Culture

The 'Destination Crenshaw' Art Project Is A Mile-Long Tribute To Black History And Culture In Los Angeles

The 'Destination Crenshaw' Art Project Is A Mile-Long Tribute To Black History And Culture In Los Angeles

Photo: Destination Crenshaw 

Work on the new "Destination Crenshaw" art project, scheduled to begin early this year, will expose Metro riders to art work inspired by the contributions and achievements of African Americans in Los Angeles, California. 

The new Crenshaw/LAX Metro line will follow a route along Crenshaw Boulevard. Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson calls the project an "open air museum" consisting of monuments, art installations, park space, and other culturally relevant experiences to celebrate Black culture in L.A.

"The hope is that (people) understand that L.A., among other things, is quintessentially a Black city. In the same way that it's a Latino city, in the same way it’s a Jewish city, in the same way that it’s a Japanese city. The stories of Black people in this town are central to what this town is, and what it continues to develop into," Harris-Dawson said.

Photo: Destination Crenshaw 

The 1.3 mile-long art project was initially inspired by the Crenshaw Wall, which is a large graffiti project that currently stands in Crenshaw. In addition to restoring and enhancing the art of the wall, Harris-Dawson expanded his vision to include the plans for the multi-faceted Destination Crenshaw. The route will create a space for local artists to showcase their work in their own communities that they wouldn’t otherwise have.

An open call for artists has already occurred and another is scheduled to occur in order to fill 125 spots of artistic expressions, including 3D and street and fine art installations. Park space along the routes will also contain interactive activities that may feature key words or phrases that speak to the Black experience. For example, "say it loud," a phrase made popular by the incomparable James Brown as a pride filled call and response chant in Black America during the 1970s, could be the answer to a word puzzle in a park space.   

Photo: Destination Crenshaw 

A public "kick off" event is scheduled to take place on February 8, 2019 to begin to build community anticipation for the project. A few of the featured artists will be revealed along with more insight shared around the vision for the project as a beacon of community awareness and pride.