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Artists and Designers Working with Equitable Development Goals in Mind

Tuesday, October 20, 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

Organized and moderated by Jessica Garz, Program Officer, Surdna Foundation.

Presented by Theresa Hwang, Community-engaged Architect; Leslie Ito, President and CEO, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center; and Chelina Odbert, Executive Director, Kounkuey Design Initiative.

Frequently, cities and developers fail to engage residents – particularly those from low-income neighborhoods and communities of color – in design efforts that integrate local priorities, values, and concerns. This session will highlight the work of a cultural organization, a design-based nonprofit, and a social service organization that are each taking unique approaches to incorporating artists and designers into place-based projects. The organizations are working in three distinct and historically low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles: Skid Row, Watts, and Little Tokyo because they believe that creative processes play an important role translating community values into solutions that will benefit the communities where they live and work.

This session will take place in Little Tokyo at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, and will end with approximately an hour spent walking to the adjacent neighborhood to some of the facilities owned and operated by the Skid Row Housing Trust.