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Pan African Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years

The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) will celebrate 25 years of presenting the largest selection of films representing the African Diaspora, February 9 – 20, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw 15 Theatre, 3650 Martin Luther King Blvd., Los Angeles.

PAFF 25 will feature an unprecedented lineup of films, workshops, interviews and panel discussions focused on the African film and entertainment experience.  During the 12-day festival, 202 films will be screened –  124 feature-length and 78 short films – representing 56 countries on six continents.  Over the past quarter century, PAFF has premiered films from prominent Black filmmakers such as Gina Prince Blythewood (“Beyond the Lights”), Malcolm D. Lee (“Best Man”), Michael Jennings (“Moonlight”), Ava DuVernay (“Selma” &“13th”) and Academy Award winner Gavin Hood (“Tsotsi”); PAFF has also screened films by Raul Peck (“I Am Not Your Negro”), Oscar nominated Mahamat Saleh Haroun (“Gris Gris”) and many others.

“It’s been an incredible experience to witness the growth of this PAFF, and at the same time witness the tremendous development of the Pan African film Industry,” says Ayuko Babu, PAFF Executive Director. “Both have allowed me the pleasure of working with thousands of filmmakers and honoring […]

By | February 5th, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

Public Hearing on Sidewalk Vending

Over the past two years, Los Angeles City Council members Curren Price, Economic Development Committee Chair and Joe Buscaino, Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee Chair have hosted three hearings and solicited dozens of hours of oral testimony, written comments and letters from concerned stakeholders regarding sidewalk vending.

According to Council members Buscaino and Price, “the core question is whether sidewalk vending poses a threat so grave to public health, safety and welfare that it  is worth continuing to expend limited police and prosecutorial resources enforcing a citywide band. We do not believe it does.”

Based on public input, the two council members proposed a regulated sidewalk vending program that included nine core elements.

The Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee held a public hearing on the proposed framework on December 12.  After public comments were heard on both sides, the committee advanced the plan to the full city council where it was approved on February 1, 2017.

The Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee held a public hearing on the proposed framework on December 12.  After public comments were heard on both sides, the committee advanced the plan, and it is set to go before […]

By | February 5th, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Tops it off!

Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills – Crenshaw Medical Office Building celebrated a milestone at its topping-off ceremony on November 15. Topping off occurs when the highest structural element of a building is about to be swung into place. As the medical office building is concrete, the topping off occurred when the last layer of concrete was poured and the building became self-supporting.

City Council President Herb Wesson, representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Karen Bass, Assembly member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, Assembly member Autumn Burke, and Senator Holly Mitchell, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles officials as well as Turner Construction crew members and key stakeholders were in attendance at the invitation-only ceremony held on the grounds of the construction site.

“There were times I didn’t know if this day was going to happen,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson. “The reason why we’re here today is because of Dr. Howard Fullman, Georgina Garcia, the entire team at Kaiser Permanente and their commitment to this part of town. When negotiations were tough, they stayed with the community.”

Located on the corner of Marlton Avenue and Santa Rosalia Drive in Marlton Square, the Baldwin […]

By | February 5th, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

Planning the Future of Leimert Park Village

The Leimert Park Village 20/20 Vision Initiative, an alliance of business owners, residents, artists and other stakeholders, held its third planning charrette on Saturday, January 7, inside the Vision Theatre.  The purpose of the half-day planning session was to discuss a range of issues, challenges and opportunities facing Leimert Park Village.

The Empowerment Congress West Area (ECWA) Neighborhood Development Council Town Hall Meeting took place during the charrette.  Established in 2002, ECWA is one of 96 certified neighborhood councils in the City of Los Angeles created to facilitate discussion about public policy at the community level.  Leimert Park is one of several communities served by ECWA.

“Taking Care of Our Own,” an in depth discussion about the homeless in Leimert Park, immediately followed the ECWA Town Hall meeting.  Roland Wiley, principal partner at RAW International Architecture gave the opening prayer followed by introductions from Leimert Park Village Stakeholders co-chairs Clint Rosemond and Johnnie Raines, III.

Presentations were made by Darryl Everage, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health; Harold Turner, National Alliance of Mental Illness  Urban Los Angeles (NAMI Urban LA); Kimberly Ramsey, Community Build Interim President representing the Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor […]

By | February 5th, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

Reader’s Theatre Series at the Vision

The Leimert Park Village Theatre of Staged Readings will debut on Monday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m. Presented by The Leimert Park Vision Theatre Consortium, this series of monthly readings will feature new plays and works originating from the Vision Theater Playwright Workshop.

The goal of the series is to select stage plays that will be showcased in the 4th Annual 2017 Leimert Park. Village Theatre Festival of Staged Readings, and for the development of a library of exceptional stage plays to bolster the future of the Vision Theatre. The Readers Theater Series (RTS) will also serve to build a repertory of talented thespians for productions once the fully restored Historic Vision Theatre is completed in 2018.

The monthly RTS will open with a reading of the play “Reverend Rex” written by Oscar Brown Jr., and directed by actor Felton Perry. Subsequent plays will take place December 12, January 16, 2017, February 13 and 27, March 13, April 10 and May 15.

The RTS will give new and established playwrights an opportunity to develop their work in front of an audience. Playwrights will receive constructive comments and feedback from patrons as well as professional dramaturges intended […]

By | November 4th, 2016|News & Updates|0 Comments

Student Architects Design Museum for Leimert Park

Each year at the National Organization of Minority Architects’ (NOMA) conference, a student design competition is held to provide architecture students as well as students from related design disciplines the opportunity to showcase their talents to design industry professionals from across the nation.

As part of a competitive process, Leimert Park was selected as the location for NOMA’s 2016 Barbara G. Laurie Annual Student Design Competition.

The competition challenged student teams to design the African American Cultural Museum and Community Center along Leimert Park Boulevard. The competition is judged by the American Institute of Architecture’s national president and other industry leaders.

The students were given a design brief as a basis for their work which included a short history of Leimert Park, an outline of its challenges, site context and an area description.

Teams were encouraged to not only provide an identity for Leimert Park, but integrate sustainability (energy and water efficiency, day lighting, etc.), design landscaping/site elements, activate the streetscape along Degnan Boulevard as well as defend the financial feasibility of the design. Correlated diagrams, plans, sections, 3D perspectives, and details were used to effectively convey concepts and design intent.

Students from the Georgia Tech School of Architecture chapter […]

By | November 4th, 2016|News & Updates|0 Comments

A + P Teams up with First Place For Youth

Located in the heart of Leimert Park Village, Art + Practice (A+P), a contemporary art space, seeks to reignite a conversation in Leimert Park and to provide social services to transitional age (18—24) foster youth

An important component of A + P’s operating model is to create an educational platform that, on one hand, stresses the cultural importance of art within a larger social context and, on the other hand, provides support services to foster youth predominantly living in South Los Angeles.

First Place For Youth (FPFY) has entered into a two-year agreement with A + P to provide much needed services for youth transitioning from the foster care system to independent adulthood. The non-profit organization is committed to providing life-skills training, access to housing opportunities, individualized education, employment support, and case management for emancipated youth. FPFY is scheduled to officially open its 2,000 square foot office space inside A +P on Tuesday, November 1..

Originating in Alameda County in 1998, FPFY is now in six counties in California serving over 2,300 foster care youth each year. FPFY’s Los Angeles County main office is located in Koreatown. FPFY’s Leimert Park office is the […]

By | November 4th, 2016|News & Updates|0 Comments

LAHSA Serves Leimert Park Homeless

In response to the increasing homeless population, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has assigned two of its response team members to Leimert Park. Lester Brown and Yesenia Ortega visit Leimert Park four times a week to offer services and counseling to the people residing in the Park. This includes providing information on how to access city services and begin the process to obtain permanent residence.

The pair also provide assistance by getting resources for basic services and requirements such as birth certificates, identification, social security and money for medical conditions. Brown and Ortega consider their role as a hand up, not a hand out. In order to benefit from LAHSA assistance services, individuals must put forth their own effort and follow up on the advice and referrals.

“We want them to be independent. We encourage empowerment for themselves and don’t want to create dependency,” said Ortega.

Brown and Ortega have been on the job since mid-2015. In addition to Leimert Park, they also serve Council Districts 8 and 10 as well as parts of Service Provider Area 8 (SPA 8). Typically starting at 9:00 am, Leimert Park is one of Brown and Ortega’s first stops as they […]

By | November 4th, 2016|News & Updates|0 Comments

Crenshaw/LAX Line Celebration in Leimert Park Village

After two years of construction, the Crenshaw/LAX Transit project achieved a long awaited milestone. The $2.068-billion project which broke ground in January 2014 reached the halfway point in May. To celebrate the achievement of reaching the halfway mark of the 8.5-mile light-rail line, elected officials and Metro executives held a community celebration in Leimert Park Village to thank residents for their continued support during the construction process.

Funds for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project are provided by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. The new line is projected to bring traffic relief to some of Los Angeles County’s most congested and unserved areas such as Crenshaw District, Inglewood, Westchester, Los Angeles International Airport and many other neighborhoods.

Though the construction is halfway complete, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done, but by the end of the year it is expected that rail road tracks will begin installment. When all is said and done there will be stations at Expo/Crenshaw, MLK , Leimert Park , Crenshaw/Vernon, Hyde Park, and Aviation Blvd that will greatly improve the flow of traffic. Other projected benefits from the project will include significant environmental benefits, economic development and […]

By | July 9th, 2016|News & Updates|0 Comments

10th Annual Leimert Village Park Book Fair Aug. 20, 2016

This year marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most anticipated festivals in Los Angeles, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair. The festival will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (BHCP).

Over 5,000 book lovers attend the event. This festival offers book signings, panel discussions writer interviews and interactive activities that include writing workshops, film screenings, theater performances and much more. Poets, celebrity authors, speakers and artists come to participate in this event every year.

Founder Cynthia Exum says she plans on stepping up her game for the anniversary by adding a full week of activities that will lead up to the signature, main event. For more information, visit

By | July 9th, 2016|News & Updates|0 Comments