The Youth want a local cafe in Mid City!

Growing up in Mid City we never really had a local coffee shop or community space to hang out, chat, listen to music or make art. The only thing in my neighborhood is liqour stores, pot shops and a Methadone Clinic. We didn’t have any open space to express ourselves through creativity, this lead to young kids (neighborhood youth and I) playing in the street and getting into trouble.  I always wondered what it would be like to have an open, fun creative space in Mid City and I feel if we had a place like re creation as a youth The trouble many of us got into could have been prevented and let me tell you why. Re/Creation is an open space where the community can come together and make art listen to music and meet each other, a community that can enhance creativity can also enhance passion for youth by having this outlet of Art. Below is a description of what Re/Creation is!

” Re/creation is the idea that we recreate ourselves through play. Re/creation is art,
music, yoga, dance, meditation, community, and any practice that inspires positive
change. When we are at play we are in a positive creative space that allows us to
discover new ideas, and new ways of being, that help us to better connect with
ourselves and with others.
Re/creation connects communities through creative experiences that move and
inspire people, and bring change where it is needed most. This is why we practice
an “Open Door” policy at all Re/creation events. To build a conscious community
we must remain an open community. All are welcomed. None are excluded.

Re/creation events fund and promote arts for youth and adults in disenfranchised
and impoverished areas, through awareness, donations, and community
engagement. Re/creation’s mission is to provide creative experiences for all while
providing opportunities for others to get involved to create change.”

I have spoken to the youth of Mid City about the idea of an open space like this and they think it would be a vital resource to connect and become closer as a community. 16-year-old Tyler states “I think that Recreation Cafe would be awesome because there are no places like it here, we don’t even have a local coffee shop in Mid City so a place like this would be so cool!”

17-year-old Heav Richards believes that “recreation cafe would be really important for the community but especially us teens because it would be really cool to have a space to create and make art while also having a smoothie”  A cafe like this would be awesome for the community!




Posted by Lily Larsen

I am a 17-year-old​ activist/arts advocate and have been participating in marches, protests and petitions since I was 5 years old. I serve on Mayor Garcetti's Youth Council for South LA. And have generated a petition to ban factory farming in California with over 55,000 signatures. I organize community events and get teens like me connected with social justice issues and activism all over LA.

2 thoughts on “The Youth want a local cafe in Mid City!”

  1. Hi Lily!

    I am soo glad to have found your website! It was really empowering to have taken part in Civic 2.0 at City Hall with you, Udochi and the many other youths who participated.

    Well, if there is any plans of creating a coffee shop or a recreational space open to the entire community, please consider teaming up with C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program). One of the many things C-CAP offers are paid internships to high school students across the L.A. region. The high school students who are part of C-CAP would benefit from the experience they would gain from working in a coffee shop (or any job related to the food industry).It came to my mind as it can also serve young aspiring chefs and those who want to work in the food industry an opportunity to challenge and be creative with food.To be able to share that with other people in a creative environment would be amazing. I think Re/Creation is a wonderful concept and I hope to see it thrive and make food-foward choices nonetheless!

    -Graciella Dizon

    1. Hi Ms. Dizon,

      Thank you so much for you comment and especially thank you for all the work you have done with CIVIC U 2.0, I had such an empowering and inspiring time in the program and feel ready more than ever to make a positive change in my community and ensure the youth voice is expressed in city government.

      This internship program sounds absolutely wonderful!
      I will share this information with fellow high school students as well as the creator of re/creation, I think he will think that this is a wonderful idea!

      Once again Thank You immensly for informing me of this.

      Lily Larsen

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