LA Commons helps Los Angeles’s diverse neighborhoods give voice to their unique stories through community-based arts programs. Developed by artists in collaboration with local youths, these projects create a genuine artistic expression that illuminates an important aspect of the community’s culture or history. Since programming activities began in 2003, LA Commons has developed grass-roots projects and initiatives in eight neighborhoods: MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Chinatown, Mid-City, Sylmar, East Hollywood (Little Armenia and Thai Town), Leimert Park and Highland Park. These programs have brought together 22 artists and 90 youths, along with over 600 members of the communities in an innovative process of grass roots artistic and cultural discovery.
LA Commons introduced “Trekking LA” in 2006, providing an opportunity for tourists from other parts of Los Angeles, and visitors from outside the region, to discover and experience these arts and cultural projects, as well as the authentic food, music, festivals and rich cultural history of the communities. From sampling barbecue in neighborhoods across Los Angeles, to listening to jazz music and watching dancing from around the world, these tours spur both increased cultural interaction and economic activity.
Through these two inter-connected and integrated programs, LA Commons pursues its mission of educating, empowering and enriching neighborhoods, while promoting greater understanding, engagement and connectedness for all residents of, and visitors to, the city of Los Angeles. LA Commons is committed to extending this unique end-to-end arts process to other communities, while maintaining a strong, vital, homegrown and authentic connection to the neighborhoods it currently serves.