THE VOICE OF DOWNTOWN LA SINCE 1972 September 19, 2022 I VOL. 51 I #38 + Kay Hanley ‘Hard Pressed’ Kristen Liu-Wong paints the pressures of modern life 50 Years! SPACE RESERVATIONS: By September 21, 2022 SeptemberPUBLISHES:26,2022 Call Catherine 213-308-2261 or Michael 213-453-3548 to be part of the 50th anniversary issue LA Plaza exhibit shares stories from border crossings FROMLEARNINGCRISES
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Mother Nature gave us “logic overrides” because, frankly, your brain has more go ing on than just logic. I’m not dissing logic; it’s great! However, if you’ve read “The Gift of Fear,” you know darn well that real fear — not simply anxiety or concerns — is your friend, and you need to listen to it. How I wish I’d known this when I was in junior high. My life would have been completely altered for the better.
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Try an experiment right now: Order the fine hairs on your body to stand up. Go ahead. Nothing? Yeah. That’s what I thought.
To access the Master Classes, visit giftoffear.com.
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Why am I mentioning this now? I’m thrilled to tell you that “The Gift of Fear: Mas ter Class Series” is now available. Even better, it’s free for everyone who wants to learn more about staying safe and preventing violence. There are no ads, subscriptions, apps or other “gotchas” we are bombarded with these days. All one needs is access to a com puter, even ones found in libraries. If you feel unsafe in your own home, check the rules on computer use at your local library and watch it there.
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You may be asking, “Why is fear a gift? I want to avoid fear as much as possible; I cer tainly don’t want to untie a ribbon and unwrap it!” While I understand the desire to avoid being afraid, ultimately, it’s not a good idea. Evading fear can create an extremely limited life. We raise many of our girls to sidestep risks when ironically, avoiding teach ing them about “the gift” of fear may be the riskiest thing of all.
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Hey you! Speak up!
If we’re honest, most of us still feel like we’re teenagers: We’re awkward and unsure of how others see us. I’m still surprised when I get engulfed by big “bashful” waves. When I was a first-time author, I had to overcome heart-pounding, crippling doubt and shyness to reach out to Gavin de Becker. I wanted him to read my book “Beau ty Bites Beast” and then — if he believed in it — write the foreword. And why not? His bestselling book “The Gift of Fear” had been sweeping the country since it was pub lished in 1997; Oprah Winfrey’s talk show would eventually have Mr. de Becker on over 40Howtimes.did
I have the chutzpah to reach out to de Becker? I was a pipsqueak; he was a major squeak… a squeaky wheel making a massive difference to women’s safety for decades worldwide. And yet, my friends, he said yes! I’ll never forget the joy and aston ishment I felt when he called to say he would write my foreword. I admire him so much.
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Downtown News wants to hear from people in the community. If you like or dislike a story, let us know, or weigh in on something you feel is import ant to the Participationcommunity.iseasy. Go to downtownnews.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Let ter to the Editor” link. For guest opinion proposals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, listen to Mother Nature when she calls, and also listen to Gavin de Becker — you could call him “Father Nature.” These Master Classes are entertaining, enlightening, edu cational and transformative, all in easy, bite-size pieces. You’ll thank me.
For more on IMPACT, go to impactpersonalsafety.com.
Master Class 6 is “Protecting Teenagers.” Here’s the description: Teenage girls are the most victimized people in our society. Joined by two young adults, the class learns about early dating, explicit rejection, and the power of the word no. Speaking about his work on getting new laws passed, Gavin says, “I would trade them all for a high school class that would teach girls how to say ‘No’ and teach boys how to hear ‘No.’” I promote the nonprofit IMPACT Personal Safety classes for people of all ages, sizes, genders and backgrounds. Their classes changed my life.
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Father Nature says ‘Listen to fear’
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Ellen Snortland has written this column for decades and also teaches creative writing. She can be reached at: email@example.com. Her award-winning film “Beauty Bites Beast,” which features Gavin de Becker, is available for download or streaming at vimeo. com/ondemand/beautybitesbeast.
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Chris Sikich, Justin Ungaro
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Speaking of local, my favorite mantra is, “Think globally, act locally… there’s nothing more local than your own body!” This is one of the most underdiscussed topics in so ciety that exists. Thankfully, now all you have to do is to watch this series, a distillation of Mr. de Becker’s decades of experience, and you’ll get the remedial education we all need. I’m so proud to be in these Master Classes, I could burst.
FOUNDER EMERITUS: Sue Laris
Fast forward to now, and I was again swept away with gratitude and excitement by Gavin’s invitation to participate in taping a series of classes also called “The Gift of Fear.” I got to talk about my passion on camera! I continue to be enthused about teaching women and girls what I consider their birthright: how to protect themselves from ver bal, mental and — when push comes to shove — physical abuse. Most female and fe male-identified folks are developmentally delayed when it comes to self-protection. The media and entertainment conglomerates have brainwashed us into thinking men are “naturally” out of control and dangerous. I personally and professionally believe that so-called female helplessness, coupled with male violence run amok, is a global pan demic as deadly as any virus — but that’s another column.
Real fear, which is not the same as worry or fretting about what “might” happen, is Mother Nature’s way of letting people know when something is happening now that needs immediate attention. That’s why genuine fear is a gift: It is not logic-generated; it’s designed to keep you safe.
Covered California will helpDTCONSIDER THIS
“It really did inspire me,” she described. “It gave me hope. I come from an in ner-city community in Downtown Los Angeles back in the ‘70s where children like myself just didn’t have that. You didn’t have access to the arts. You didn’t have access to movie theaters. It was very difficult to be part of the larger community.
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer
By Luke Netzley LA Downtown News Deputy Editor
Covered California will help
Art advocates urge governor to sign bill for theater survival
hen Martha Demson moved to LA from the East Coast as a young actress studying under Sanford Meisner in the early ‘90s, her first steps through the doors of Open Fist Theatre Company changed her life forever. The nonprofit organization, which became home to generations of artistic talent, was paying $3,000 a month for its theater and the acre parking lot that surrounded it.
Today the $3,000 that used to pay for rent can’t even cover the costs of the com pany’s monthly COVID-19 tests. The rent has tripled, along with construction costs for sets and costumes.
SB 1116 co-author Sen. Susan Rubio represents District 22.
Kate Shindle is the president of the Actor’s Equity Association.
4 DOWNTOWN NEWS TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS SEPTEMBER 19, 2022
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer
Sen. Anthony J. Portantino co-authored SB 1116.
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer
“We had no money for production budgets. Everything was recycled and repur posed from movie sets and anything we could borrow, but we did have dreams,” said Demson, president of the Theatre Producers of Southern California and ar tistic director of Open Fist. “We argued about our dreams and we changed our dreams endlessly, but that wasn’t the point. The point was not only that we had dreams but that we could imagine ourselves still dreaming in the future.”
“We’re here to help these severely impacted live venues survive,” Portantino said. “So many of our young people first get introduced to the arts through that theater down the street, whether they’re volunteering or going to their first show.”
Adrin Nazarian represents the 46th California Assembly District.
“It was the faith in our future dreams that pulled us forward,” Demson described. “Thirty years later, our dreams are dim. … We’re still losing $15,000 a month, and we’re one of the lucky ones. … When we look at our future, it gets shorter every day.”California legislators, artist labor unions, performing arts employers, arts ad vocates and Hollywood stars recently met at Boston Court Theatre to urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign Senate Bill 1116, which was authored by Sen. Anthony J. Portantino and Sen. Susan Rubio to invest in arts jobs and prevent the demise of more performing arts organizations by establishing the Equitable Payroll Fund for the nonprofit arts sector.
For Rubio, her love for the theater began as a child when she earned the lead role in an elementary school show.
The bill will provide funding for both production and nonproduction employ ees and include safeguards against employee misclassification. It will also require employers to provide their policies on harassment prevention as well as diversity, equity and inclusion to encourage safe and inclusive workspaces for all workers, whether or not their job is funded by a grant. Through SB 1116, theaters in need
Shindle expressed her belief that California has underinvested in the live arts for years, citing its rank as 28th in the nation in per capita arts funding.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM DTNEWS
“SB 1116 is the result of a nearly unprecedented collaboration, at least in my experience between employers, workers and lawmakers,” Shindle described. “It’s especially important to theaters attempting to serve historically underrepresent ed and marginalized communities, which often don’t even qualify for the grants given to their multimillion-dollar counterparts.”
“I happen to have the honor of representing the densest square mile of the aters outside of New York’s Broadway, between Lankershim Boulevard and Mag nolia,” Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian said. “There were more than 22 small theaers. Ten of them have not reopened yet after COVID, so this was high time for us to take appropriate steps to make these investments necessary.”
DTLA-FEMBA-DTNews-QP-4.81x5.72-092622-outlined.indd 1 9/15/22 3:29 PM LOS ANGELES SELF STORAGE 213-784-4761 • 1000 West 6th Street, LA, CA 90017 (@ 6th St. & Beaudry) • LosAngelesSelfStorage.net Located in Downtown Just off the 110 Freeway! Controlled Access We Sell Boxes & Packing Supplies All Sizes - 5x5 to 10x40 Open 7 Days a Week Bring in this coupon and receive 5 0 % O F F THE FIRST MONTH ON SELECT UNITS * Expires 8-31-22 “BEST MOVING STORAGE COMPANY” CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
The aim of SB 1116 is to address the impacts of the pandemic on the live arts industry by providing nonprofit organizations in need with grants to help bring artists, actors, choreographers, dancers, designers, directors, musicians, produc ers, stage managers, technicians and all other personnel back onto payrolls.
“Producing theater is very, very hard,” said Kate Shindle, president of the Actors’ Equity Association. “Producing not-for-profit theater is harder, especially as we all grapple with the impact of COVID on the live performing arts.”
And so when I started doing these little shows in elementary, it just opened my eyes.”During the pandemic, the live arts industry was crushed due to the inability for people to gather in large groups indoors. A study from the National Endowment for the Arts found that the unemployment rates for artists in 2021 remained 7.2%, double the pre-pandemic level nationally.
“It’s not a coincidence that communities across the nation change for the bet ter when the arts move in, but it is a bitter pill when that same growth prices those same theaters out of those neighborhoods,” Shindle said. “A 2018 UNESCO study reported that ‘the largest subsidy for the arts comes not from governments, patrons or the private sector, but from artists themselves in the form of unpaid or underpaid labor.’ It is time to change that.”
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer
Josefina Lopez is the founder of CASA 0101 Theater.
According to a survey commissioned by Arts for LA of over 70 performing arts organizations throughout the county, theater operating capacity and audience attendance were down 50% while ticket revenues were down by one-third from pre-pandemic levels.
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Though LA’s live arts and entertainment sector continues to feel the financial toll of the pandemic with many theaters still struggling to survive, many arts ad vocates throughout the community expressed a sense of hope.
For the bill’s author, Portantino, SB 1116 isn’t just about economic growth and job security. It’s about saving the spaces where people of all ages and back grounds can come together and express themselves and their dreams through performance.“Greattheater is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fan tasize about the world we aspire to,” Portantino said. “Let’s do more than fanta size and inspire. Let’s get this bill signed so we can just plain support the arts and artists across California that entertain us, that challenge us and our conventions, and inspire us to be a better society. … The show must go on.”
ART ADVOCATES URGE GOVERNOR TO SIGN BILL FOR THEATER SURVIVAL,5
“Coming out of COVID, I feel every day how much our community is excited to be back, how much they crave the opportunity to laugh and to cry and to feel empathy, and to dream together in order to build a better world,” Demson said. “California’s small performing arts community brings people together to tell the stories that reflect our identity and let us know who we are and who we can be together. If we lose our small performing arts organizations, not only will we lose our dreams, but we will lose the dreamers of tomorrow.”
“SB 1116 is an investment in jobs. It’s an investment in small businesses,” Arts for LA CEO Gustavo Herrera said. “It’s also an investment in the economic devel opment of regions across the state of California and here in Los Angeles. … Ac cording to 2022 study by the Otis report, Los Angeles arts, culture and entertain ment generated over $160 billion in revenue, almost 1 million jobs in the region. I want us to make no mistake about this: arts, culture and entertainment are key industry sectors here in Los Angeles that drive the economic growth of the re gion alongside retail, alongside transportation, alongside hospitality.”
will be able to receive large reimbursements, which are scaled back as they grow.
Chris Mortenson/Staff photographer
Actor Parvesh Cheena rallies support for SB 1116.
Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s 9th Annual Latin Jazz & Music Festival FREEFREEFREE EVENTEVENTEVENT Saturday October 2022 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 88 2:00 p.m. El Niño Son Mayor Ft. Jesus Chuy Pérez 3:25 p.m. Cold Duck 4:50 p.m. Susie Hansen Latin Band 6:15 p.m. Joe Bataan 7:45 p.m. La Sonora Dinamita w/ Vilma Diaz Support for this program was provided through the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Levitt Pavilion Band Shell MacArthur Park, 2230 W. 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90057 Free parking on Wilshire Blvd. between Alvarado Street and S. Park View Ave.
When asked what it is going to be like playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles, he quipped: “They’re going to be playing with me. I made the playoffs last year. They didn’t.”Welcome to Los Angeles, Pat Bev, though really it is welcome back. Beverley did, after all, first make his mark in the South land with the Clippers, where he was a standout for four seasons (2017-20).“Iknow what it feels like to be a Laker and a Clipper. I’ve been on both sides, and I like it over here a little bit better,” he said at his introductory press conference with the Lakers.
DTSPORTS Los Angeles Lakers/Submitted
Analytics? Beverley for one is not impressed.
In 2009, the Lakers selected Beverley in the second round of that summer’s NBA draft. His time with the glamour franchise though was very short-lived — his draft rights were immediately traded to ChangeMiami.ofscenery is commonplace for Beverley, a man who has taken an odd route to being teammates (twice) with arguably the greatest basketball player of all time in King James.
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A native of Chicago, Beverley was initially a star at the Univer sity of Arkansas before being ruled academically ineligible. As a 19-year-old he headed overseas, the start of a three-plus year od yssey that saw him play professionally in Ukraine, Greece and Rus sia.Undersized at 6-1 and tagged as a shoot-first point guard, Bev erley has said he “grew up” in Europe. On the court he dazzled there, playing against men some 10 years his senior. Off the court, he matured, putting to rest doubt about his character relating to a cheating scandal that cost him the rest of his college eligibility.
Beverley and James were briefly teammates in Miami, but it was in Houston, and then later with the Clippers, where Beverley made his name.
atrick Beverley is one of 15 players on the Lakers roster. But he is different. He is one of just 450 guys playing in the world’s greatest hoops league. He is, however, unique. His motor on the court seems to have no end. He is relentless, intense and in your face. His renowned hard-nosed defense has left DNA on the court in every arena he has played in over the course of his 15-year pro career.
Patrick Beverley: This pest is at his best on the basketball court
Beverley’s statement was all the more interesting in that he has not yet played a game with the purple and gold. Not officially, that is.
That success includes being a three-time NBA All-Defensive Team member with more than 500 NBA games now on his re sume.Having grown into a better perimeter shooter, he has averaged as many as 12.8 points in a single season. With the ball not in his hand, he has held opposing shooters to a 41% field goal percent age over the past five seasons, good for second best in the NBA.
“This is a whole new start,” he said. “When it comes to all that stuff, I am going to be Pat. I am going to compete at the highest level and have fun doing it. I love playing basketball. It is what I have been doing since I was a kid. I love to compete.”
By Jeff Moeller LA Downtown News Contributing Writer
And his mouth… it, too, never stops. It is always active, always trash talking. He seemingly has something to say about every thing… even about his new teammates.
Patrick Beverley is known as “Mr. 94 Feet” — a nickname that serves as a tribute to his attacking, aggressive defensive style of play all over the hardwood.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM DOWNTOWN NEWS 9 DTSPORTS
A huge media storyline once the trade was finalized was how Beverley would work (or not work) with Lakers teammate Russell Westbrook. For years, the standouts physi cally — and verbally battled one another in key game after key game.
“I am going to praise Russell Westbrook here,” Kornheiser said. “He showed up. He showed up for a guy he hated for a long time.”
Champions in 2020, the Lake Show went 33-49. This past April, Beverley, as a key standout with Minnesota, was jumping on the scorer’s table and ripping off his jersey while celebrating a playoff play-in win at home against… the Clippers.
Cheerful expressions were seemingly nonexistent last year with the Lakers. The proud franchise entered the 2021-22 campaign with lofty goals. Westbrook — a ninetime All Star and UCLA product had returned home, and upon joining Davis and James the trio expected to challenge for a top spot in the postseason.
It is about winning, and Beverley the Lakers lauded his toughness and competi tive spirit upon acquiring his services might be the most interesting guy going for ward to help pull it all together.
The Pest is ready to do what The Pest does best.
“You want something, and it is finally here,” Beverley said. “I am super excited to play with those three guys.”
That drive and that emotion is best directed toward the goals of the team. It can also rub many the wrong way.
Westbrook was on hand for Beverley’s press session with local reporters. The pair were all smiles at the team training facility.
The 34-year-old Beverley is not looking to change the culture of the Lakers, but he knows he is on an older team which can benefit from endless energy. A team with NBA Championship expectations, regardless of its average age, can use all the energy it can get over the grind of a nine-month marathon.
Los Angeles Lakers/Submitted
“Everybody in the league basically hates (Beverley) unless he is on their squad,” ES PN’s Tony Kornheiser described.
New to the Lakers but not new to LA, veteran guard Patrick Beverley is as tough and competitive a player there is the NBA despite being consider undersized.
Kristen Liu-Wong’s ‘Hard Pressed’ solo show explores the pressures of modern life
“I’ve never made a body of work this large and this ambitious,” Liu-Wong described. “My largest piece in the show, I’ve never painted a panel that big and complex. … I was just pushing myself, both technically and conceptually.”
LA Downtown News Deputy Editor
“This year has personally been stressful for me,” Liu-Wong said. “Things tend to pile up where you don’t expect, and I think it was just those pressures that I was feeling from my personal life and hearing about all the crazy (expletive) going on in the news, trying to be a good partner, be a good friend, be a good daughter, family member, sis ter.“I feel like worrying about things, and strife and stress are part of the human condi tion, but I feel like that’s been really amplified for the past few years and I’ve felt really inspired by my own efforts to juggle different aspects of being a person, like my per sonal life, work life, social life.”
Since 2013, Liu-Wong has been featured in galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad and has worked with an acclaimed list of clients such as Vans, RVCA, Adidas and Adult Swim on projects ranging from murals and editorial illustrations to clothing lines. Her new solo show at CHG’s Gallery 2, however, is one of her biggest yet.
By Luke Netzley
trying to organize solo shows alongside her own wedding, which was de layed during the pandemic, it’s been a stressful start to the year for LA-based art ist Kristen Liu-Wong. However, amidst the hardship she has been able to channel her emotions into her newest body of work, “Hard Pressed,” which will be on display at DTLA’s Corey Helford Gallery until Saturday, Oct. 22.
The “Hard Pressed” show is comprised of multiple mediums, featuring paintings on cradled wood panels and a large 15-by-10-foot unstretched canvas as well as framed paintings on paper done in acrylic and acrylic gouache and painted wood cutout sculptures.Withavibrant palette rich in patterning, Liu-Wong’s collection explores the internal and external pressures born from everyday responsibilities and obligations in personal, professional and social spheres. Liu-Wong reflected that this year has felt like a balanc
10 DOWNTOWN NEWS TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DTARTS & CULTURE
LA-based artist Kristen Liu-Wong’s show “Hard Pressed” was inspired by the internal and external pressures and anxiety she has felt since the start of the year.
ing act with the backdrop of disease, war, environmental disasters and social discord running rampant on the news.
WHEN: The show will run through Saturday, Oct. 22.
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For instance, her piece “She Burned All Night,” which she also called “Wicker Woman,” was inspired by both the 1973 film “The Wicker Man” and the U.S. Supreme Court’s de cision to overturn Roe v. Wade this year. The image features a woman on fire with ani mals burning in her limbs.
WHERE: Corey Helford Gallery, 571 S. Anderson Street, Suite 1, Los Angeles
“Hard Pressed” by Kristen Liu-Wong
While her pieces are highly personal, Liu-Wong expressed that she strives to paint them in a way that allows people to form their own interpretations.
While her work has been displayed across numerous platforms online, Liu-Wong ex pressed that her pieces are made to be seen in person and that viewing them at CHG is the best way to truly connect with “Hard Pressed,” especially after the pandemic.
COST: Free admission
“Not So Different” by Kristen Liu-Wong
“I had all of these feelings molding inside me,” Liu-Wong described. “I wanted this ‘Wicker Woman,’ by changing the figure to a woman, to act as a metaphor for how I feel, historically and right now, we’ve been treating women in society. … I’m not necessari ly a political artist, but I did feel inspired to make an image that I felt like would capture how I felt about the situation. I felt that by having a woman now burning … that makes a more powerful image.”
“I like using sometimes ambiguous imagery or things that symbolize something spe cifically to me, but I know that they can be interpreted in many ways,” she explained. “That’s the great thing about painting, that I can leave something that can be interpret ed multiple ways for people and it’s to them. Not everything needs to be spelled out.”
Liu-Wong often uses symbolic elements, such as flowing water, to act both a physical force adding to the visual composition of a piece and also a thematic force represent ing the feeling of being surrounded and overwhelmed.
“It’s so important to me to be able to share my work physically with people,” she said. “Art is, in my opinion, best experienced in person. You can see a painting on your screen all day, but there’s something about standing in front of it and seeing the brush strokes, seeing the colors, seeing the size at which it was meant to be experienced, and then also being able to have an opening and share your work with people in that way and have a sense of community. I think that’s really important.”
ken part of American history. Because the issue is so complicated and horrify ing — and the play deals with such trig gering events as sexual assault — Studi said she understands there could be re sistance to it.
By Bridgette M. Redman LA Downtown News Contributing Writer
It is a play that resonated with DeLan na Studi, artistic director for Native Voic es at the Autry, because the language is so captivating, and it captures an Indige nous“She’svoice.such a beautiful storyteller,” Stu di said of Rushing. “She does something that I call Indigenous storytelling. A lot
tor Sylvia Cervantes Blush said.
“Placida, my great-great grandmother was sold into slavery as a child. She had my great grandfather when she was only 11 or 13 years old. My grandparents, Rosa and Joe, moved to California to es cape sharecropping, but the other half of my family is still in New Mexico.”
an.This is the first time that Native Voic es and the Latino Theater Company have done a joint production. Coming out of COVID-19, many theaters were strug gling with production costs and reached out for more funding, especially through grants.Native Voices and Latino Theater Com pany received grants from the Mellon Foundation to produce intergeneration al plays. They learned of each other and realized each had strengths from which the other could benefit.
She said there are many Indigenous people trying to reconnect with their past, especially if they didn’t grow up in an Indigenous community or culture. Oftentimes, they meet roadblocks when trying to learn about their past because of the horrible events that happened, which their elders do not want to dis cuss.“There’s so much that happened to our parents and our grandparents that was so traumatic, they don’t speak about it,” Studi said. “So how do you find those pieces? How do you uncover who you are?”In“Desert Stories,” Carrie learns about the family’s background and this unspo
“The characters in the play are all based on my ancestors,” Rushing said.
In this play by Lily Rushing, 18-yearold Carrie tries to learn about her iden tity and her heritage when she moves in with her grandmother, Rosa, who is fighting off dementia and memory loss. As they touch objects in the house, they are thrown back in time to Rosa’s mem ories and Carrie learns she is descended fromRushingGenizaros.was in college when she started researching her Genizaro iden tity. It led her to write this semi-autobi ographical play.
Theaters of color share little-known American history
Native Voices at the Autry/Submitted
“Desert Stories for Lost Girls” is a semi-autobiographical new work by playwright Lily Rushing, a descendent of Genizaros.
“What excites me about ‘Desert Sto ries’ is that it touches on very dark sub ject matter in a poetic way that lends itself for highly theatrical staging,” direc
Native Voices at the Autry is an Equi ty theater company that develops new works by Indigenous playwrights. Ev ery year, they issue a call for scripts that are developed at a playwright’s retreat.
While few Americans know much about Genizaros, they make up onethird of the population of New Mexi co. In the early 1600s, Spanish colonists wanted to “re-educate” or “de-tribalize” the Native people of the Southwest. The Spanish kidnapped and then later bought war captives from the surround ing tribes, including Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, Navajo, Pawnee and Ute. The cap tives were taken into the households, taught Spanish and forced to convert to Catholicism.Thekidnapped Natives worked as household servants, tend fields, herd livestock, and serve as frontier militia to protect Spanish settlements. As en slaved people, many endured physical abuse and sexual assault. The Spanish called these captives and their children Genizaro, and they were often rejected by white and Indigenous populations.
Collaborative storytelling will take centerstage Friday, Sept. 30, to Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Los Angeles Theatre Cen ter as the Latino Theater Company and Native Voices at the Autry world pre miere “Desert Stories for Lost Girls.”
She also said when people think about slavery in America, they don’t consider Indigenous people, and that is another important reason to share this story.
Rushing’s work, which she started as a student at DePaul University, was dis covered there.
“It challenges us to let go of our ex pectation for a safe narrative. It invites us to lean into the words and visual sto rytelling to have an experience.”
“There are a lot of people who don’t want to uncover the history, or they think the history should just be lost in the past,” Studi said. “But the truth is, we have to learn from it in order for us to grow from it.”
The time is right. Narratives began changing during the COVID-19 pandem ic, and the world is ready for these pre viously forgotten stories from history — in particular this story that is not told by an old, dead, white playwright, but a young, contemporary Indigenous wom
of our people believe that the ancestors are always with us. In her play, they’re there. It’s not a big, ghostly moment, it’s just how we live our lives.”
ollaborating and telling stories are two things that theater does very Oftentimeswell.theaters are the places where audiences discover little-known and underrepresented stories.
Also, this was a story that belonged to both communities, albeit in different ways.The play will appear on the Latino Theater Company stage and will mark the first time that Native Voices has host ed a world premiere on an actual stage and not a lecture hall. Each company is sharing donors and going on school tours.Studi has high praise for Blush, say ing she’d love for Blush to direct all her works. Her deep thoughtfulness is some thing that has made her a good fit for this“Evenproject.though she’s not native, she is Latino and Indigenous,” Studi said. “She has that cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity that we can’t get from people usually who are not native. She’s inter preting this project with such care. Her approach is that our playwright is cen tral to the process.”
Blush and Rushing capture Rushing’s vision. Blush challenges the actors to
12 DOWNTOWN NEWS TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DTARTS & CULTURE
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM DOWNTOWN NEWS 13 DTARTS & CULTURE
It’s a story Studi said is for everyone, and she hopes that people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds will come out and learn about this piece of history and be entertained by great theater.
WHERE: The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles COST: $10 to $48
INFO: 213-489-0994, latinotheaterco.org
DeLanna Studi, the artistic director of Native Voices at the Autry, leads the collaboration between her theater group and the Latino Theater Company.
“Desert Stories for Lost Girls” by Lily Rushing by Native Voices at the Autry and The Latino Theater Company
Native Voices at the Autry/Submitted
“It’s a story about a woman suffering from dementia and how does she relate to her relative,” Studi said. “It’s a story about love and loss and resiliency. Most importantly, it’s a story about hope.”
“If you love theater, you’re in for a re ally wonderful night at the theater,” Stu di said. “This is a great piece to see. It’s
WHEN: Previews Sept. 28 and Sept. 29; performances Friday, Sept. 30, to Sunday, Oct. 16; 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, and 4 p.m. Sundays
dig deeper into their roles and the sto ries they are telling. The actors, Rudi de scribed, bring a wealth of knowledge to the story. They are mostly members of the Native Voices ensemble and they un derstand the importance of bringing the playwright’s words to life.
haunting, and it’s telling the story in both prose and verse. It’s just gorgeous. It’s an exemplary piece of American the ater. If you’re a history buff, it’s a won derful story. We unpack part of our his tory that no one talks about, and I think that’s exciting.”
It is also, she said, a story about a fam ily told jointly by a native theater and a Latino theater.
14 DOWNTOWN NEWS TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DTARTS & CULTURE
By Luke Netzley LA Downtown News Deputy Editor
ne of the largest international humanitarian crises in the world lies fewer than 130 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, where the Unit ed States border emerges from the sea and cuts across the arid Southwest be fore disappearing into the Sonoran Des ert.According to reports, over 650 people died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico bor der in 2021, more than other year since the International Organization for Mi gration began documenting deaths in 2014. With its new multimedia exhibi tion, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes shows the personal experiences of immigrants traversing to the U.S. on foot through jungle and deserts alike to raise aware ness about the dangers and deaths of the arduous journey.
New exhibition shares stories from deadly U.S.Mexico border crossings
The “Hostile Terrain ‘94” exhibition shares the stories of migrants traveling up through Central America and into the Sonoran Desert along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The “Hostile Terrain ‘94” exhibition, which will run until Sunday, July 9, 2023, was named after the immigration en forcement strategy put into place in 1994 known as “Prevention Through De terrence,” which was designed to dis courage people from crossing borders near urban ports of entry and leave only “hostile terrain” behind. This terrain has claimed an estimated 10,000 lives since 1994.“Those policies are still enacted to day,” LA Plaza senior curator Karen Crews Hendon explained. “Many peo ple die from exhaustion. They die from hypothermia. It’s extremely dangerous, the most dangerous part of their jour ney. And you can imagine there’re many points of danger, but especially after they cross into Arizona. … That desert is deadly.”The“Hostile Terrain ‘94” exhibi
“At one point we have all been mi grants,” Hendon said. “We’ve all come from somewhere. We have all moved, whether it’s by force or not.”
ter for Human Rights. There will be fly ers with information on how to get in volved, where to donate and how to help enact political change.
“Immigration policy is something that very much affects our community and Los Angeles at large. … We want to bring this home to Los Angeles because this is where people are trying to get to. This is where we are a conglomerate of immigrants from all over the world.”
Along with immersive photograph ic narratives, found personal objects, films and testimonies of people who have crossed the border, “Hostile Terrain ‘94” will feature a 16-foot wall map of the Arizona/Mexico border. The instal lation was built as a memorial to com memorate the dead and consists of an
“When those folks go out into the des ert, they are finding people who have died along the way, locating their re mains and doing DNA processes to re unite those people with their families,” Hendon described. “They work with or ganizations to identify these individu als, their names, their age, the cause of death, the body condition, and they lo cate the specific latitude and longitude of where these individuals were found.”
“We know it’s heavy. We know it’s hard. We know it takes a lot of struggle and political change to get people to change, but it is a healing journey for these families. That is what the Undoc umented Migration Project and Colibrí Center aims to do. … It is a movement to come together, demand justice and make sure that these lives are not for gotten and that these individuals are not invisible.”
HOURS: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday COST: Free admission INFO: lapca.org
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WHERE: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 North Main Street, Los Angeles
“Hostile Terrain ‘94”
“It’s a humanitarian crisis that we’re bringing to the surface so that we can have these conversations,” Hendon said.
interactive workshop where visitors can write the names and information of de ceased individuals onto toe tags and place them on a memorial map where their body was found.
By recording the journeys and testi monies of undocumented migrants who attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, and their families left behind, the team at LA Plaza aims to expose the mortal ef fects of and inspire dialogue around im migration enforcement.
“The Memorial Wall Map is something very cathartic and something that’s also very shocking for folks,” Hendon said. “The toe tag wall consists of over 3,800 toe tags. It is missing persons and found remains of people all the way up through Dec. 31, 2021. Inside the gal lery, there’s an opportunity for people to write out the toe tags of people that are missing or have been found this particu lar year in 2022. … When you sit down, read out their names and you see what happened, a lot of them are under 40 years old. A lot of them are just kids un der 25 years old crossing the desert.”
tion is based on the collaborative re search of UCLA anthropologist Jason De León, who is the executive director of the Undocumented Migration Proj ect (UMP) and the Colibrí Center for Hu man Rights. The UMP began in response to the alarming number of deaths fol lowing the policy changes of 1994. The nonprofit’s mission is to work with DNA specialists to help reunite families with loved ones who died while migrating.
“This is brutal. This is a crisis. This is what’s going on. This needs to change, and how can we change it together?” Hendon asked. “But also … how can we commemorate these people?
Within the exhibition, there is also a recording studio where visitors can share their own migration stories, no matter where they come from.
At the end of the exhibition, after vis itors have taken the journey through the jungles of Central America and the sands of the Sonoran Desert, LA Plaza has displayed a section to support the missions of the UMP and Colibrí Cen
Kay Hanley plays the Moroccan Lounge on Saturday, Sept.
By Ron Wade LA Downtown News Contributing Writer
I had nobody modeling that to me. And it changed my life. Now I see how I could make a career out of this.
it feel to have this younger fan base look up to you?
Did revisiting those songs bring back good memories or melancholy ones?
You mentioned that it was around time, you started doing “Josie and the Pussycats” as well. Was that your gate way to writing for movies and televi sion?
You’ve given the next generation not only the roadmap to how they can do this and make a creative life, but you’re fighting for their rights with the Song writers of North America (SONA).
Hanley discussed why “Cherry Marma lade” is a defining point in her career.
It feels great. When Cleo got back to gether in 2017 and went out on the road, we were stunned by the response of people who became fans of ours af ter the band broke up through movie soundtracks and stuff like that. It was enormously gratifying because these were people who just assumed that they would never see us play and we had nev er met them before. It gave us so much. When you play for an audience, you’re really feeding off of them. And for us to play in front of an audience that was so psyched, we weren’t expecting that. To hear that people were afraid about let ting their kids watch TV and then discov er a show like “Doc McStuffins,” which has such incredible empowering themes for girls — especially girls of color — and
that they love the songs, that’s awesome. That’s why I do it.
All of them! (laughs) I’ve forgotten all of them. I’ve started playing them on Insta gram and not practicing them in advance. Just going on Instagram and learning them cold and playing them very badly. It’s basically showing the process of what it’s like to try and relearn your own songs.
Kay Hanley looks back while charging forward Ungaro/Submitted
It was uncharacteristically forward thinking of me last year. Something came up — some kind of reminder that “Cher ry Marmalade” was going to be turning 20 this year. And I was like, “Oh! Maybe I should do something for that!” I talked to my manager, Creamer, and our friend, Jay Coyle, who does a lot of the merchandis ing planning for Cleo. We were like, “Well, we have a year. Why don’t we put in an order for vinyl?” Because as you proba bly have heard, the queues for getting vi nyl are very long. So, we put in an order and in the time that it took to have to get my (stuff) together, I reached out to Andy VanDette and got it remastered. (Van Dette said) “In order to keep the fidelity of this, I can’t really fit the whole record on two sides of vinyl. Would you consid er doing a double album?” And I was like, “OK!” (laughs) The thing just kind of took on a life of its own. And I’m very glad that it did.
den, without all of my party friends. I just picked up a guitar and started writing. I remember taking the first batch of songs to Mike Denneen, who had been Cleo’s longtime producer.
He said, “We gotta make a record!” And that’s exactly what we did. I took a little break from writing it to go do “Josie and the Pussycats” (laughs) All this new stuff was happening for me. I got pregnant, had a baby and did this job that I had never done before. It was literally like … I turned a page and the next chapter of my life unfolded. And with “Cherry Mar malade,” I wrote all about that experience on this record. I didn’t realize how … au tobiographical it was until I went back to it. Cleo was very collaborative. It was very much like a family making a record. We were just always together. And in making “Cherry Marmalade,” it was not like that. It was very much my record. And me being challenged to do things differently in the studio than I had before was really cool.
ay Hanley is extremely busy. She writes and records music for ani mated TV shows like “Doc McStuff ins” and “Vampirina” and movies. She advocates on behalf of songwriters for fair streaming royalties. She’s an accom plished solo artist and also the lead singer of the alt-rock band Letters to Cleo. She’ll celebrate the 20th anniversary of her de but solo album, “Cherry Marmalade,” with a Saturday, Sept. 24, show at the Moroc can Lounge in DTLA.
What made you want to revisit and reissue “Cherry Marmalade”?
A lot of young fans are discovering your music through your animated TV work, “Parks and Rec” or movies like “10 Things I Hate About You.” How does
That’s exactly what happened. The first batch of songs was for the movie. There was no soundtrack at the time. (Hanley’s daughter) Zöe Abel was 11 months old at the time, so we like came and lived in a hotel and I would meet Babyface at this studio or that studio or at his house, where he had a studio in the backyard. I saw how much control he had over his creative life and his ability to make a liv ing at it. How people valued his work and would pay him for it. So, it was kind of a revelation to see how he lived a purely creative life, but he was also a business person. And I had never seen that before.
Revisiting the songs from “Cherry Mar malade,” did you have to relearn any of them?
I haven’t, but that’s a really good ques tion because I could see that happening.
16 DOWNTOWN NEWS TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DTARTS & CULTURE
Oh, amazing memories. When I went back to listen to the songs, it was a time capsule of a really special and important time of transition in my life. And I didn’t realize how much I liked those songs. We had just finished the Cleo tour, which was actually pretty dark, and I think we were all kind of seeing the end of the road and Michael, my ex-husband, was get ting ready to leave for Maui to go make (Veruca Salt singer) Nina Gordon’s solo re cord. Two days after he left for this eightweek recording session, I found out I was pregnant! (laughs) I’m without my collab orator, without my band, and all of a sud
Has that process sparked anything new? Where you start playing some thing and say, “That’s not right, but it sounds good and I’ll save it for later”?
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24
I don’t have any bandwidth to plan any surprises. The whole thing is going to be a surprise. (laughs)
WHERE: Moroccan Lounge, 901 E. First Street, LA COST: Tickets start at $25 INFO: themoroccan.com
keep my head on straight. I have to make sure that I get enough sleep. I need to make sure that I’m exercising. I need to make sure that my mental health and my emotional health is on track. Because I don’t want to miss any of this. I don’t want to feel burdened by it or stressed out. I just want to show up for work and bring my best self and really enjoy this unbelievable opportunity that I’ve been given.
So you’re going to go the Jack White route and not have a set list?
Will there be any surprises or guest appearances this Saturday?
Kay Hanley fronted Letters to Cleo in the 1990s.
Kay Hanley w/Maryleigh Roohan
I did start writing a new record last year. I’m not going to play any of the new ma terial on this tour, but I do have a bunch of new stuff in the pipeline.
“Kindergarten the Musical” was re cently announced. How exciting is it that you get to produce your own show?
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No way! I have to have a plan, you know? The band is flying out here and we’re going to rehearse for a couple of days for the LA show. These are people who I’ve been playing with off and on for 30-some-odd years, so as soon as we get in the room and start playing, I’ll know what feels right.
My God, what have I gotten myself into? (laughs) Michelle Lewis, Dan Petty and I have been writing and production partners working in animation for the last decade. So, this is what I do. I write music for cartoons all day, every day. I’m very fa miliar with it. Right before the pandemic, we sold a show to Disney called “Kinder garten the Musical,” and it got greenlit in the spring. Usually when we’re writing for a show or a series, all the work is done. The script is written, the characters have been created, the world has been built, and we get the script and we write to the script. Now it’s not like that! We are the writers. We are the executive producers. We’re involved in literally every aspect of the series, which is the coolest thing ever, but it’s also an extraordinary amount of work and responsibility. I really have to
Scott joined Emarosa in 2014 and, af ter releasing two alternative rock al bums, he couldn’t shake the urge to re visit the sounds he adored in his youth.
“All of our stuff is very ’80s pop-in spired these days because I was raised in that music and it’s nostalgic for me,” vocalist Bradley Scott said. “I’ve always wanted to put that into my music.”
By Alex Gallagher
In addition to announcing the new
record and releasing “Stay” on Sept. 14, fans were treated to a zany music vid eo for the new tune that has references to the hit ’80s film “Teen Wolf,” and Scott said it allowed him to channel his inner Michael Jackson.
With the third single released, Scott is excited to get the album out and get back to playing live shows.
tastes have changed and evolved. So has our Althoughmusic.” there has been somewhat of an ’80s resurgence in pop culture through shows like “Stranger Things” and the “Karate Kid” spinoff series “Co bra Kai,” Scott said Emarosa’s new sound is purely a coincidence.
Electro-pop’s Emarosa returns to airwaves with new single
A’s Emarosa returned to radio on Thursday, Sept. 15, with the re lease of its latest single, “Stay,” which will appear on the band’s 2023 al bum“Stay”“Sting.”isEmarosa’s third single this year, following April’s “Preach” and July’s “Attention,” all of which aligned with the poppy sound it debuted on its success ful 2019 album “Peach Club.”
From left, guitarist ER White and vocalist Bradley Scott of Emarosa released the single “Stay” on Sept. 15 and announced their next album, “Sting,” will hit stores in January.
“They’re going to get a very big taste of the record before it comes out, which I think is a good move, especially this day and age, instead of just like throw ing it all out there and saying, ‘Here’s the record,’” Scott said. “This way, five of those songs on the album are get ting potentially way more attention now than they would have gotten if we just released the record and then people just skimmed through the record.”
However, he is confident in the five singles that will be available before “Sting” is released. He said he feels that giving fans half of the album in advance will make it more palatable.
LA Downtown News Staff Writer
“Now we’ve just kind of leaned into it a little bit more unapologetically.”
Since making what he calls a natu ral progression from the alt-rock album “131” to the band’s new, poppier sound, Scott hasn’t looked back. He plans to put out two more singles before “Sting” hits shelves and streaming services in January. However, he admitted that choosing singles was not an easy decision.
“We haven’t been able to perform in years because of the pandemic, and we want to make sure that when the time comes, it happens we’re not left empty handed,” he said.
“We got custom letterman jackets made and they’re the same colors as Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ jacket,” Scott said enthusiastically. “I think watching the video along with a song helps bring that song to life.”
“When we turned the record into the label, it was pretty much like ‘Here are 10 singles’ and we kind of let them have their hand (in it), but we still had our choices,” Scott said.
“We grew up listening to ’80s (pop), and I love that there’s such an ’80s resur gence right now because there’s more for me to consume that I enjoy,” he said. “But as an artist that’s always been the case, even going back to a record we have called ‘131,’ which came out six years ago, that has songs on it that have a very strong ’80s influence.
“Our earlier records were alternative rock and much heavier, and that’s fine because when we were younger. That’s what resonated with us,” Scott said. “I don’t think that artists should be forced to stick to what resonated with them 10 to 15 years ago, and I love that, as our
18 DOWNTOWN NEWS TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 DTARTS & CULTURE
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