Leimert Park is our home neighborhood. We have been sited at the amazing community art space, KAOS Network, for most of our organizational life. We’ve been lucky that Ben Caldwell, the highly regarded filmmaker and community artist, has shared his space with us all these years. The neighborhood has been the center of African American culture in Los Angeles since the 60s when Dale and Alonzo Davis came to Los Angeles to use art as the vehicle for their social activism. Brockman Gallery, their space (which Ben worked at not long after he arrived in LA), was just featured in the NY Times for their leadership in showcasing the work of black visual artists.
Now artist Mark Bradford is carrying on their legacy as the owner of Art and Practice and the former Brockman space among others. Since the 1970s, Leimert Park has been the place to connect with African American Artists - Actress Marla Gibbs saved the historic Leimert Theater - renamed the Vision Theater, Songstress Barbara Morrison has a museum and a performance space and Sika will design jewelry for you and pierce your nose. The people are why we love it and we feel blessed to get to work with so many of them in organizing our largest event, Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks.
Sankofa Gateway Mural
Title: 2009 Leimert Park Sankofa Gateway Mural Project
Installation: July 14, 2009
Opening: July 21, 2009
Story Gathering: April 4, 7, and 14 2009
Celebration (Opening): July 21, 2009
Description: Youth collected stories and learned history about Leimert Park and created
a large scale mural that first became the backdrop to the World Stage Jazz Festival and
then became a gateway mural to the neighborhood installed at KAOS Network.
Project Partners: Community Build, KAOS Network, Crenshaw High School
Lead Artists(s): Roberto Del Hoyo and General Baker
Title: 2010 Leimert Vision: Lightpole Banners
Dates: October 31, 2010
Description: Metro Expo commissioned LA Commons to gather a team of local artists and youth artists to collect stories and to create designs for light pole banners that would be installed in honor of the opening of the Metro Exposition Line.
Project Partners: Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, Community Build, KAOS Network, Crenshaw High School Art Department, Leimert Park/Crenshaw Corridor BID, Office of Los Angeles City Council Member Bernard Parks
Lead Artists(s): Dominique Moody, Noni Olabisi, Maria Elena Cruz, Wendell Wiggins