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Arts and Culture in Boyle Heights: Building Healthy Communities

Tuesday, October 20, 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory

Organized and moderated by Amy Kitchener, Executive Director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts; and Maria Rosario Jackson, board member and project advisor, Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

Presented by Cesar Castro, artist; Isela Gracian, President, East LA Community Corporation; and Jennifer Ybarra, Program Manager, The California Endowment.

The Boyle Heights multiethnic neighborhood in Los Angeles began at the turn of the century and evolved over time to today’s 95 percent Latino community, including Mexican immigrants, Mexican Americans, and Central Americans and a small proportion of other groups. It is marked by numerous challenges involving land use, transportation, resident displacement, gainful employment, graduation rates, neighborhood safety, and other health disparities, and rates of the uninsured. This session will focus on the role of arts and culture in the comprehensive ten-year place-based initiative “Building Healthy Communities” by The California Endowment underway in the neighborhood. Now at the five-year midpoint, engaging the community through arts and culture has emerged as an intentional strategy, which has deepened a sense of belonging and generated intergenerational participation by residents.

This session will feature the perspectives of a health funder, a community development organization, and a local artist who have worked together in creative placemaking or placekeeping strategies, and will include a lively dialogue about place, race, belonging, displacement, and social change. Local artists will share their work and engage participation.

This session will take place in the Boyle Heights neighborhood at the Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory.