THE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS OF LOS ANGELES:
15 YEARS OF EMPOWERING ANGELENOS
This exhibit has been created in celebration of the hard work the Neighborhood Council board members
have done over the last 15 years.
North Hollywood West and North Hollywood North East Neighborhood Councils
The "Vintage North Hollywood" mural was co-sponsored by North Hollywood North East and North Hollywood West Neighborhood Councils. The project - which beautified a previously-blighted section of Whitsett Avenue - won a 2014 Best of the Valley Award from the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils. Before and after shots are included here, to illustrate the dramatic improvement this project brought to this area. The artwork was designed by Ernie Merlán & Levi Ponce; painters on their team included artists from Exceptional Minds Studio, which teaches art skills to young autism spectrum adults. Featured in the mural - and at the dedication - is the custom Cadillac Eldorado convertible owned by tailor to the stars "Nudie" Cohn, a Ukrainian immigrant who created elaborate rhinestone suits for clients like Elvis Presley in his shop, Nudie's Rodeo Tailors, on Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. Cohn got his nickname from his first professional gigs as costume designer for classic Broadway showgirl shows like the Ziegfeld Follies. Funding assistance for the mural was provided by City Council District 2. The project used over 10,000 gallons of paint. (Overhead drone photo of the mural by Ernie Merlán; other images of the dedication and the area before improvement are courtesy of Sarah Ramsawack.)
Palms Neighborhood Council
Palms Neighborhood Council, in collaboration with Council District 10 and with the approval of the Department of Transportation, funded the painting of murals on City-owned utility boxes in their area to help foster a distinct sense of community identity. The artwork was done by Hamilton High School students, in connection with local professional artists John Trevino and Diana Sofia Estrada, and the nonprofit LA Commons. The box designs were based on stakeholder stories of Palms history, culture, and institutions.
Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council
The Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council and McGroarty Arts Center sponsor a Poet Laureate Celebration every 4 years, where a new Poet Laureate is selected to represent the area. The current Poet Laureate is Pam Shea. Pictured are a coalition of former Poet Laureates known as the Village Poets of Sunland-Tujunga: Elsa Frausto, Dorothy Skiles, Marlene Hitt, Joe DeCenzo, Pam Shea and Maja Trochimczyk.
Glassell Park Neighborhood Council
Glassell Park Neighborhood Council had artist Tom Lamb’s community map printed on wallpaper and installed it at the Glassell Park Community & Senior Center. (Photo by Marie D’Antonio.)
Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council
Lake Balboa sponsored a local mural to improve a blighted area. Stakeholder and professional artist Levi Ponce headed the project; students from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School helped with the painting. Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council members have worked over the last several years in coordination with local students at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, who are earning certificates for extra curricular activity awards. Together, they have beautified what was once one of the most blighted areas of their community. The students have done much of the design work and have painted under the direction of Lake Balboa stakeholder and professional mural artist Levi Ponce and his team, who have all donated their time to make Lake Balboa a more beautiful place.
Los Angeles is one of the melting pot capitals of the world, and Neighborhood Councils capture and celebrate the diversity of the city by fostering a sense of community identity with arts projects that beautify their streets and celebrate local cultures and places.
Since its establishment in 1999, the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment has grown into the nation’s largest and most innovative initiative in civic engagement and citizen-based government through the “EmpowerLA” movement. With a network of 97 Neighborhood Councils, Los Angeles promotes public participation in government and works to improve government responsiveness to local concerns. Visit EmpowerLA.org to learn more about how the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment supports Neighborhood Councils and Angelenos citywide.