The Southeast Los Angeles SELA Cultural Arts Center project could be a game-changer, where a Latino community can have a home base for arts, culture, education, and resources !
"Children, young people and their families in Southeast LA need a space to live and thrive. A one stop to resources, arts and culture,” says Juan Escobedo, the founder and director of The East LA Society of Film and Arts (TELASOFA). They provide arts, film classes and a mentorship programing through various initiatives. TELASOFA also produces the annual East LA Film Festival that started in 2008.
A proposal by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon seeks to build one of the best cultural arts center in Southeast LA, in the most unlikely area, but it is awaiting approval."This could be the beginning of change for our community. It can be the home base to address so many issues our community is faced with but with arts and culture at its root. Arts heal ! And makes us think and inspire solutions within ourselves or as a group or community. The importance is enormous; our children and young people can take art classes down the river, it's invaluable, it’s addressing so many issues that need to be addressed. We have food insecurities, mental & physical challenges, what better way than to have a beautiful Frank Gehry SELA Cultural Arts Center to address these issues. Similar to the way our grandparents or parents did, by traveling through rain, mountains and yes, the river to seek art and education,“ adds Escobedo.
The petition, initiated by Escobedo and a community group, would mark the commencement of an art center that integrates education, art, and addresses the lack of interest from municipal and state governments.
"This petition seeks to reclaim the value of the Southeast Los Angeles and beyond. Many people may think that to travel outside our community for many youth can be easy when wanting to go visit a museum on the westside or DTLA - going outside of East LA. But it's not, it can be difficult for some to travel to a side of town that it’s unfamiliar. We need to have a space for recreation and education that can be a home base. The funds are allocated and we need to make sure they go to SELA’s Cultural Art Center, he added.
World-renowned architect Frank Gehry has designed the SELA Cultural Arts Center, and this would be the first time in history that a multi-arts facility with world-class architectural design could be built in SELA.
"We also need to ensure we have a financial strategic plan to secure the future of SELA Culture Arts Center for years to come " says Escobedo.