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Mike Sonksen

Mikeredwall

Equally a scholar and performer, Mike Sonksen, also known as Mike the Poet, is a 3rd-generation L.A. native acclaimed for published essays, poetry performances and mentoring teen writers. Mike teaches at Woodbury University.

Mikeredwall
A mural showing Frederick Douglass in the middle, flanked by an African American man holding an African American child on one side and a Black soldiers and slaves on the other side.
Article
Artbound

12 SoCal Public Art Projects That Explore Race and Marginalized Histories

In an era where many old monuments are being torn down and history is being rewritten, learn how public art rooted in inclusivity can help right the wrongs of history.
A Vigilant Love rally gathers in the shape of a peace sign in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
Article
Artbound

Vigilant Love Bonds Muslim and Japanese American Activists Together Through Art

Vigilant Love is an inter-spiritual and multi-generational advocacy group, whose deep cross-cultural friendships and approach to building solidarity between Muslim and Japanese American youth provides an incredible model for society to move forward.
Adrian Younge poses facing the camera. He's wearing a plaid suit jacket and a silk black and white tie. He's also wearing a black brimmed hat tilted slightly to the left. Thick-framed glasses sit on his face and he's wearing white, fingerless gloves.
Article
Southland Sessions

Adrian Younge's 'The American Negro' Tunes Listeners Into the 'Black Consciousness'

Adrian Younge's latest album, "The American Negro," keeps the legacy of freedom music alive, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, soul, spoken word and hip-hop to detail the Black experience and the evolution of racism in America.
Jamal Hill, Paralympic swimmer, photographed with a blue tint
Article

National Paralympic Champ Wants to Teach A Million Underserved People to Swim

Jamal Hill wants to teach one million underserved people to swim before 2028. The 25-year-old Inglewood-born professional swimmer embodies a combination of the competitive swimming spirit of Michael Phelps with the self-determination, community advocacy and direct agency of Nipsey Hussle.
Books of poetry on the shelves | Courtesy of Sims Library
Article
Southland Sessions

In Southern California's Only Poetry Library, the Spirit of Inclusion Reigns

In response to L.A.'s transitory poetry scene, Hiram Sims has founded Southern California's only library of poetry, located in South Central Los Angeles.
Aerial view of Watts Towers Arts Center | Still from "Watts Towers Arts Center" ab s11
Article
Artbound

Stretching Out into the Community: Five Key Watts Artists Who Helped Shape American Art

Meet the core artists who were the vanguards of the West Coast edition of the Black Arts Movement: Betye Saar, Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge and Jayne Cortez.
Bruce Lemon Jr. playing with youth during a rehearsal break of " A Jordan Downs Illumination."| Nancy Keystone
Article
Artbound

A New Generation in Watts Takes Up the Mantle of Change and Justice Through the Arts

Today, a cadre of local activists and artists in Watts are using storytelling and human relationships to promote change, justice, equality and communal values.
Detail of the Great Wall of Los Angeles
Article

Seven Books to Help Understand Judith Baca’s Great Wall of Los Angeles and L.A. Itself

Judith Baca’s mural work asks tough questions about public art and what role it plays in a multicultural society. These seven books illuminate the intersection between Baca’s work, public histories and art practice.
A mural honoring Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash along with seven others. The mural was painted by artist Artoon | Ronen Tivony / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Article
Artbound

Kobe Bryant's Legacy in L.A.'s Cultural Fabric

Kobe Bryant will forever be remembered as one of the brightest lights to ever shine in the City of Angels. His life ripples through L.A.'s collective cultural consciousness.
"Rushing Waters" mural in Pacoima. The image shows a Native American woman holding a basin of water. | Justin Cram
Article
Artbound

Pacoima is Home to the Largest New Mural in San Fernando Valley

In late November, a massive mural, "Rushing Waters," debuted in Pacoima. Coming in at over 10,000 square feet, it's one of the largest in the city. 
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