The Uncertain Future of Leimert Park's World Stage | KCET
The Uncertain Future of Leimert Park's World Stage
On October 26, artists and activists from all over Los Angeles gathered in Leimert Park to fight for the survival of the internationally renowned performance gallery, The World Stage. Situated on Degnan Boulevard, and founded by legendary jazz drummer Billy Higgins and poet Kamau Daaood, the venue has become much more than an arts and education center. It has grown into an essential hub for community expression and artistic experimentation, which is being threatened by recent local development.
Community members have spent the past few years advocating for a train stop on the developing Metro Crenshaw Line. The line is scheduled for completion in 2018, and will connect the Expo Line with the Green line at LAX. Advocates for a stop in Leimert Park argued that it would help connect the neighborhood to the rest of the city, increase foot traffic, and boost locally owned businesses. After numerous community meetings, letters, phone-calls, and emails, Metro finally agreed to add a Leimert Station to the Crenshaw corridor. But celebrations came to an abrupt end as reports surfaced that properties along Degnan Boulevard were being bought up, threatening local businesses with rent increases and "pay-or-quit" notices that began appearing on storefront doors.
Documenting the rally brought us in contact with the main players of the World Stage. Leimert Park has not only been the home to historical figures like Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald but continues to foster contemporary artists such as Mark Bradford and Jurassic 5. The World Stage, along with other community centers like the KAOS Network, are vital to maintaining and developing the rich artistic culture of the area.
The fate of the World Stage is still uncertain, and raises broader questions of the future identity of Leimert Park.
During the late 19th and early 20th century, many mass-produced black dolls were stereotypical, caricature-like and expressed racist undertones. Shindana Toys helped change the paradigm, irrevocably changing the toy industry today.
On November 24, 1965, the Louis Smith and Robert Hall launched an organization called Operation Bootstrap. The organization emphasized the importance of black entrepreneurship and used its business initiatives to shift public perception of black identity.
The Yurok people care for all of their family members, and their kin — including condors and salmon — reciprocate the care.
Astrophysicist Andrea Ghez, user experience designer Evan Sullivan, and choreographer Kyle Abraham talked about everything from what it means to be creative to how we can overcome creative fears.
- 1 of 221
- next ›