It's been quite a year for Leimert Park. We already have World Stage jazz, Sika fashion, Zambezi Bazaar, Eso Won books, Ackee Bamboo Jamaican food, Kaos hip hop, Sunday drum circles, Tavis Smiley,
Lucy Florence Art and more.
But one of the most exciting developments has been the Leimert Park Art Walk - held on the last Sunday of the month for the past six months. I admit I was skeptical when Melissa Jones told me her idea of turning empty storefronts into art exhibits and bringing in hip hop and emcees. The film student had come to Leimert Park Village, linked up with Ben Caldwell of Kaos and wanted to make a difference. Boy did she. I embraced the idea and promoted it heavily. And Leimert Park loved it, as hundreds and hundreds of art lovers, artists, music lovers and DJs - children and adults - mixed in the with weekly drum circle contingent to create a July to remember. Even more amazing, with the help of dozens of others, such as Kyle Verbs, they make it happen every month.
So here's my list of Leimert Park's most important stories - feel free to comment or add your own.
• Leimert Park Art Walk -
• Famous night spot Maverick's Flat reopens.• Art patron Eileen Norton, whose ex-husband Peter Norton opened the Norton Simon Museumin Pasadena, announces the opening of an exhibition and education space her gallery opening in Leimert Park Village. Funded by the Eileen Harris Norton Foundation will exhibit art and educate local children about how art can expand their learning experiences. Local artists and selections from her large collection will be highlighted, her assistant clarified. new gallery brought to you by the same people who brought us the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.
• Renowned artist Mark Bradford moves his studios to Leimert Park Village.
• New theater at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall to open in May.
• Crenshaw Farmers Market celebrated one year at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall. Though many of us were sad to see them leave the village, the market has more fresh fruits, veggies, arts, crafts and food vendors. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Fresh & Easy won near unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council to open a grocery store at 50th and Crenshaw where the Ford Dealership used to be. Though most residents welcomed the addition, a vocal minority is threatening a lawsuit that could still derail the project.• Expo Line delayed