I had just gotten out of a civic youth LA meeting when i noticed a bunch of tents camped right across the street from where i was which was city hall, my friend and i decided to go check it out first, there were a bunch of people sitting in a circle listening to each other talk about why they are here and peacefully protesting their rights they were very welcoming inviting us to join, so we did.
We learned that one of the reason these protesters are here is to get the Police Chief of LA Charlie Beck fired because of the fact that another innocent black person was killed by the police and the officer(s) who committed the crime got away with it, they are gonna stay camped out in front of the Kenneth Hahn building of administration, it is public property so people can stay there as long as they have a sign of any sort placed on there tent. I decided to spend the rest of my day at the protest finding out that it was a Black Lives Matter LA protest i helped out as much as i could. Relocating beverages and organizing all the food and snacks that supporters and volunteers had brought to help out with. There was also a ton of essential needs such as first aid, toothbrushes, health care items, craft supplies etc. It was a lot of work but worth it seeing how worn out the activists that have been demonstrating there rights there for days- non stop thus meaning not being at home not being able to take showers, not go to work and more yet they were still strong as ever. I met some very old activists 2 of them being in there 90s and doing whatever they can to help so me being the youngest teenager there did whatever i can to help them too and whoever else just needed some time to sit and rest. The BLM occupy city hall protest is still going on today and strong, it was an amazing experience that i will probably come back to later this week and go help out again. I met hardcore activists that devote there life to the well being of others which was inspiring and makes me want to do the same.
I recommend anyone who wants to help out with the occupy city hall protest to go help out bring food, blankets, whatever they need that will help them on this journey and hopefully justice will be served so these awesome activists can finally get a break.
Currently on Center Theatre Groups Student Ambassador program there are many things i have learned and we have been planning a summit but not just any summit, this summit that my arts advocacy group and i have been planning since November is to let students know that they should have access to the Arts in there schools!!!
We will be doing a mix of workshops including a zine making workshop followed by where the arts really are in your community and/or school district! There is much more but your going to have to find out for yourself! Here are the details!
For more information, contact Felipe Sanchez at 213.972.7587 or StudentBody@CenterTheatreGroup.org. Schools or organizations are welcome to bring groups of students to this event. All workshops are teens-only.
CTG has taught me a lot whether it be about Theatre, Social Skills, Activism, Leadership, Communication skills and MUCH more!
Being in the program you get access to many opportunities such as seeing plays, attending workshops all for free and much more! Did i mention you get paid 500$ stipend in the end or community service hours for completion of the program! But that is not what this program is about- Its about building a trust and friendship with people who may be very different from you or very similar and working on helping the arts and our community such as fighting for arts in public schools, making the arts more accessible and much more. One reason i applied is because i want to use theater as a form to connect and inform people with their community.
In order to get in you first submit an application then if you get accepted into semi finals it is a group audition where you sort of get assessed on your teamwork and leadership skills and more but in a fun way through games and food!
Then once you get in there is an orientation with breakfast where parents and guests were invited to hear more about the program and have a nice brunch with a scavenger hunt we went around downtown and grand park in teams to find clues to solve puzzles resulting with awards ! It was super nice because it was like i was in another decade not having my phone on me was super nice for a change! I also wasn’t about anything except if solve the clues and riddles right!
The program requires a lot of commitment missing more than one meeting could result in removal from the program if you know that you are going to be busy any of those days or just not show up at all it might not be the best fit !
Every meeting starts with some nice food (as always) and some warm ups to get everybody confident and ready to work. Some exercises includeAugusto Boal and also some that involve speaking out and becoming comfortable with yourself and who YOU are or what you identify your self as.
This is just a start i have SO much more to say and am going to be posting more about each meeting !!!
If you want to learn more about the education programs CTG offers click HERE!
Just recently i got the chance to write about one of the many student oriented events Center Theatre Group has had called Crash Course diving into the play Father Comes Home from the wars parts 1,2, and 3 by the great Suzan-Lori Parks! . CTGs environment is always welcoming and warm and i am now on there Student Ambassador program which im super grateful for!
Here is my Article!
During the best of/worst of times called “adolescence,” finding a passion for something—and getting support for others as you pursue that passion—can save your sanity, and maybe even your life! Center Theatre Group’s Theatre Crash Course opened its arms and its doors to a group of adolescents trying to find that passion in theatre—and inside those doors is a world of possibilities.
Getting into the three-day Theatre Crash Course, which is free and open to teens all over the city, is based on your own initiative, not on competition. The fact that no prior experience is needed is really great for some teens who haven’t found their niche yet. Beforehand, everyone signed up for the discipline of their choice: lighting and scenic design, costume design, acting, or directing. I chose costume design, which sounded super interesting and was totally new to me.
Being welcomed into Center Theatre Group’s creative family may be one of the most enjoyable and exciting experiences I’ve had as a young theatre artist. From the moment my fellow Theatre Crash Course participants and I stepped into CTG’s Downtown L.A. headquarters, we were put at ease by a warm and open vibe, nice music, and a CTG swag bag! Did I mention that they fed us? I arrived on two buses straight from a long day at the L.A. County High School for the Arts and was starving before every session, so the fact that they anticipated teenage hunger made me feel “got.”
After theatre games (which break all social barriers in seconds), we dove into deconstructing the play: exploring and unpacking the tone, themes, and overall world of Father Comes Home From The Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan-Lori Parks, an upcoming production at the Mark Taper Forum. This epic drama follows the fortunes of a slave, Hero, who heads off to fight in the Civil War—on the Confederate side! That alone was enough to pique my interest. The questions the play posed about slavery and freedom provoked discussion and debate in our group: a necessary practice—and a playwright’s job. The play’s world taught us so much about the era as we connected to it in an emotional way—which is very different from when we studied this period in school.
Then we got into action. Our teaching artist shared what it’s like to be a professional costume designer, which made me put it on my list as a possible vocation (there are a lot of actors, not so many costume designers). CTG supplied us with crafts and materials—everything from big sparkly gems to rough burlap—to start designing outfits for maquette dolls, as well as magazines so we could cut out or draw our ideas for what we think would fit each character best. We searched for ideas online and tried to figure out what people wore in the 1800s in the South, which meant comparing fabrics for house-working slaves to field-working slaves and looking up what breeds of dogs accompanied soldiers in the Civil War. (There’s a dog in the production, played by a human.)
The second workshop challenged us, but we rose to it! We cut all the fabrics to create the costumes we wanted, and sewed or hot glued them together. We also peeked in on the other groups: the lighting and scenic designers were creating dioramas of the set and experimenting with different gels (which change the color of the lights), while the actors were rehearsing the scenes that the student directors had chosen. It was super exciting to learn about all the different opportunities in the theatre world.
I also learned that being in an ensemble involves a lot of cooperation. I hadn’t known that in order for a production to go on smoothly, each department needs approval from the director or actors. For example, if you’re making a costume, you have to make sure that the set designer’s work is compatible with that costume and won’t be too fussy on stage.
Our third and final workshop was a presentation for the public (aka family, friends, and some observing teachers). We shared our vision of the play and demonstrated our work in front of a live audience.
Viewing all the ideas our fellow groups had come up with was inspiring and impressive. We covered a six-week professional production process in just six hours total!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lily Larsen is an ambitious activist and artist ready to help anyone in need yet also inform and inspire her peers to take action and speak up on important issues. You can find her at AdolescentActivist.com.
Students celebrate after the fall 2015 Theatre Crash Course workshops come to an end. Author Lily Larsen is in the back row, far right.
Just yesterday marked a orientation for new students joining the Mayors youth Council of Los Angeles.
It included a really nice fancy lunch from a range of sandwiches and high end treats. Then we got to experience Firefighter chief Ralph M. Terrazas speak. He gave a really inspiring and motivational talk on
perseverance and information on the LAFD and California. The helicopter used in the movie San Andreas flew over city hall twice!
Youth council is split into locations East Valley, West Valley, East area, southwest, southeast, Central and the west side. I represent East area which serves around 16 communities which includes Boyle Heights, East La, El Sereno, Eagle Rock, Chinatown, Highland, Cypress and Glassel park, Alhambra and more. I’ve been on it since the beginning of the year.
After we dispersed into our groups and met people in the same group we would be in then our area representative taught us about all the different kinds of government rules there are and also about Los Angeles specifically and the branches of government too.
Later, the Mayor Eric Garcetti came and talked to us! Telling us about the history of youth council and the amazing opportunity it is and how lucky and grateful he is to have us on his council and teens and how age doesn’t matter we should be treated as important people even through were teenagers we have opinions which what Garcetti addressed!! Awesome!!
Overall i had a great time and will post more about what its like to be on Mayor Eric Garcettis youth council representing Los Angeles!
My first project as an activist began in kindergarten. The Million Man March happened up the street from my house – suddenly this wash of marchers in white t-shirts came up Wilshire Boulevard – I saw it from my Dad’s shoulders. It was like a wave….
I asked my parents what was happening. They told me that people were marching peacefully to say that they wanted to see changes in the way things were for them, their families, and their children. I wanted to know more about my neighbors from Mexico, South and Central South America.
At the ripe age of 5, I decided to interview people in my neighborhood who had emigrated to Los Angeles in their lifetime. I wanted to know what their stories were, and they were happy to talk to me and my mom.
Here are their stories:
Coffee House owner, Olvera Street
I was born in the city of Los Angeles,at the Los Angeles Hopspital which doesn’t exist anymore.
My father came from Guadalajara in the 1920s. They lived in a hacienda. My grandfather was an accountant estate for ranches during the Revolution. He knew he had to protect what he knew he to protect what we knew. He became at exporter.
My father became a citizen in Italy in the back of a truck in WW 2; FDR gave him his citizenship because he fought for the U.S. – this is how we became a U.S. citizen, so it’s ironic when people say all Mexicans came here illegally or jumped the border guard. That isn’t always the case.
What is unique and exciting about my community is that we are the majority now. I have confronted racism and ignorance and heard people say “Go back to Mexico” and my response to that would be that if you’re saying that, you need to do your homework and know the history of this area – because clearly—if you’re saying that, you don’t!
I don’t agree with the “Chicano” movement; I didn’t relate to it because they proclaim peace but the way they go about it, to me, isn’t working.
I have never been to my parents home in Guadalajara. I grew up in San Marino, CA.
waiter, Olvera Street
My name is Santiago. I am a waiter in Olvera Street.
and I came from Mexico City. Our house was adobe with Spanish Tile. I was here since 1986.
My favorite food is mole. I come from the mountains, like here.I was 17 hours walking here. I was alone, no amigos.
People must understand there is always a very good reason we would need to walk 17 hours, leaving our families behind to come to a strange place and take any job we can. We don’t wake up and decide this. If we want to help our families, this is the sacrifice.
I like the quality of life here, it’s better I miss my family the most.
I have no family here.
clerk in store downtown.
I was born in Sinaloa, the village is called Los Mochis. We moved here when I was 6 years old. . In Sinaloa, a train track was close to my house and the street was dirt and rocks.
The education here was why my parents moved us. We moved for the economy and for us to have a better life.
We all came together across the border. I remember running a lot in Tijuana. One time we almost died. There were rats and my brother got bit. But we made it here and we were so happy.
My culture is conservative; other cultures are more liberal.
My favorite food from where I grew up were the mangoes.
My name is Miguel. I came from Juanajuato. The sierras are green and a lot of water, the earth has much rain.
The economy is difficult, my family didn’t have shoes. The house was made of adobe with blocks – red color, hard ot make money.
There was no work. We starved a lot.
For 18 hours I walked to Rumorosa. It was difficult. Ten years ago. At times I worked and times I didn’t work. I was alone coming here, no friends. Now here I have a little friends.
My favorite food is Posole – mas fresca in Juanajuato. I like California. I am glad to be here. I miss my mother. She cries for me to come home, but she knows I can earn better wages here and it will help. I just want to help my family.
I never got the name of this Man
Although, I wish i had.
I am so grateful to have met these hardworking people and learn about them. I wish them all the best! Its been a decade since i have seen them!