2017 / Little Tokyo: Rally to save a building for artists in Arts District, July, 29

Rally to Save Remaining Working Artists’ Lofts in L.A. Arts District/Little Tokyo

Saturday, July 29, 2017
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Corner Traction Ave and S. Hewitt Street
Arts District, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Eight working artists in some of the last remaining artist lofts in the L.A. Arts District face expected evictions following the sale of the 800 Traction building to DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners.

Gentrification has eliminated most of the working artists who gave the Arts District its name and identity as a creative, cultural space. In their place are upscale apartments, offices, retail shops, galleries and restaurants.

DLJ has not announced their building plans and the artists and community supporters are seeking corporate responsibility that accommodates rather than evicts the artists-in-residence.

The overlap between Little Tokyo and what became the Arts District led Japanese American artists to be among the first artists to settle there.  The 800 Traction building was designed by famed architect John Parkinson in 1918, and has been recommended as a City-designated Historical-Cultural building.

The artists who stand to be forced out include Bruce Yonemoto who has exhibited at the Getty Museum, Jaimee Itagaki whose photo shoots have appeared in Yolk and other magazines, and Nancy Uyemura who has created public art for the L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs.

Curbed L.A. has written “Should the Arts District still be called the Arts District when artists can’t afford to live there?”  The 800 Traction artists and their community supporters believe that working artists are vital to the character of the neighborhood and distinguish it from destinations as the Grove or downtown L.A.  The rally seeks to build public awareness and support towards reaching agreements that enable the artists to stay.

Mark Masaoka
Mobile:  (323) 356-6352