Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Nights in Atwater Village

Enjoy “Summer Nights on the Boulevard” in Atwater Village tomorrow evening, June 30, from 5-10 p.m., and again on July 28 and August 25.
Businesses along Glendale Boulevard will be staying open late, and special entertainment, food, drink and art will be offered in a pedestrian-oriented environment.
Among the special events this Thursday:
• Dancers from Heartbeat House will be performing on the bump out in front of Kaldi Coffee.
• Atwater Village Farm will be hosting a “Pickle Pop Up” featuring local vendors of jams, jellies, pickles and honey. DJ Al G will be spinning evening sounds.
• Revo Cafe will host live music on its patio starting at 6:30 p.m. This month’s featured bands are Small Animals, Still Spark and Seán Kangataran.
• Grain will be cranking up the stereo and offering an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, confections and bubbly refreshments.
• Hugo’s Tacos will be the site of an “Ice Creme Social.”
• From 7-9 p.m., Woof Dog Boutique is hosting a “Dog Beer Fest.” (Yes, you read correctly.) There will be beer for the canines, wine for the humans and 20% off one regular-priced item.
• From 5-7 p.m., it’s “Family Fun Time” at NILA (down by the bridge). There’ll be face painting, games, family fun and more.
• At The Little Knittery, Kerry Regan will be doing a knitting machine demo all evening. Stop by and see her beautiful creations.
• Indulge your sweet tooth at Sweets for the Soul or relax with Summer Spumantes at 55 Degree Wine.
• A local artist showcase will be hosted by Hypnotiq Solutions and Santosha Space.
Summer Nights on the Boulevard is presented by the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council with support from the Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

City Council Accepts Autry Remodel

The Los Angeles City Council today took three important actions that affect the future of the Southwest Museum in Mount Washington and of the Autry National Center in Griffith Park.

• The Council denied a contention by the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance and preservation expert Charles Fisher that a state-funded Autry renovation, undertaken in large part to display Southwest museum artifacts in Griffith Park, is subject to environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
• The Council let stand a city Recreation and Parks Board ruling that the Autry could remodel in Griffith Park.
• Councilmember José Huizar introduced a motion, with seconds from Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Tom LaBonge, promoting dialogue regarding the future of the Autry National Center, the Southwest Museum and the Casa de Adobe.

Only Huizar and Reyes voted in support of the CEQA contention. They were joined by Councilmember Paul Koretz in the failed effort to send the matter of the Autry remodel back to the Recreation and Parks board.

In allowing the Recreation and Parks Board ruling to stand, the Council majority turned aside arguments made by Northeast Los Angeles residents that moving two galleries and an ethno-botanic garden to like-named spaces in Griffith Park violates the Northeast Community Plan, a legally binding City document that specifically outlaws any change of use of the Southwest Museum.

“The whole city lost today,” said Daniel Wright, a Mount Washington resident and pro bono attorney for the CEQA appellants, after the Council meeting.

Nicole Possert, co-chair of Friends of the Southwest Museum, a coalition of 70+ neighborhood councils, residents’ organizations and preservation groups, quickly ticked off several points of irritation with the Council’s handling of legal issues surrounding the Autry remodel, including ignoring the City General Plan, ignoring the law of environmental review, ignoring the fact that Rec and Parks General Manager Jon Mukri signed a letter to the State regarding lease extension, when that should have been the responsibility of the City Council.

“Mr. Huizar, Mr. Reyes and Mr. Koretz at least took the vote for integrity,” said Possert.

143 people attended the City Council meeting to express opinions on the matters. 87 submitted cards against the CEQA appeal and/or for upholding the Rec and Parks support of the Autry remodel. 56 submitted cards supporting the CEQA appeal and/or against upholding the Rec and Parks support of the Autry remodel.

Northeast Los Angeles resident Philip Dorsey Iglauer likened the Southwest Museum situation to the demise of the City’s trolley system, a move that years later has residents wondering why that ever happened.

“Where’s the vision of the City of Los Angeles?” Iglauer asked.

Many of the Southwest Museum supporters asked for further vetting of the complex planning issues involved. They would have liked to see the Council send the matters to the Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee for “unwinding.”

Autry CEO Daniel Finley said that the Autry is “looking for a solution to the use of the former Southwest building,” but Northeast L.A. residents in attendance were distressed by his use of the word “former.”

“But that is not before you today,” said Finley.

A majority of the Council agreed.

The Huizar-Reyes-LaBonge motion, if ultimately passed by the full Council, will require the Chief Legislative Analyst’s (CLA’s) Office to establish and convene a working group comprised of the city Department of Recreation and Parks; the City Administrative Office; the City Attorney’s Office and Huizar, Reyes and LaBonge’s offices (representing the areas around the Southwest Museum, Casa de Adobe and the Autry National Center respectively).

The working group would be charged with several things:
•To engage in formal discussions with the Autry National Center of the American West, museum experts, stakeholders and community groups;
•To develop a long-range plan for the Autry Center in Griffith Park;
•To develop a long-range plan for the Southwest Museum and Casa de Adobe in Mount Washington;
•To advise as to the status of the lease renewal process between the City and the Autry regarding public land in Griffith Park (a subject about which conflicting opinions have been given regarding the Autry’s use of State funds for its remodel);
•To review the 2003 merger agreement between the Autry and the Southwest and to review the implications of its mandates;
•To identify funding sources for the renovation and operation of the Southwest Museum and
•To report to the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee and to the Budget and Finance Committee of the City Council within 60 days on the progress of these discussions.

The motion represents a formal request. The Autry National Center is not obligated to comply with its provisions. If successful, it could have the effect of subjecting the carrying out of the Autry-Southwest merger agreement to a new level of public scrutiny.

Several council members expressed support for the idea of dialogue toward preservation of the Southwest Museum.

“Why haven’t you taken this beautiful facility with its objects and made it your first priority?” asked Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. “Why can’t you give us some assurance you’ll open it up?"

“This is a city of immense wealth,” said Council President Eric Garcetti. “It is a city of intense artistic resources.”

“We have new museums opening up,” said Garcetti. “We need to find the resources to make the Southwest work again.”

Garcetti pledged to help reach out to people who have resources.

Reyes pointed out that the City spent a lot on the Griffith Park Observatory because “we supported that iconic structure.”

The Councilmember added that he was looking to the Autry for “a conversation on how we can get it done, not why we can’t get it done.”

“Lummis vision of what a new Los Angeles would become is embedded in the Southwest,” Huizar said in conclusion.

A hearing on the Huizar-Reyes-LaBonge motion has not been scheduled yet.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Committee Approves Autry Center Remodel

The Los Angeles City Council’s Art Parks Health and Aging Committee, by a vote of 2-1, recommended today that the full City Council uphold a city Recreation and Parks Board authorization of an Autry National Center remodel in Griffith Park. It also recommended that the City Council deny an appeal of a finding that the Autry’s project does not have to undergo an environmental evaluation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The matters go before the full City Council at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

The CEQA appeal was filed by the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance, a community organization of 600 plus members, and by local historian and preservation advocate Charles Fisher.

Speaking on behalf of the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance, Land Use Committee member Mark Kenyon took the position that the organization does not object to the Autry receiving the $6.6 million is state Proposition 84 funds that it is using to fund a remodel of its Griffith Park site, a move the Autry is making in part to display artifacts from the Southwest Museum collection.

“We don’t have a problem with the Autry sharing the collection at both sites,” said Fisher. “There’s plenty of collection to go around.”

“However,” said Kenyon, “the Autry should not be allowed to break the law.”

The Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance, Fisher and the more than 70 organizations that have come together under the umbrella of the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition ask that the Autry comply with Northeast Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar’s request that a commitment to keeping the Southwest open as a museum be put in writing.

CEQA requires that any entity undertaking a major project involving land use disclose any negative consequences that could come about as a result of that project. The Autry argues that it is only remodeling within its existing footprint and that CEQA applies to physical changes only.

The appellants pointed out that moving two galleries worth of artifacts from Mount Washington to new galleries with the same themes in Griffith Park and eliminating the ethno-botanic garden in Mount Washington while creating a new one in Griffith Park create negative impacts in Northeast Los Angeles. They say the Autry’s actions are illegal under city planning law, as they violate the Northeast Community Plan, which holds the Southwest Museum to be a centerpiece of Northeast Los Angeles life and culture.

Any potential negative impacts on a historic resource would normally trigger CEQA.

Further, Daniel Wright, a pro bono attorney representing the appellants, argued before the council committee that, even aside from effects on Mount Washington, the change of use of parts of the Autry Museum in Griffith Park would inevitably cause changes in that area involving issues such as traffic impacts and parking.

The appellants contend that the Autry may well be avoiding CEQA by piecemealing a broader plan. They cite Autry documents of a year ago that refer to “the first phase of this multi-year project.” The Autry denies that it is piecemealing, and says that it has no plans beyond its immediate remodel.

The Autry’s lease agreement is also a cause of controversy. The center holds a $1 lease on city land in Griffith Park. Proposition 84 fund recipients have to hold 30-year leases on their sites. The Autry’s 50-year lease expires in 2037.

David Burton, an Autry official who oversaw the writing of the Proposition 84 grant, told the council committee that he has spoken numerous times with officials in Sacramento, and an extension of the lease does not have to be dealt with until a couple of years before it is set to expire.

However, Ana Cubas, Chief of Staff to Councilmember Huizar, who represents the district where the Southwest campus is located, told the committee that their office has been in touch with State Senator Kevin de León’s office. (De Leon authored the provision in the Prop 84 law that directs programming money to urban areas such as Los Angeles that are in need of such resources. He also represents much of Northeast L.A.) Cubas reported that de Leon’s office says that grantees have to provide a 30-year lease agreement.

Cubas told the council committee that discussions with the Autry “have come up short” in terms of getting the Autry to put a commitment to the Southwest in writing.

In addition to the appellants, a dozen community members from Garvanza, El Sereno, Mount Washington, Highland Park and Montecito Heights spoke of their belief in keeping the Southwest Museum open as a functioning museum in Mount Washington.

An approximately equal number of people—all but one of them Autry staff or attorneys—spoke in support of the Autry positions.

One Northeast LA resident, Rob Schraff, also spoke on behalf of the Autry, but used most of his allotted time criticizing the Friends of the Southwest Museum community group.

Councilmember Ed Reyes asked Pamela Hannah, Director of American Indian Outreach at the Autry National Center, who was very much involved in building the relationship between the Southwest Museum and the community when she used to work at the Mount Washington museum, if it would be possible to keep a portion of the artifacts on display in Mount Washington to allow the local community to have access to them. Hannah replied yes, that has been the plan since 2006. Reyes then asked if it would be possible to retain artifacts at a level equal to that of 15 years ago.

“We don’t feel a full museum is possible,” replied Hannah.

Reyes attempted to get the Autry/Southwest matters referred to the council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee, which he chairs, for an examination of ramifications of city planning law and for a look at how do deal with the historic nature of entities involved. He was turned down by Arts Parks Health and Aging Chair Tom LaBonge.

LaBonge was joined by the third committee member, Herb Wesson, in voting to deny the CEQA appeal and in supporting Recreation and Parks belief that the Autry project is exempt from CEQA review. Reyes voted in support of the appeal.

Wesson did say that he would like to see the Autry put a commitment to the Southwest Museum in writing. But he joined LaBonge in voting to allow the Autry to accept the grant for its remodel.

The Art Parks Health and Aging votes are not binding. They are recommendations to the full council, which will take the official vote tomorrow. The Council can let the Recreation and Parks Board approval of the Autry remodel stand. Or it can make changes, which would have the effect of sending the matter back to the Recreation and Parks Board.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mayor Visits Northeast LA to Launch Expanded Recycling

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was in the Northeast community of Hermon this morning to let Los Angeles residents know that the list of waste products they can put in their blue recycling bins has been expanded to include cartons from foods and beverages such as milk, juice, soy milk, broth and even wine.
The Mayor, standing in the parking lot at Fresco Community Market on Monterey Road, said that, in expanding what can be recycled, the City is “solidifying our position as the number one recycling city in the nation.”
Los Angeles is now the largest of 200 California cities to offer carton recycling.
The Los Angeles Department of Public Works has partnered with the Carton Council in the expansion of blue bin recycling. The Carton Council was established just a couple of years ago by the four largest carton manufacturers in the United States. It has provided technical support to the City and is now joining the City in a public awareness campaign. It also works to ensure a market for the end product, and according to Jeff Fielkow of the Carton Council, paper mills are ready to buy our used cartons.
Villaraigosa stressed that Los Angeles has already come a long way in a short period of time. Six years ago there was no recycling program for multi-unit housing and no program for schools. Now 430,000 multi-family building units participate, as do all public schools. The City is now recycling about 65% of its waste, well on the way to its commitment to recycling 70% of waste by 2013.
“Someday, this city will be the first to be a zero waste city,” said Villaraigosa.
Fielkow referred to the expanded recycling as “an amazing model to launch coast to coast.”
“We need your help,” the Mayor added. “Please join me in making recycling in Los Angeles a way of life.”
The Department of Public Works asks that reclyclers rinse cartons before tossing them in blue bins. Residents of multi-unit buildings that do not currently have recycling bins can call 3-1-1 to request them.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Southwest Returns to City Hall Next Week

The issue of the Autry National Center’s desire to remodel in order to house part of the Southwest Museum collection will return to City Hall next week. The City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee has scheduled a hearing for Monday, June 20. The matter will return to the full Council on Tuesday, June 21.
The specific matter at hand will be the Autry National Center’s contention that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) does not apply to its remodel. The City’s Recreation and Parks Board agrees with the Autry.
An appeal has been filed by Daniel Wright of the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance and Charles Fisher of Highland Park, a well-known historian.
The application of CEQA would require that all available options (i.e. the reopening of the Southwest Museum in Mount Washington) be looked at before a project of such magnitude as a remodel of the Autry in Griffith Park could be undertaken. Further, under CEQA, the lead agency (The Autry) would have an obligation to mitigate all significant impacts brought about by its actions. At issue would be impacts on public land in Griffith Park and on the Southwest Mount Washington campus, which is a centerpiece of the Northeast Community Plan, a legally binding city planning document.

The recent back-story:

Friday, June 10, 2011

NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night

The Second Saturday of every month, Northeast Los Angeles art galleries stay open late for NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night. The event is a celebration of the thriving NELA contemporary arts community and of NELA’s history as L.A.’s original arts community. Visit to download a gallery map.

Where to see art Saturday, June 11
NELAart’s Second Saturday Galleries
Stores and Coffee Houses showing local artists
Special Events
And other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities
(7 to 10 p.m. unless otherwise indicated)

Avenue 50 Studio
131 North Avenue 50
by and for: Democracy and Art, a visual conversation on the role of art in democracy. Mariona Barkus, Ulla Barr, Yvonne Beatty, Christine Behnen, Tristan Blodgett, Christina Carroll, Audrey Chan, Bayesteh Ghaffary, Michael Graham, Leslie Gray, Karen Gutfreund, Sinan Leong Revell, Larry Lytle, Barbara Margolies, Silva Matossian, Felicia Montes, O O, Sheila Pinkel, Chris Ramos, Jeffrey Robison, Catherine Ruane, Amy Spain and France White, juried by art historian and activist, Carol A. Wells. Presented by the Southern California Women's Caucus for Art. Public Conversation: Saturday, June 18, 2-4 p.m. Closing Reception: Sunday, July 3, 2-4 p.m.
In the Annex: Visions of Highland Park. Patricia Anderson, Carol Colin, Kevin Hass, Cidne Hart, Ramon Ramirez, Robert Lowden, Stuart Rapeport, Jose L. De Juan, Kikki Eder, Simone Gad, Kathy Fischer, Angela Ortiz.

Bike Oven
3706 North Figueroa
The Spoke(n) Art Ride is a once-a-month bicycle tour of art galleries, parks both public and private, and anywhere the creative human spirit expresses itself in North East Los Angeles. Meet at around 6pm. The ride leaves at 6:30 p.m. and returns to the start point at around 10:30 p.m.
The art of Andrew Huitink. Paintings, sculptures, painting on random objects, (glass, wood, etc.), handmade prints, (free) handmade stickers. The artist will probably be hand printing about 10 or so.

5434 Eagle Rock Boulevard
"If Only Tonight We Could Sleep," a solo exhibition by Walt Hall. Walt continues his study of melancholic forest-scapes created on discarded wood, foreign newsprint, old-fashioned wallpaper and iconic advertising elements. Music by Triumph of the Egg. DJ Hopscotch. Special appearance by Treiops Treyfid’s amazing performance art masterpiece, the Art Critics. Food truck.

Cafe de Leche
5000 York Boulevard
A coffee shop with monthly exhibits by local artists on the walls.

4704 Eagle Rock Boulevard
Glam Rock Party. David Strother, violinist. Fun, Art, Music and Food. 6 p.m.-midnight.

Curve Line Space
1577 Colorado Boulevard
Drawings by Christine Weir. “I use Google Earth as my starting point to find interesting man-made patterns to use as subjects for my drawings. I tend to choose airports, farms, reservoirs, and sites relating to urban myths, conspiracies, military and governmental activities. These places allow me to explore ideas relating to modern mythologies and fear: nuclear weapons development and the war machine, terrorism, surveillance, paranoia, environmental decay and abandonment.”

Future Studio
5558 North Figueroa
Future Studio is taking a well-deserved break this month.

The Glass Studio
5052 York Boulevard
No Days Road Show. Featuring demos with No Days adhesive products by artist Leigh Adams, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mosaics on the walls, 6-10 p.m. Rokyo Ramen Truck in front.

José Vera Fine Art & Antiques
2012 Colorado Boulevard
Earth, Water, Fire & Spirits...Two Perspectives of Working in Ceramics. The works of Eagle Rock artists Linda Johnstone Allen & Toros Tngrian. 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
In Jose Vera’s Gallery X-43: Elemental, featuring the works of Kwithy and Eddhi.

Knowhow Shop
6019 Echo Street
A cooperative fabrication shop, design studio and art gallery. Provides a low cost work space for emerging artists, designers, architects and other creative types by offering a full collection of professional wood working tools, metal working equipment, CNC machines and shared studio space.

Kristi Engle Gallery
5002 York Boulevard

Leanna Lin’s Wonderland
5024 Eagle Rock Boulevard
Magical Summerland. An old-fashioned Coney Island filled with sea creatures, mermaids, boardwalk food, music, drinks + more! See works by Axel Honey, Crowded Teeth, Glenda Rolle, Maureen Shields and T&A Friendly. Trunk show by Ronni Kapos Jewelry. Auntie's Fry Bread (Native American fusion) truck and Lake Street Creamery (gourmet ice cream) parked in front. DJ's + special performance by Mirden at 8.

LT Mustardseed
On the corner of Ave 52 @ Arroyo Seco Parkway
The unmasking of the damselfly "Demoiselle" - LT Mustardseed-Artist at the house of Architect David Mesa. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

M2 Gallery
4501 Eagle Rock Boulevard
Sir Realist, the surreal photographic homages of Andrew Matusik. Matusik has turned to Dali, Magritte, Escher, Man Ray, and Bosh for inspiration in his editorial assignments. M2 Gallery is presenting the first showing of this retrospective of nearly a decade of surrealist inspired photomontage and imagery by the artist.

Matters of Space
5005 York Blvd.
The photography of Kate Hoffman. All the images in the show are Polaroids. The surfaces and color shifts are unpredictable and yield results that, when enlarged to this degree, look like watercolor or oil paintings. They glow.

Mi Vida Boutique
5159 York Boulevard
Craft Party Night. Glue, glitter and refreshments provided. You create the collage.

MorYork Gallery
4959 York Boulevard
"Assembled." Featured artists: Robert Heintz, Beth Bachenheimer, Rhonda Heintz and Victoria Roberts.

New Puppy
2808 Elm Street
I Have A Dream, I Have A Nightmare: Friday the 13th, on view through June 18. Ad Hoc Art gathers 33 international artists to explore dreams, nightmares, superstitions, and existence to yield creations ranging from the painfully real to the ethereal fantastic.

New Stone Age Mosaics
4532 1/2 Eagle Rock Boulevard
The mosaic studio of Mary Clark-Camargo.

An Orange Door
3188 Verdugo Road
Antonio Mendoza: "Infinity Scares The Shit Out of Me, So Why Don't We Sleep Together."

Outpost for Contemporary Art
1268 North Avenue 50
T-shirt Revival Night is a silk-screening event that features a new artist every month. Bring a favorite old T-Shirt that needs a little sprucing up or any other item you'd like to have the artist print on. Each print is only $6, or buy two for $10. This month’s artist: Eamon Ore-Giron, whose works “blend contemporary graphic design, folk and tourist art, and surrealism in a hybridity of Mexican, South American, Native-American, and other American cultures"
Ongoing is Stephanie Allespach's window piece, Sometimes, which will be presented in the window through September.

Plant Food for People
4933 York Boulevard
Preview a new vegan fast food option. 6 p.m. on.

5027 York Boulevard
A multi-purpose concept space offering an art gallery, retail environment and trend library. This month's featured artists: Erin Kellgren Temple (Resident Artist), Toban Nichols (Resident Artist), Linda Ford, Lucas Murgida, Mitch Temple.

She Rides the Lion
133 North Avenue 50
The print-making studio of Sonia Romero.

Sprout Creative Arts
5917 North Figueroa

5006_ York Boulevard
A vintage clothing store with works by young local artists on the walls.

La Vida Loca galeria
5050 York Boulevard

2 Tracks Art Studio
135 North Avenue 50
The studio of Pola Lopez and Heriberto Luna.

1215 Projects
1215 Cypress Avenue
Magnus Stark: Pinocchio’s Paradox and Other Camera-less Creations. What happens when one embarks on an alchemical journey that breaks down the definition of what contemporary photography is supposed to be?


Friday, June 3, 2011

Autry/Southwest at Arts, Parks, Health and Aging

“Hopeful chaos.” That’s how Friends of the Southwest Museum Co-chair Nicole Possert describes the outcome of today’s City Council Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee meeting regarding the Autry National Center’s plans to remodel in Griffith Park, a move undertaken, in part, to show artifacts from of the Southwest Museum collection.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who chairs the committee, represents Griffith Park and its surrounding communities. He supports the Autry’s plans and stated his belief that the purpose of the meeting was limited to correcting a City Information Technology oversight in not publicizing a Recreation and Parks Board hearing on the matter. The public was given the chance to speak at today’s meeting. From LaBonge’s perspective, done deal.
Councilmember Ed Reyes, who shares representation of the area around the Southwest Museum Mount Washington site with Councilmember José Huizar, was persistent in wanting the impact of the Autry’s plans on the Southwest Museum and its affiliated Casa de Adobe put on the table.
The third council committee member, Herb Wesson, was not in attendance.
The outcome of the meeting was that there will be more meetings—somewhere and sometime and with potentially little notice.
Forty community members were entered into the record as being in favor of taking the Southwest Museum building and its collection into account when making any decisions.
The Autry contends that the Southwest Museum is not a factor in what is before the council. Ten people attended the meeting to speak in support of the Autry’s perspective—its attorney, its board chair, its CEO, a trustee, a volunteer attorney and five staff members.
The Autry must obtain city approval for any renovation costing $25,000 or more to its site, which is on city property in Griffith Park.
Reyes is not opposed to the Autry remodel, but wanted some questions answered, including:
• Why discussion of the Southwest Museum and its affiliated Casa de Adobe is not included in the Autry’s plan;
• What the Autry’s commitment to the Southwest Museum and Casa de Adobe, as a fully functional museum, is;
• And when the Council might be able to obtain a copy of an Autry National Center plan with the Southwest Museum and Casa de Adobe included.
Autry Chief Executive Officer Daniel Finley argued against the relevance of Reyes’ questioning, saying that what was before the committee is a narrow issue and that the Southwest is part of a larger issue.
LaBonge told Reyes that he was willing to agendize Reyes’ questions for a future meeting, but he agreed with Finley on the narrow scope of today’s meeting.
Joan Cumming, Senior Director for Marketing and Communications at the Autry National Center, told the committee that the terms of the $6.6 million state grant that makes the proposed remodel possible require that work be completed by 2017. The condition of the Southwest Museum facility, including its lack of ADA compliance, would have made opening galleries there by 2017 doubtful, thereby eliminating the Autry from grant contention.
“There has been no investment in the Southwest,” responded Reyes. “That put us in this position. We have to figure out how to bring this museum to life.”
Reyes addressed an Autry contention that the center has to have its grant reporting on its $6.6 million in state funds for the remodel submitted by July, making immediate council support essential, by pointing out that the State has granted extensions before.
Northeast Los Angeles residents in attendance were very much in accord with Reyes’ line of questioning.
The Northeast Community Plan, part of the city general plan, says that the City shall support the presence of the Southwest Museum at its current location. No move can be made regarding the Southwest Museum building and its existing uses without an examination of that move’s impacts.
“The First Californians exhibit and the ethno-botanic garden [both elements of the Southwest Museum on Mount Washington, both listed as new elements for the revamped Griffith Park site] are existing uses,” said Mark Kenyon of the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance.
Darryl Ramos Young of Highland Park contended that, while the Autry National Center now has three separate sites, the view should be one of the collection as a whole.
“Impacts to all three sites—Burbank, Mount Washington and Griffith Park—should be addressed,” said Ramos Young.
“The project did not take into account the general plan,” said Possert. “Look at it carefully to make sure we are not picking up the Southwest and moving it six miles to Griffith Park.”
Marshall McKay, Chairperson of the Autry National Center Board and Tribal Chairman of Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, disagreed with Northeast residents’ contention that the collection is intimately linked to the Southwest site in Mount Washington.
“The collection belongs to the Native People who created it,” said McKay. “The Autry holds it in trust. Native people have continually endorsed this.”
McKay added that the state grant “will make the collection available to hundreds of thousands of visitors for generations to come.”
Yadhira De Leon, the Autry’s public relations manager, spoke of the Autry’s dedication to telling stories of complex cultures.
“Simplifying the argument to cowboys versus Indians does a disservice,” said De Leon.
What happens from here is rather up in the air.
Huizar staff member Paul Habib spoke for the councilmember, saying that Huizar would like to see the matter returned to the full council.
Reyes wants a report from the City Attorney before the council as to whether there can be an extension of the time framework for state grant reporting, but, the councilmember was clear, not out of any anti-Autry sentiment, nor for any impossible expansion of the scope of a specifically targeted grant. Reyes’ goal is to move forward in the hope that the future of the Southwest Museum and Casa de Adobe can be brought into a discussion with an amicable resolution.
Any changes to the original Rec and Parks decision would have the effect of sending the matter back to that department’s board.
LaBonge, however, was sticking with his contention that the council assertion of jurisdiction over the Recreation and Parks decision was specifically to allow a public hearing to be held.
“Now that hearing has been held,” said LaBonge.
LaBonge is willing to take the matter back to the full council to say that the hearing was held. However, he views impacts on the Southwest as matter for a separate discussion.
The committee ended with LaBonge stating a need to consult with the City Attorney as to how to proceed. He will then, as committee chair, either send the matter on to the full council or bring it back to the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee. The next regular meeting of the committee is June 14. If LaBonge calls a special meeting due to the tight timeline on the grant, only 24 hours public notice will be required.
On the Southwest Museum’s role in the future of Los Angeles:
“Just because the Southwest Museum’s role is historic,” said Autry Marketing Assistant and Mount Washington resident Tessie Borden, “doesn’t mean it has to stay stuck in the past.”
“Old historic buildings get transformed with new love from other institutions,” said LaBonge.
“In our eyes,” said Habib speaking on Huizar’s behalf, “[The Southwest Museum’s] place in Los Angeles future is as important as its place in Los Angeles history.”
13-year old Genesee Hall of Highland Park told the committee members of her attendance at the Arroyo Seco Magnet School where it was once possible to use the resources of the Southwest Museum in studies.
“But that program no longer exists,” said the eighth grader.
“The City of Los Angeles has to have some feeling somewhere in its gut for the oldest museum in Los Angeles,” said Louis Mraz of Mount Washington.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NELA Artists Support Ai Weiwei

Northeast Los Angeles artists have added new pieces to the gallery of Ai Weiwei inspired art. Add your work to the fence at York Boulevard and Avenue 50.