Turning Bookmarks into Works of Art

Bookmark Contest

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To some, a bookmark is merely utilitarian – a strip of cardboard to keep you on the right page. Not so for Maeva Dubuche, Karma Griggs, Sierra Irby and Cheyenne Daniels.

With a handful of crayons and markers, plus a dash of creativity, the young students each turned a bookmark into a work of art.

Their whimsical creations made them winners of the Los Angeles County Public Library’s 35th Annual Bookmark Contest in the Second District, with the theme Dream in Color!.

During the awards ceremony at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas thanks the students for their hard work and emphasized the importance of reading and education.

“Reading is a way to visit new places and learn new ideas,” he said. “I am very proud of these students for their effort to achieve excellence and their love of reading.”

Maeva Dubuche, a second grader whose favorite subject is math, created her bookmark at the Culver City Julian Dixon Library. She dreams of becoming a teacher and, when not in school, she can be found riding her bike or in karate class.

Fourth-grader Karma Griggs created her bookmark at the View Park Library, plays the piano, likes to dance, and she dreams of becoming a doctor. Seventh-grader Sierra Erbee made her bookmark at the Wiseburn Library in Hawthorne. With social studies as her favorite subject, and a participant in her school’s Honor Society and the Girl Scouts, she aspires to become a journalist.

Cheyenne Daniels created her bookmark at the Lynwood Library. The eighth-grader’s favorite subjects are math and science, but she also enjoys drawing and pole vaulting.

Dreamfield at Roosevelt Park

Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Dream Field Dedication

Built in the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt Park in the Florence Firestone section of Los Angeles is one of the oldest parks in the county. But two new, state of the art baseball fields now make it one of the best places for children and families to enjoy a game of ball.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and Security Benefit Life Insurance recently dedicated Dodgers Dreamfields at Roosevelt Park. This marks the Second District’s 8th and 9th Deamfields, with baseball diamonds now at Campanella, Lennox, two in Athens, Mona, two at Jesse Owens, and at Ted Watkins Parks.

“We have made sure that investing in this community is a priority,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Together, we can and will make sure our children and families enjoy the fields of their dreams.”Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Dream Field Dedication

The two Dreamfields at Franklin D. Roosevelt Park include newly installed side and outfield fencing, newly replaced and refurbished backstop mesh and posts, newly installed metal dugout roofs, new laser leveled infield surface including new infield mix and bases, new turf infield and watering system, new laser-leveled outfield surface including new sprinkler heads and new sod, new remote controlled solar powered scoreboard and field signage.

With a new field in a well-lighted place, youngsters can practice their skills in a community setting, with coaches and parents all enjoying the amenities.

“With these fields, we celebrate beautiful sports facilities; we celebrate teamwork and a child’s first homerun,” said the Supervisor. “We celebrate coaches who instill a work ethic in their players and those skills will last a lifetime.”

Dodgers Dreamfield Dedicated at Ted Watkins Park

For many children, the baseball diamond is a place to learn sportsmanship, strategy and self-confidence. And this summer, a freshly renovated baseball field has opened in Watts.

“Beautiful baseball diamonds like these create an inspiring platform for our young players to learn about teamwork,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The Dodgers Dreamfield at Ted Watkins Park, a 28-acre park in the heart of South Los Angeles named after the founder of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee in 1995, is the latest of eight fields built with funding from the Dodgers Foundation, LA84 and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Created in 1998, the Dodgers Foundation provides educational, athletic and recreation opportunities for children in the Los Angeles area, with a special emphasis in helping underserved youth. LA84 was endowed with surplus funds from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles to serve children through sports. Ted Watkins Park is the eighth partnership in the second district following the renovations of Jesse Owens, Athens, Lennox, Mona and Campanella park fields. Dreaming in the batter’s box is Roosevelt Park, which Supervisor Ridley-Thomas hopes will be completed by the end of August.

“This wonderful addition to the park will make it possible for youngsters in the area to learn and practice their baseball skills under the tutelage of coaches and other caring adults while having fun,” said Patrick Escobar, LA84 Foundation Vice President of Grants & Programs.

As part of the dreamfield renovations, Ted Watkins Park received $156,000 worth of upgrades including new bases, paint, remote controlled solar powered scoreboards, signage, dugout roofs and fresh green grass. These renovations follow an $8.7M renovation completed in 2011 and an additional $1M renovation completed last year.

“We are grateful for this partnership,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “And we know there will be many more opportunities for us to work together to build more fields of dreams for children and families.”

Making Art and Jam with Lemons

lemon kid

It’s not often a lemon is considered a canvas. But to the artists David Burns and Austin Young of the collaborative Fallen Fruit, that is exactly what a lemon will be for their next experiment in bringing communities together through, well, fruit.

On Sunday, September 14, at Monteith Park, working without recipes, Fallen Fruit will ask people to sit with others they do not already know and negotiate what kind of jam to make.  If one person has lemons and another figs, a lemon fig jam (with lavender) would be made.  The jam is a social experiment. The Public Fruit Jam will be at the park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Over the past year, they have done the lemonade portrait stand in Santa Barbara, California, Houston, Texas, Athens, Greece. Two others will take place this summer.

Fallen Fruit invites the public to bring homegrown or street-picked fruit and collaborate with us in making a collective fruit jams.  Working without recipes, we ask people to sit with others they do not already know and negotiate what kind of jam to make: if I have lemons and you have figs, we’d make lemon fig jam (with lavender).  Each jam is a social experiment.  Usually held in a gallery or museum, this event forefronts the social and public nature of Fallen Fruit’s work, and we consider it a collaboration with the public as well as each other.
Fallen Fruit’s life’s work and mission is figuring out how fruit can help bring communities together. Since 2004, using photography, video, performance art, and installations, Fallen Fruit has creating colorful, vibrant places in urban settings all over the world. In Los Angeles, they have created Public Fruit Jams, where the public is invited to make jam together, or Nocturnal Fruit Forages, where they lead nighttime neighborhood fruit tours exploring the boundaries of public and private space and fruit tasting. In collaboration with the county, the group also planted the state’s first ever public fruit orchard in Del Aire Park, where residents can pick an orange or kumquat or lemon off the trees.

“The great thing about the lemonade stand is that anyone can do it. There is no money exchanged and so what happens is that is creates a community portrait,” said Burns. “A 5-year-old child and their grandparents can do this project. We are celebrating everyone in a community and they get to enjoy themselves and be who they are. ”

In addition to visiting the lemonade stand, residents and passersby at Kenneth Hahn State Recreational Area can hear about the Park to Playa project, which eventually will create a 13-mile regional trail that will seamlessly connect Kenneth Hahn Park to the bike trails at Playa del Rey. The trail will also include a fruit orchard designed by Fallen Fruit at the intersection of Stocker and Overhill, just below Reuben Ingold Park.


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Shakespeare in the Park

Midsummer Night’s Dream performance in Grand Park on May 4, 2014

William Shakespeare is turning 450 and thanks to a creative collaborative, his plays are coming to Athens Park.

The Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble, in partnership with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles, Britweek and Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, will be presenting performances with young actors and students from Los Angeles Unified Schools on May 17.

Thomas Carlton, 19, is a veteran Shakespearean. A graduate of Washington Prep, Carlton had his first experience with Shakespeare in 11th grade when he played Lysander in Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2012. Back then, he knew little about the Bard and cared even less.

“I knew Shakespeare was an old writer but had no interest in learning about him until I was cast,” Carlton said.

Veteran Shakespearean, Thomas Carlton, 19.

At first, Shakespeare’s Elizabethan English was baffling, with phrases such as “Thou canst compel no more than she entreat” but now Carlton can recite verses by heart.

“It was awkward at first. I didn’t know how to say any of his lines,” Carlton said. “Now I can read fluently. It helps you speak better. And it helps you think more critically and express yourself better.”

After playing Sebastian in Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble’s production of Twelfth Night last year, Carlton returns to A Midsummer Night’s Dream — this time in the role of Demetrius, the iconic Athenian lover.

Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble, was founded in 2011 by producers Katy Haber and Paul Heller as co-chairs of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Los Angeles Education and Outreach Committee. They partnered with Dr. Melanie Andrews, drama teacher at Washington Prep to expose students to the Bard.

Inspired by Haber, Heller and Andrews—not to mention a certain 16th century playwright– Carlton has decided to focus on directing and producing and is now studying filmmaking at Los Angeles City College.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on May 17th at 3 p.m. at Athens Park.