6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

LACMA9: Compton Art + Film Lab

Support Provided By
lacma_compton.jpg

In partnership with LACMA9 Art + Film Lab, in residence in nine communities, offers free art and film workshops, an oral history project, outdoor film screenings, plus a day of free admission to LACMA.

My first approach into Compton was on a visit to the Dollarhide Senior Center, a Park and Recreation facility tucked off Rosecrans Avenue's auto repair row. The Center's municipal brick building is welcoming and worn with living. Above a display case hangs a photo of Aja Brown, the 32-year-old USC grad who made history as Compton's youngest Mayor. Beyond that tinge of newness, the Center, like most places in South L.A., felt timeless.

The day I visited, the Center's waiting area was a listening post, alight with the fervor and might of an elders' choir in full effect. A few doors down, another group wrapped breakfast service. I had come to visit Anthony Cartwright, the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Compton. Upon entering his office, the first thing that caught my attention were photos of his three college-aged sons. He shared that two of them were on basketball scholarships. I would learn later that his eldest, Bryce, plays pro basketball on the international circuit.

Anthony supervises the dozen parks and sports facilities that represent the city's prime gathering spots. One such facility he's fostered over time, the Lueders Park Community Center, became the traveling Art+Film Lab's physical address from May to June. Reclaimed as a children's park by residents, the Park cools down to the marrow around sunset, when the sea breeze kicks up. Any given day, local kids cannonball into the pool. Teens practice intramural soccer and basketball in a massive indoor gym. The Park's old growth tree trunks offer a base for regulars hanging out. Down the street, an urban ballroom rolls full swing. On Sundays, kids in PJs have breakfast at McDonalds with their dads; others wear their finery to church.


Compton Love from Kate Marks on Vimeo.

There is a Compton that lifelong residents like Anthony have worked hard to sustain and defend. A number of oral histories, featured here, turned up such stories that run counter to the Compton of pop culture and media infamy. The formerly industrial South L.A. city, whose population recently inched past the "majority Latino" designation, might still be a challenging place to grow up. But not for naught does Compton claim eleven NBA players as place of origin, the Williams sisters, and a world-famous hip-hop legacy. It's a populace serious enough about change to vote in an ambitious mayor.


Eugene Ndubisi and Randy Manley oral history from Hanul Bahm on Vimeo.

Anthony, who continues to organize annual camping trips and offer recreation services to thousands of residents, despite recent budget cuts decimating staff capacity to 10 percent, may be an example of the area's tenacity.


Anthony Cartwright oral history, Compton Art+Film Lab from LACMA on Vimeo.

In terms of turnout, the Compton Art+Film Lab was one of our more modest ones. The programs were strong, the people who turned up were enthusiastic, but the numbers didn't spike until towards the end.


Anita McDowell oral history, Compton Art+Film Lab from LACMA on Vimeo.


Pete Mendoza oral history, Compton Art+Film Lab from LACMA on Vimeo.

Last month, the city fulfilled a decades-long promise, and Anthony and the seniors at Dollarhide got a lifetime upgrade. They moved into a state-of-the-art, gleaming new Senior Center building, right next to downtown Compton's Metro Blue line. The Farmer's Market, just a hop away, offers up fresh produce, lunch options, and home-baked pies every Thursday.

When I last phoned Anthony, he shared he had been in a whirlwind; earlier that week, NBC had taped a story on him and his Park and Recreation work. The story airs August 6th, he said, and he had just found out NBC was going to fly him into New York City for a studio interview. "Have you ever been to New York?" I asked. "No, it's my first time," Anthony said. "I can't wait to soak it all in."


LACMA9: Recreators from Ben Liu on Vimeo.

The LACMA9 Art+Film Lab descended on its eighth city, Inglewood, on June 27 with a kickoff celebration in the lawn of City Hall. We opened to a lively, eclectic and energetic audience. We presented a visual slideshow of Inglewood artworks submitted by local artists, live music by Buyepongo, and a screening of short animations. The Lab currently operates out of the Inglewood Public Library at 101 W. Manchester Blvd, with one oral history date, July 20, happening in the Beacon Arts Building. At just seven miles from LACMA, Inglewood is super close to Mid-City, Culver City, and of course, LAX. We invite you to check out our line-up of film and video workshops, oral history sessions, and film screenings, as well as the amazing array of public art around the city. After 6 p.m. and on weekends during the Lab's run, the city meters around the Library are suspended and free.

On Friday, July 18 at 7 p.m. in the Library's Waddingham Theater, we'll be hosting a you-better-not-miss screening of amazing independent short films from local and international filmmakers. The films run the gamut to essayistic, experimental, fiction, documentary, and art films. It's an exciting and transportive line-up by a remarkable group of emerging filmmakers, completely worth the trek and traffic. We share below a trailer from "Sunset" by filmmaker John Warren. His beautifully realized film traverses the length of Sunset Boulevard, from PCH to Olvera Street, in a sum expression that feels like a Rosetta Stone of Angeleno culture. We also share a full version of "Power" by filmmaker Haaris Baig, an amplified, experimental take on power and energy resources. Other films include Kate Marks' "Pearl Was Here," Carly Short's "She Look Good," Fabian Euresti's "Everybody's Nuts," "The Seawall" by Mason Richards, and Natasha Mendonca's "Jan Villa,"

Upcoming screenings include the German Expressionist suspense thriller "M" by Fritz Lang (July 25) and the epic, early era labor film "Salt of the Earth", directed by Herbert J. Biberman (July 26).


Sunset (excerpt) from john warren on Vimeo.


Power from Haaris Baig on Vimeo.

Dig this story? Sign up for our newsletter to get unique arts & culture stories and videos from across Southern California in your inbox. Also, follow Artbound on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

Support Provided By
Read More
Kid Congo Powers in the desert

Gente from La Puente: Underground Punk Icon Kid Congo Powers Still Rocks

Kid Congo Powers is a Brown, queer, underground punk glam rock guitar legend who grew up in the East L.A. suburb of La Puente, California. His work over decades with worldwide bands places him firmly in the L.A. and international punk music scene. He returns to the spotlight with a new album, video and even a line of eyewear.
Pacific Division Officer Hoskins tries to pry open the door of a truck involved in a accident that left the driver and passenger locked in the overturned vehicle. | Joseph Rodriguez

'90s Photos of LAPD Reveal a City in Pain

Joseph Rodriguez’s photographs of the LAPD in 1994 is a deeply personal, political act that still resonates in today’s political climate.
Carla Jay Harris "Sphinx," 2019. Archival pigment print. Two panels, 40 x 30 in. each. The work features a beautiful Black woman wearing a dark blue dress kneeling down in a golden meadow under a starry sky and bright orange sun. | Courtesy the artist

Now More Than Ever: The Need for Alternative Cultural Spaces

Learn more about the spaces filling the holes left behind by the historically white-centric L.A. art world.