Departures Year in Review

As we approach the end of the year, it's time for us to look back at the projects, events and the people that helped us have another successful year.

  • We began the year by launching the L.A. River installment. From the Sepulveda Basin all the way to Long Beach, we explored the urban with help from friends: Lewis MacAdams, Jenny Price, The Los Angeles Leadership Academy, Joe Linton to name a few.

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  • In April we held a StoryShare event at Rio de Los Angeles State Park. Winners of Songs of the LA River Project had their dreams come true when they performed with members of Ozomatli.

  • April also saw our celebration of National Poetry Month by featuring an L.A. poem for each day of the month.

  • In May we launched our very first Field Guides, offering places and things to visit and do around the L.A. River, from family friendly activities to horseback riding.
  • May also brought the launch of the successful Power of Place map contest, resulting in over 25 hand-drawn maps submitted by our readers.

  • The Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul was on our minds as the L.A. River continues its journey towards revitalization.
    Rodolfo Cardona fo the Full Dollar Project
  • We immersed ourselves in the storefront signs along York Blvd. as we collaborated with Occidental College and Outpost for Contemporary Art for The Full Dollar Collection of Contemporary Art.

  • Youth Voices began a media literacy workshop with students from Franklin High School in Highland Park, creating maps and videos based on interactions with their community.

  • Our blog Land of Sunshine, the name taken from the old journal edited by Charles Lummis, was launched in June, accompanied by the arrival of the new column Arrival Stories.

    Mural on Figeroa St., Highland Park

  • Mural policy in Los Angeles was a hot topic.

  • We teamed up with the Los Angeles Urban Rangers for the L.A. River Ramble, where hikers walked down the river and shared their experiences with us (Look for the videos in early 2012).
    Departures at Chinatown Summer Nights
  • We celebrated Summer Nights in Chinatown.
    Great Wall of Los Angeles StoryShare Event
  • The restoration of the Great Wall of Los Angeles was commemorated with SPARC and members of the community.
    Charles Fisher at Heritage Square Museum
  • Our in depth look at Highland Park premiered in October, tracing the history of the neighborhood from its Rancho days to the present.

  • To coincide with the neighborhood installment, we began a Highland Park Mixtape Contest, which will continue into the new year.

  • Youth Voices launched a three part series of professional development workshops for educators. We partnered with the USC New Media Literacies Project and the RFK Community Schools to promote the implementation of digital media literacy in the classroom.

  • To top it all off, we were honored to receive two prestigious awards: The Japan Prize and the Arroyo Verde Award.

    We'd like to thank everyone, from our interns and camera crew to our community partners and city councilmembers, that made Departures such a successful project for us this year. We look forward to some exciting developments in the new year!


    For more year-end musings:


  • About the Author

    Yosuke Kitazawa is the Site Editor of KCET Departures.
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