. Community activist and police liaison Johnnie Raines, who has coordinated the Southwest Division’s youth programs for years, thinks this is a good idea, “This is how we start to build bridges between the police and the […]

August 2nd, 2017|News & Updates|

Jazz & Blue Museum Set to Open

Jazz and blues legend Barbara Morrison shows no signs of slowing down. Having successfully launched the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, she now has set her sights on opening a Jazz and Blues Museum in Leimert Park Village.

The idea stems from her desire to educate the public about the people behind the music.

In light of some famous birthdays, including what would have been Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday on April 25 as well as Lena Horne’s 100th June 30 and Theolonius Monk’s 100th birthday later this year, Morrison said people should know more about these famous jazz greats.

“People need to know some of that sweet music that they listen to on their phone while asleep at night or on a cruise ship or driving down the street,” Morrison said.

The museum will include information and memorabilia from jazz and blues legends as well as musicians that are still performing today. Different exhibits will be featured each month.

“There are jazz and blues people still alive and they’re active and they’re going around the world and they’re sharing their experiences with all kinds of schools in every country,” Morrison said. “I thought, […]

June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|

Ride On! Bike Co-op Comes to Leimert Park Village

Ride On! is a bicycle co-op that rents, sells, repairs and teaches owners how to repair their bikes. Owner Ade Neff originally got the idea to open a bike shop after finding the nearest place where he could repair his bike was eight miles away, well outside the boundaries of South Los Angeles.

“It was crazy not to have a place in South L.A. where I could take my bike and fix it myself. It’s everywhere else, but not here in South L.A.” he said.
Ride On! began two years ago when Neff and a few partners started repairing bikes in the Peoples Street Plaza once or twice a month. An amenable store owner allowed him to use a portion of his space for equipment storage. After noticing Adee’s steady clientele and the growing bike community, the store owner offered Adee the opportunity to take over the lease.

As a co-op bicycle shop, Neff’s plans to offer members discounts on the equipment needed to repair their bikes, instruction if needed, and for a small fee members can to do the repairs on site. People can also pay to […]

June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|

EsoWon Hosts Misty Copeland

Hundreds of people waited in line for hours as EsoWon hosted a book signing for American Ballet Theater Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland. Copeland was autographing her latest book, Ballerina Body.

Copeland made history in 2015 when she became the first African American female principal dancer with the prestigious New York-based American Ballet Theater. That same year Copeland made her Broadway debut in On the Town, was featured in the New York Times, 60 Minutes and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Ballerina Body is Copeland’s third book following her New York Times best-selling memoir Life in Motion and award-winning children’s book Firebird. In Ballerina Body Copeland shows women from all walks of life how to reshape their bodies with step-by-step advice complete with meal plans and workout routines.
Eager fans started lining up as early as 9:00 A.M. for the 12:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. signing.

With sales of over 400 copies of Ballerina Body, EsoWon co-owner James Fugate estimates that the book signing was among the most successful in the last few years. Other successful EsoWon book signings include Cookie Johnson’s “Believing in Magic,” […]

June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|

Spiral Play: Loving in the 80s at A + P

Art enthusiasts from across Los Angeles converged at Art + Practice (A + P) for the opening of its newest art exhibit, “Spiral Play: Loving in the 80s.”

The exhibit by artist Al Loving, is a radical example of working beyond a flat image. Loving used heavy rag paper to make three-dimensional collages in vibrant colors in this body of work created in the 80s.

“I chose the spiral as a symbol of life’s continuity. It became an overall wish for everyone,” Loving said.

During his 40 years of work, he experimented with material to go beyond the widely accepted definition of modern painting. His work has been influenced by everything from experimental jazz to his family’s quilting tradition.

Located on a nearly 20,000 square-foot campus, A + P focuses on education and cultural opportunities by providing support services for foster youth who are predominantly in the South L.A. area. The museum also provides free access to its exhibits and art lectures for members of the Leimert Park community.

The museum was founded by artist Mark Bradford, philanthropist and art collector Eileen Harris Norton, and community activist Allan DiCastro.

“Loving in the 80s” will be on […]

June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|