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Zócalo Public Square and Destination Crenshaw
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Zócalo Public Square and Destination Crenshaw: How Do You Grow a Rose from Concrete?


With an Introduction by Crenshaw High School Principal Donald Moorer and Destination Crenshaw President Jason Foster

When the people of Crenshaw found out that plans for a new Metro line called for the train to cut through the heart of their neighborhood—without stopping—they were angry and disappointed, but they weren’t surprised. Los Angeles has a long history of destroying South Los Angeles without taking local input into account. In 1963, the I-10 highway tore through the area. And in 2011, the city chopped down 119 trees to make a path for the space shuttle Endeavour.

This time, residents and local leaders responded by transforming the danger of Black erasure into a celebration of Black cultural permanence. They convinced the city not only to add a Metro stop in their community but to leverage its construction into the creation of what is anticipated to be the world’s largest open-air Black public art project. When complete, Destination Crenshaw will be home to artworks by Los Angeles artists like Charles Dickson, Maren Hassinger, Alison Saar, and Kehinde Wiley. Its architecture, streetscapes, and landscape designs are firmly rooted in Black identity, from African giant star grass—which was used as bedding on slave ships and has come to symbolize Black resilience in America—to Sankofa Park’s namesake bird, which represents the need to look to the past to build the future.

Architect Gabrielle Bullock and Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson join Destination Crenshaw senior art advisor V. Joy Simmons on the Zócalo stage at Crenshaw High School to discuss Destination Crenshaw’s genesis and design.

What Connects Us? A new transit stop and open-air museum in South Los Angeles invites a neighborhood, city, and world to consider Black history, Black art, and Black success—and the ways they tie communities together. Zócalo Public Square and Destination Crenshaw partner on a new program series.

With support from Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, The California Wellness Foundation, and Metro.

Zócalo invites our in-person audience to continue the conversation with our speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary small bites and beverages.