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, […]

By | June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

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 […]

By | June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

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,” […]

By | June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

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 […]

By | June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

New Community Police Liaison: Officer Paul Evleth

LAPD Officer Paul Evleth’s new job as the new Leimert Park Village Community Police liaison has been more than a decade in the making.

“I was very blessed that they took the opportunity to allow me to work in the community relations office,” Evleth said. “It took me four attempts to get the job I have now. When it becomes open and available, it’s very competitive.”

He worked at the Northeast Station before moving to the LAPD Southwest Station eight years ago. In his new role, his territory includes Angeles Mesa, Leimert Park and Park Mesa Heights.

“Basically, I want to find out what are on-going issues that do not seem to be solved by just calling the regular dispatch number,” he said. “Sometimes things are complicated, and they just continue.”

In addition to reporting crimes to him, Evleth said it is also important for neighbors to fill out crime reports so the LAPD has it on record that there has been criminal activity in the neighborhood.

The most important part of his job is establishing relationships in the community, so people will be comfortable and trust the police, according to Evleth.
“You can’t really prevent crime […]

By | June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

Resources and Connections to End Homelessness

As a part of its mission to revitalize South Los Angeles, Community Build hosted Resources and Connections to End Homelessness, a comprehensive outreach effort to connect individuals seeking housing and social services with agencies that provide information, assistance and resources.

Onsite service providers included Department of Motor Vehicles, First to Serve Interim Housing, Department of Public Social Services, CHUCO Justice Center, U.S. Vets Homeless Feeding and Housing Services, Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART), Department of Mental Health, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and others.

One of the more popular services at the event was Coach Ron Crocket’s Grooming for Success. His barber’s chair was occupied for the duration of the event as men waited patiently for a complementary haircut.

Event coordinator Tony Nicholas has been working with underserved populations for over 40 years and recently retired from his position with the City of Los Angeles Housing Department after 20 years. This is the fourth time Nicholas has teamed up with Community Build to produce an outreach effort.
“So many of us are just one pay check away from being homeless” said […]

By | June 1st, 2017|News & Updates|0 Comments

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