Thursday, August 18, 2011

Artist James Rojas builds interactive model of Leimert Park

Today at 11am artist James Rojas is building an interactive model of Leimert Park inside Eso Won Books one of our Folk Art Everywhere sites. Stop by to say hello, or visit in the coming weeks to alter the model according to your vision of this neighborhood. (4331 Degnan Blvd. LA 90008).

Everyone is welcome to participate, particularly local residents. We want to see how you imagine your neighborhood. What should everyone know about? Where's your favorite place to get a bite to eat? To hear music? What could be made better?

Who is James Rojas and how does this work?

James Rojas is an artist, urban planner, and community activist. He uses art as a method to involve the public in urban planning and community visioning. He is the founder of PLACE IT! a design-based urban planning initiative that uses model-building workshops and on-site interactive models to help engage the public in the planning and design process. Participants are able to translate conceptual planning ideas into physical forms, and learn about the value of planning and design in shaping how we live. These types of interactive models can be catalysts for actual change to our physical and social environments.

To participate, all you have to do is show up at Eso Won Books (Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm) and move the pieces of the model around to your liking. There will also be extra pieces so you can add to the model. Additionally, a special workshop will be led by James Rojas in the coming weeks where you can build your own individual model and then share with the group what you made. To stay tuned for details, check back here, or join us on Facebook.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beat the Drum...a Global Fusion Celebration

Beat the Drum...A Global Fusion Celebration

Los Angeles, CA – On July 10, 2011 celebrate the universal power of the drum at the Craft and Folk Art Museum. Beat the Drum will present a blend of traditional and contemporary expressions on the drum, drawing on cultures from Latin America, Africa, Asia and in between. Three groups will showcase their distinctive approaches to percussion, with singing and dancing woven throughout the evening: Cava, Atabey, and Cihuatl-CE and the Huehueteros.

Although the human heart beats with one cadence, seemingly all cultures have a unique rhythmic tradition. Beat the Drum showcases drumming as a means of honoring the cross cultural characteristics of life in Los Angeles. Performances will highlight the cultural fusion of LA as well as the traditional art forms of various global traditions

Beat the Drum is also about simply delighting in the drum as a powerful emotional instrument, especially as a communal experience.

Beat the Drum welcomes Angelenos from all over the city to build common ground.

“The Craft and Folk Art Museum is well known for uniting the community through its legendary Festival of Masks that ran from the 1970s - 1990s,” shares CAFAM Executive Director, Suzanne Isken. She continues, “Beat the Drum contemporizes the museum’s goal of uniting the community by celebrating our cultural fusion, which seems as relevant now as did the celebration of our city’s diversity in the 1990s. We hope this performance becomes an annual gathering.”

Following the performances audience members will be able to join in with their own drum or percussion instrument for a large-scale community drum circle. The audience will also have the opportunity to make simple percussion instruments at the program. The Craft and Folk Art Museum will provide supplies.

Performances by:

Cava blends traditional Son, Cumbia, Ska, Salsa and Funk. The ensemble features Walter Miranda on piano, electric-keyboards and bass, Alfredo Ortiz on drums and timbales, Shaunte Palmer on trombone, and Cava (Claudia Gonzalez-Tenorio) at the helm with percussion and lead vocals (pictured above).

Atabey represents a continuous struggle of Afro-Boricua (Puerto Rican) people to maintain and promote their culture through drumming, dance and song. They incorporate bomba music, a tradition that was brought to Puerto Rico from Africa by the slaves who worked in sugar cane plantations.

Cihuatl-CE and the Huehueteros, led by Joshua Duron, moves beyond a traditional hip-hop beat, fusing Afro-Caribbean, Pan-Latin sounds, Latin-Jazz textures and aesthetics with hip-hop and spoken word. Their instrumentation includes congas, timbales, shekere, clave, buddah bells, and a traditional drum set.

Organized by Tricia Ward and Folk Art Everywhere.

What: Beat the Drum is a Folk Art Everywhere “Happening.” A project of the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Folk Art Everywhere promotes exploration of diverse communities and neighborhoods in Los Angeles through art and culture.

When: Sunday, July 10, 2011 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Where: Craft and Folk Art Museum 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90036

Performances by: Cava, Atabey, Cihuatl-CE and the Huehueteros.

Metered and free parking is available on surrounding streets.

RSVP is requested at or 323.937.4230 x50.

Artistic Direction: Tricia Ward

Tricia Ward has created various forms of collective public art as a catalytic force for over 30 years in places as diverse as New York City, Houston, Detroit and Los Angeles. Through integration of life’s disciplines, the organic, responsive and traditional art forms manifest in a site-specific process. In 1992 Ward founded La Tierra de la Culebra, a one acre community youth artpark, encompassing a 500 foot long serpentine sculptural centerpiece that includes an amphitheatre, Ziggurat and pond, fruit trees and terraced gardens. In LA’s overcrowded inner city, the Culebra provides daily activity as well as a place for visits and repose among intergenerational community members. The artpark was created as part of ARTScorpsLA, now ACLA…art…community…land…activism, which created additional community specific sites: Spiraling Orchard in Temple Beaudry, Studio Chinatown and Francis Avenue Gardens in Koreatown. Seasonal celebrations have been an interdisciplinary offering at the sites since they were developed.

Origins of Beat the Drum

Tricia Ward conceived of a Drum Festival ten years ago as a celebration of universal traditions of the drum. It was called HEARTBEATS of the 4 Continents, as all drums speak to the body, linking the heart with the rhythmic order of all heartbeats. In 2011 Los Angeles has become a place of transnational cultural diaspora. We are the 4 continents. For Beat the Drum, the groups were chosen to represent this diaspora, combining many references to traditional practice while forming a new artful and universal fusion to represent Los Angeles. With the knowledge, guidance and assistance of Joshua Duron and Soraya Medina, this celebration was contemporaneously informed by their generation and relationship to the music world of LA.

For more info: /tel. 323.937.4230 /

Folk Art Everywhere promotes exploration of diverse communities and neighborhoods in Los Angeles through art and culture. A project of the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM), Folk Art Everywhere has partnered with 24 organizations and businesses to place artwork representing cultures from around the world inside venues throughout LA County. Folk Art Everywhere is supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. The project is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and by the California Arts Council.

About the Craft and Folk Art Museum:

The Craft and Folk Art Museum is the only museum in Los Angeles exclusively dedicated to exhibiting craft and folk art. The museum’s exhibitions and public programs are created with the conviction that they should bridge local and global cultures and inspire a sense of inquiry and creativity within all people.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Call for Volunteers!

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help out at a really fun upcoming event:

Sunday, July 10 :: Beat the Drum...a Global Fusion Celebration at the Craft and Folk Art Museum

“Volunteering makes the heart grow stronger.”
--David Eisner, CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

Read on for specifics...

Beat the Drum...a Global Fusion Celebration needs:

- 2 volunteers to help with set-up on the morning of Sunday July 10 (tables, chairs, signage, trash bins, water & snacks for performers). Specific times to be determined.

- 1-2 people to help with decorations, in the afternoon of July 10. Times TBD

- 2 volunteers to staff a percussion making table. Participants will make shakers (water bottles) filled with beans and rice. Just prior to and during the event, two shifts: 5-7pm and 7-9pm.

Beat the Drum is a multicultural celebration of drumming, happening on Sunday July 10, 6-8:30pm at the Craft and folk Art Museum (5814 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036). The event will feature three drumming groups representing cultural traditions from around the globe. Participants are invited to bring their own percussion instruments, or make one at the event.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Folk Art Everywhere Project Manager, Heidi Zeller at 310.415.9451 OR heidi (at) folkarteverywhere (dot) com.

Thank you!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Location Profile: Food & Community

1. Mama's Hot Tamales, Westlake/MacArthur Park
2. Tribal Cafe, Historic Filipinotown
3. Mercado La Paloma, Exposition Park

1. Mama’s Hot Tamales

It might be the tamales. Or the bright pink, yellow and blue walls. Or Mama herself. Whatever the attraction, Mama’s Hot Tamales abounds with color and flavor you simply must savor.

Mama’s was established as an economic development project to help people transition from informal to professional micro-enterprises and food service occupations. As an anchor in the effort to revitalize the MacArthur Park neighborhood, Mama’s, under the leadership of Sandi “Mama” Romero, provides detailed business assistance through workshops, seminars, and hands-on-training for individuals desiring to cultivate their skills, experience, and knowledge in the food service industry. An Artist Co-Op provides local artists with a communal space where they can craft and sell their products.

By providing the neighborhood with indispensable educational opportunities for informal food providers, a common working space for local artists, and delicious food for both locals and visitors, Mama’s Hot Tamales notably supports Latin American cultural and economic development within the MacArthur Park community.

Drop by to check out the café, conveniently located next to a Metro Red Line stop and across the street from MacArthur Park. You may just need a stroll around the lake after all those tamales!

Mama's Hot Tamales
2122 West 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Phone: 213.487.7474
Daily: 11am - 3:30pm

2. Tribal Cafe

Tribal Cafe serves nutritious comfort food, from fresh fruit juices to seasonal greens, grains and legumes. The café’s menu is inspired by global movements in conscious food consumption.

Located in a burgeoning enclave in Historic Filipinotown (south of Echo Park Lake), Tribal Café provides all members of the community by providing opportunities for healthy food choices at low cost to people of all income levels.

Along with their funky vibe assisted by colorfully painted walls and tables (a culinary cousin to Mama’s!), Tribal Café also offers an eclectic array of live music performances, in addition to showcasing the work of local artists. Folk Art Everywhere even dropped in for a Bollywood dance workshop (see at right)!

If you like to draw, and talk politics, come to an artist talk and workshop we’re holding next Sunday, February 6 at 2pm….

Sunday | February 6
Drawing Workshop with Votan Henriquez
2:00 – 3:30pm at Tribal Café 1651 W. Temple
FREE, no RSVP required

Artist Votan Henriquez will discuss his art work, “Movement,” on view at Tribal Café and lead a drawing workshop. Votan’s work explores several different kinds of movement—political, economic, artistic—and relates to the experiences of immigrants and native peoples. Come to Tribal Café, sample their delicious organic food, listen to music and draw from your own experiences. Votan is also the owner of Nahuí Ohlín, one of our generous hosting sites in Folk Art Everywhere!

Tribal Café
1651 W Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone: 213.483.4458
Daily: 9am - 12am

3. Mercado La Paloma

Mercado la Paloma, or “The Dove Marketplace,” is a unique community development project created by the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation to re-strengthen the cultural, social, economic, and health resources in the Exposition Park area, near USC.

Located in a formerly abandoned two-story warehouse, this public marketplace has become a safe and comfortable community gathering area. Not only does Mercado La Paloma provide space for local artists, health educators, and entrepreneurs, but it also houses, on the second floor, numerous community-driven non-profit organizations providing social services to low-income families.

Filled with restaurants, bakeries, and shops, you definitely want to come hungry to this marketplace! Grab a bite at one of the many delicious and authentic Mexican, Thai, and Yucatecan restaurants while you wander amid the variety of artwork, clothing, books, pottery, flowers, and jewelry shops.

As if that weren’t enough to tempt you, the marketplace also offers special events such as visual art, music and dance, book signings, lectures, and festivals.

Mercado La Paloma
3655 S Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone: 213.748.1963
Daily: 8am - 6:30pm

Friday, December 31, 2010

Location Profile: Pulsing Plummer Park

Plummer Park is one of West Hollywood’s best-used parks with tennis and basketball courts, a community center offering yoga, language and dance classes, playgrounds for children, and plenty of tables frequented by local Russian residents playing card games.

Folk Art Everywhere teamed up with the City of West Hollywood to host a spirited “Folk Wedding” in July 2010 to much fanfare (see photos).

Always filled with an eclectic group of people, this park is a great spot for both kids and adults to exercise, play cards, walk the dog, or simply have a picnic on the grass.

Architecture fans: check out Fiesta Hall, a beautiful WPA-era building, among other stunning structures at the park.

Plummer Park
7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Phone: 323.845.0172
Daily: 10am - 9:45pm

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Location Profiles: Folk Art Kitchen

Food as art is all the rage in Los Angeles. Makes sense for a city with so many savory offerings and so many creative folk. We at Folk Art Everywhere are led around the city by our tummies, which is why we’ve ended up at so many fine eateries! Read below to learn about them, then go sample the tasties....

Adassa’s Island Cafe
in Leimert Park
Panos Pastry in East Hollywood/Little Armenia
Thailand Plaza Fine Thai Cuisine in East Hollywood/Thai Town
Little Ethiopia Restaurant in….(I think it’s obvious)
Figueroa Produce in Highland Park

Adassa’s Island Cafe

Located in the Leimert Park neighborhood of LA, Adassa’s Island Cafe offers an array of healthy sandwiches and delicious pastries, as well as rich Caribbean coffee, tea, and fresh fruits. Although it is usually known for a more serene atmosphere, the café also features a small stage for musical performances and poetry readings. If you’re craving some delectable authentic Jamaican cuisine, hop right next door to Ackee Bamboo, one of L.A.’s top spots for delicious Jamaican dishes.

Adassa's Island Café
4305 Degnan Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90008
Phone: 323.295.7275
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 8pm
Sunday: 9am - 6pm

Panos Pastry

Dubbed the “King of Baklava” by the Los Angeles Times, Panos Pastry is an old-fashioned bakery that sells Armenian, Middle Eastern and European sweets, cakes, and pastries. Be sure to try to famous “Jovina’s Chocolates” and, obviously, some of the best baklava in Los Angeles. Panos Pastry initially opened over 55 years ago in Beirut, Lebanon, and later opened a second bakery on Hollywood Blvd. in 1981. Consequently there’s a rich and abundant history packed inside these sweets that you can’t afford to miss.

Panos is located near Little Armenia’s only park – Barnsdall Art Park, which includes Hollyhock House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Next time you’re nearby, pick up some sweets, then walk over to Barnsdall for one of the sweetest views in LA.

Panos Pastry
5150 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323.661.0335
Hours: 9am to 9pm daily

Thailand Plaza Fine Thai Cuisine

Near Little Armenia is Thai Town, the commercial center for the region’s thriving Thai population, where you can find numerous delicious restaurants and curious shops. Thailand Plaza Fine Thai Cuisine is a popular restaurant located in the heart of Thai Town. The best way to go: order a bunch of appetizers for a whole table to share.

Besides offering authentic Thai food, the restaurant also presents musical performances that incorporate handcrafted Thai instruments, karaoke, and a dance floor for traditional and contemporary Thai dance performances. Go on a Saturday night and watch the regulars tear up the dance floor.

While you’re in the area, be sure to explore the color and spirit of Thai Town, the five-block stretch between Western and Normandie Avenues. It is truly a unique and artful neighborhood, a gem in the city, that offers fabric shops, Thai book stores, street markets, and, of course, various spots for flavorful Thai cuisine. Nearby are the Thai Community Arts and Cultural Center, where you can learn more about the fascinating artistic and cultural landscape of the Thai community in L.A.

Thailand Plaza Fine Thai Cuisine
5311 Hollywood Blvd. 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323.993.9000
Monday – Thursday: 11am – 1am
Friday – Sunday: 11am - 2am

Little Ethiopia Restaurant

Known for its exquisite and authentic cuisine, Little Ethiopia Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in communal settings. The herbs and spices used are directly imported from Ethiopia, so come eat out of common plates with your hands (unless, of course, utensils are requested) and enjoy the divine flavors! And don’t miss the coffee ceremony.

This restaurant advocates expanding cultural awareness by attempting to recreate the Ethiopian experience not only through authentic flavors but also through the manner in which these flavors are consumed in the social setting. The idea of community is an important value here, so don’t miss the opportunity to branch out and get to know some new people!

Little Ethiopia Restaurant
1048 S Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Phone: 323.360.4431
Daily: 10am - 10pm

Figueroa Produce

Figueroa Produce is the kind of market that every neighborhood should have. It has the feel of a friendly corner market where you know the owners, but isn’t too small that they don’t have all that you need. On the contrary: Fig Pro offers top-quality produce, meats and other goodies, with many products obtained from small, dedicated food distributors all over the globe.

The market is located in the Highland Park neighborhood, where, according to the LA Times, “Every popular Southern California architectural style from the late 1880s to the 1940s is represented, from Queen Anne Victorian and Craftsman to Mission and Tudor Revival.” Located between three sets of hills (Mt. Washington, San Rafael, and Monterey), Highland Park is also known to be one of the most striking scenic areas in the city. As for art, groups like the Arroyo Arts Collective highlight the range of artistic talents that can be found in the neighborhood.

Figueroa Produce
6312 N Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90042
Phone: 323.255.3663
Monday – Saturday: 7am- 9pm
Sunday: 8am - 7pm

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Location Profiles: Culture y Commerce

This is the second in a series of Folk Art Everywhere "location profiles" of our myriad Folk Art locations! This profile focuses on "Culture y Commerce," a description that speaks for itself. Read on...

La Casa del Mariachi

On E. 1st St. in Boyle Heights, right between the 10 and 101 freeways, lies a wonderful store that makes and sells beautiful mariachi garments and accessories traditional in Mexico and throughout Latin America. La Casa del Mariachi (“The House of the Mariachi”) provides an array of hand-crafted mariachi clothing, including charro suits, sombreros, bows and buttons. They also provide professional embroidering as well as custom-made suits and dresses to your liking. The detail, embroidering, and colors on these stunning pieces will, without a doubt, mesmerize.

“Mariachi” refers to the musical style whose roots date all the way back to the colonial period in Mexico. Most of the garments in the store are typical of not only the contemporary mariachi musician, but the traditional one as well.

Whether you’re looking to purchase or rent professional, original, and authentic Mexican and Latin American attire, or just curious about mariachi, La Casa will satisfy your mariachi needs!

La Casa del Mariachi
1836 E 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: 323.262.5243
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5:30pm
Sunday: 11am – 2:30pm
Closed Monday

Nahuí Ohlín

Nahuí Ohlín, a store in Echo Park, celebrates indigenous cultures, primarily Native American, through arts and crafts. The name of the store, "Nahuí Ohlín", which means “Four Movement” in Nahuatl, was chosen to honor ancestral wisdom and history; four is a sacred number expressing movement: the Four Directions, Four Elements, Four Seasons, and Four Major nations on this continent – the Inca, Maya, Mexikah, and Kahokia. The store sells books on indigenous literature, history and revolutionary movements in Central America and Mexikoh, as well as Alpaka hats, t-shirts, jewelry, incense, and other hand crafted items.

Don’t forget to check out the music section as well, which houses musica folclorica, music written and utilized for political purposes, and important speeches by historical social and political figures in the Americas.

Nahuí Ohlín embodies a passionate Indigenous movement that advocates cultural representation in Echo Park. Check it out and indulge yourself in the variety of cultural goods, history, information, and wisdom that Nahuí Ohlín has to offer.

Nahuí Ohlín

1511 W Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone: 213.909.5406
Daily: 10am – last customer