- Second District
On Friday, June 21, the sounds of music will echo throughout Los Angeles County in the 2nd annual Make Music LA festival. Whether it is on sidewalks, street corners, parks or schools, musicians will pick up their instruments and participate in the festivities in a celebration of music.
Los Angeles is one of 460 cities, including New York, Palo Alto, Vancouver and Chicago and 110 countries in this unique celebration of the summer solstice. The concerts are free to the public, and it’s free to sign-up to perform. Based on France’s Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday inaugurated in 1982, the festival has become a worldwide tradition.
Last year in LA County, hundreds of musicians played in concerts, ranging from violin concertos to quartets, throughout the county including at parks, schools, restaurants and libraries. Also, a piano was donated for the day and placed outside the Central Library downtown for any musician to stop by and play. Throughout the day, it was not unusual to catch a glimpse of a chorus on a street corner or a violin player in a doctor’s office. This year, a piano will be available inside the Central Library and in Santa Monica, 100 harmonicas will be given away to anyone eager to learn how to thrum a tune. Donated by Hohner Instruments, the harmonica event will take place at Palisades Park and will be led by Tom Nolan, dean of music at Crossroads School.
“People have an opportunity to share their culture with the entire city,” said Dorsay Dujon founder and chief executive of Make Music LA, a nonprofit. “We live in the entertainment capital of the world. We have more talent per square inch than any other place on the planet. This makes it the perfect event for Los Angeles.”
Nearly 100 cities in Los Angeles County are participating in addition to 72 of Los Angeles City libraries. Participants are encouraged to register at http://makemusicla.org/
The following is a list of locations in the Second District that have registered:
What do a former YMCA, the Natural History Museum, a transit center, an elementary school and an elderly care facility have in common? They were five projects in the Second District singled out by the Los Angeles Business Council for architectural awards.
The award ceremony, which has been held for 43 years, has historically honored visionary architects and outstanding projects that enhance the complex urban landscape of Los Angeles County. The Second District, an expansive stretch of the county that reaches from Koreatown in the north to Marina del Rey to the west to East Rancho Dominguez to the east and Carson to the south, garnered significant attention for several projects that pushed the envelope on design and sustainable building innovations.
Of particular interest was the Julius Shulman Emerging Talent Award awarded to three students from Woodbury University, Michael Sotona, Gabriela Colmenares and Jennifer Pope for their design of the a Continuing Care Retirement Community at the MLK Medical Campus in Willowbrook. Their design specifically incorporated the idea of a community, of connecting a good neighborhood feel to the sense of wellness, for the care facility.
Although their winning design was mainly an academic exercise, the campus has also been a prime focus of several firms for the improvement of the Willowbrook community. The Second District recently completed two major studies outlining the potential: an Urban Land Institute design session in June 2009 and master plan completed in mid-2012 by Gensler.
“These master plans arrived at the important conclusion that land use programs for community health campuses extend far beyond hospitals and outpatient clinics alone,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who presented the award to the students. “As a result, we define “health” to include a broad range of uses including education, nutrition, fitness, employment, housing and retail. In effect, a truly healthy community keeps people out of hospitals, although good hospitals must always be available.”
The other winners also incorporated a sense of community into their designs. The 28th Street Apartments, formerly the site of a YMCA and newly designed by Koning Eizenberg Architecture Inc., received the housing multi-family award for their work. Originally designed by African-American architect Frank R. Williams as a sports and recreation venue, the 1928 Spanish Revival-style building was added to the city, state and federal historic registers several years ago and its façade remains much as it was when the building first opened. But today, the building fills a different need: affordable housing. The rehabilitation of the building created 48 studio apartments and includes supportive services for tenants, which will include youth transitioning out of foster care and special needs adults.
The night’s other winners were singled out for their environmentally conscious designs. Playa Vista Elementary School, designed by Osborn Architects, won an award for green building.
The East Rancho Dominguez library, which holds a LEED Platinum designation and is the work of Carde Ten Architects, received the L.A. County Sustainability Award for its eco-friendly construction including the use of solar panels, installation of water efficient facilities, drought resistant landscaping and its pedestrian friendly setting. Continuing the “green” momentum, the Museum of Natural History won best landscape architecture for its use of native and drought tolerant vegetation to beautify the pathways leading in north campus gardens. The firm, Mia Lehrer + Associates, known for their work on other public sites like the Annenberg Community Beach House, designed the meandering decomposed granite pathways in a park-like setting that is visitor friendly.
And then there is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Transit Center in Compton, designed by BASE Architecture. The transit center serves more than 4,000 commuters every day. The architects were able to co-locate several transit spaces together to free up city-owned property for mixed use development.
“These awards represent the very best in design,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas. “But they exemplify something bigger. Memorable architecture is not just about creating buildings, but about creating destinations and identities for communities. And that is what is happening in the Second District.”
For more architectural sites that define the Second District community, click here.
Berli Degado felt adrift when her father was killed by gang members in her neighborhood seven years ago. She was in high school and she says she struggled with guidance. Many, she said, expected her to fail. But she was motivated to prove them wrong.
Her fate changed when she was selected to participate in a summer-long paid internship called the “Earn and Learn” Summer Youth Employment Program where she learned to use computer programs like Excel and Word. She was taught tricks to filing paperwork and dealing with demanding customers on the phone. Most importantly, she found a mentor to guide her through the labyrinth of college applications and loans.
Due in part to her internship experience, she was accepted into UC Santa Cruz, becoming the first person in her family to attend college.
“I was so stressed because I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “People always say reach higher, but they don’t tell you how. But my mentor guided me through the process and I learned so much.”
This year’s “Earn and Learn” Summer Youth Employment Program will be open to more than 3,100 young people, ages 14-21. Made possible by a $5 million investment by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, $2 million by the City of Los Angeles and the participation of more than 100 private businesses and public organizations, the program is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The program also includes “personal growth” and financial literacy training that is necessary to succeed in today’s competitive economy. A special emphasis will be placed on finding jobs for foster youth, many of whom struggle to find a path after they graduate. According to the bureau of Labor Statistics, the teen unemployment rate is 24.5 percent—three times the national average. Experience and skills gained from internships is an increasingly important asset to land a job. Because so many internships are unpaid, many young people without economic means are at a disadvantage. The Earn and Learn Summer Youth Employment Program are at no cost to the employers.
When 19-year-old Daniel Padron landed an internship with a local Police Activities League two years ago, he didn’t think he would like teaching. But there, he learned how to engage children in learning. He got his current job tutoring at South East High School because of the letters of recommendation he received and the experience he gained working at his summer internship.
“I had to really work hard with them and push education on them,” he said. “I showed them that it could be fun to learn.”
He used those contacts and his experience to continue his own education and is now expecting to transfer from Cerritos College to UC Berkeley in the fall.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who led the county’s efforts to get funding for the program, says investing in youth is a worthwhile endeavor and the program is a great example of public/private partnerships.
“These programs take these young people and say, ‘we have high expectations,’” he told a crowd at the press conference unveiling of the program this week. “The experience these young people will receive is invaluable. We are putting them on a path to successful careers.”
At the press conference, Chairman Ridley-Thomas was joined by Cynthia Banks director of the county’s Community and Senior Services and Dr. Gerald T. Kozai, chief executive of St. Francis Medical Center. The Medical Center will be hiring several youth from throughout the county.
“This program gives life skills to young people that are so necessary in today’s world but it also starts a mentorship,” said Kozai. “As we talk about our commitment to youth, this program is an example of what we want other members of the business community to do.”
More than 3,100 youngsters in Los Angeles County will be able to apply for summer job internships with this year’s “Earn and Learn” Summer Youth Employment Program. Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, Cynthia Banks director of the county’s Community and Senior Services and Dr. Gerald T. Kozai, chief executive of St. Francis Medical Center will be joined by dozens of youth to announce a $5 million county investment in summer youth jobs Thursday at the St. Francis Medical Center inLynwood.
With an additional $2 million investment from the L.A. City Council and support from private companies, the program will have a $7 million commitment to place youth in jobs, ages 14-21 for the summer in a variety of industries making it the largest program of its kind in the nation.
The program also includes “personal growth” and financial literacy training that is necessary to succeed in today’s competitive economy. A special emphasis will be placed on finding jobs for foster youth, many of whom struggle to find a path after they graduate.
Experience and skills gained from internships is an increasingly important asset to land a job. Because so many internships are unpaid, many young people without economic means are at a disadvantage. The Earn and Learn Summer Youth Employment Program are at no cost to the employers.
“This is a win-win for all involved,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas. “Employers are looking for potential employees that have initiative and specific skill sets. These internships will teach young people invaluable skills and give them the experience to impress future employers. This is a very worthwhile investment for our community.”
Attention all cyclists: On Saturday, June 29, the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be used for the Walk ‘n Rollers, a summer ride along the path that leads to the Marvin Braude bike path in Marina del Rey. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and will make stops at Overland and Centinela Avenues to learn about the Creek and the watershed. These stops will also serve as alternative starting points for participants who would like to shorten the 14-mile long ride, arriving at 11:20am and 11:45 a.m. respectively.
Participants will learn about points of interest to explore at the shore and will be given one hour to spend at the beach for lunch, a picnic, or to take a dip in the water. Cyclists are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch, sunscreen, beach gear and water. The ride is a family-friendly, leisurely paced event that is led by trained Ride Leaders and volunteers. For more information, click here.