Two well-known Eastside artists helped launch a new online initiative Tuesday by The Music Center, aimed at providing a platform for local creators to celebrate Los Angeles County during –and in spite of– the coronavirus pandemic.
The digital series “For the Love of LA” is “designed to celebrate the diversity of Los Angeles and support L.A.-based artists representing the disciplines of music, dance, visual culture and more,” according to a press release. The series will provide more than 35 L.A. artists a platform “to express their views of Los Angeles that are relevant and reflective of the current time through video, photography and creative writing.”
Each week, works by new artists will be posted on The Music Center’s Instagram page and on The Music Center Offstage – the county arts organization’s online platform. Artists were chosen by guest curators from various partner organizations. For the first week, the guest curator was Marvella Muro, director of Artistic Programs and Education at Self Help Graphics in Boyle Heights.
The series launched Tuesday with works by Rafael Cardenas, Manuel López and Yaneli Delgado.
Cardenas, a poet and photographer known for his images of Eastside neighborhoods, collaborated with five other poets –Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Josh Evans, Féi Hernandez, Jenise Miller and Jasmine Williams– in a five-minute video set to original music by Eddika “Edule” Organista. In the video titled “For the Love of L.A.,” the words recited by the poets serve as narration over Cardenas’ striking black-and-white images documenting daily life in various Los Angeles neighborhoods.
A short version of the film is posted on Instagram:
For his contribution, López turned one of his detail-filled cityscape drawings into an animated film into which he incorporated a soundtrack familiar to many Eastside residents: the jingle of paleteros selling their wares, birds chirping, traffic passing by. López’ “meticulous drawings capture the hilly settings of the Eastside with old rooftops and sky views filled with palm trees, the tops of tall pine trees, and electric lines,” writes curator Muro.
This is Manuel López video:
A print by South LA artist Yaneli Delgado incorporates iconic images from various Los Angeles neighborhoods, including the Whittier Boulevard sign in East Los Angeles and the demolished 6th Street bridge in Boyle Heights. According to Muro, the print “brings attention to neighborhoods that have been disproportionately impacted by the [coronavirus] pandemic.”
For the second week (Tuesday, Aug. 18), “For the Love of L.A.” will feature “globally inspired” music by Kibrom Birhane and Etsegenet Mekonnen (Ethiopian); Mark deClive-Lowe (Japanese-New Zealander) and Thalma de Freitas (Brazilian).
Besides showcasing the work of the more established artists, The Music Center hopes to inspire county residents to show their own appreciation of the county and their respective neighborhoods. The public is invited to post original work on social media tagging The Music Center and using hashtags #ForTheLoveOfLA or #FTLOLA; selected pieces may be chosen and posted on the organization’s platform.