5 design things to do this week

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Celebrate the People Street initiative, check out mural art in Historic Filipinotown, take in a play about gentrification in LA, see sculptures inspired by flowers and scent, and watch a documentary about the Boyle Heights freeway interchange. Here are 5 design things to do this week.

People Street
An example of a People St community public space plan (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

1) People St Block Party and Award Celebration

Question:  What makes transportation more than just getting from point A to point B?  Answer: People Street, an initiative from the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation to to enable citizens identify and transform sections of Los Angeles’ 7,500 miles of city streets into pedestrian-friendly bike corrals, parklets and even plazas, calming traffic in the process. Join APA (American Planning Association) and South Park Building Development Association at their block party to celebrate People St, recipient of the 2016 National Planning Achievement Award, one of just six nationwide. Tunes by DJ Nalepa, an LA-based electronic musician, multimedia artist and mad scientist, tacos and beverages by Chef Mario of The Briks, a delicious local Mexican North African restaurant, and performances from People St partners, South Park mural walks, and more to be announced!

When: Tuesday, August 23, 6 – 8 pm

Where: 1111 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA  90015

Tickets: Free to attend.  Enjoy tacos and drinks for $10 APA members, $15 non-members, $5 students. More information here.

East LA Interchange
The East L.A. Interchange in Boyle Heights is the largest freeway interchange complex in the world. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

2) East L.A. Interchange Screens at La Plaza

In 1953, Dr.  Seuss’ stubborn north going Zax and south-going Zax remained “unbudged in their tracks” as the new freeway interchange was built around them.  Perhaps city planners held this image in mind in the early 1960’s when the the East LA Interchange, a complex system of over passes and underpasses connecting the 5, the 10, 60 and 101 freeways, was constructed. Yet the cultural and political implications were much broader than the two dimensional stand-off at the center of the Seuss story. The film East LA Interchange documents how this neighborhood found its political voice in its fight against the largest freeway interchange system in the nation and it explores how freeways – a symbol of Los Angeles ingrained in America’s popular and literary imagination – impact Boyle Heights’ residents. Check out our article about the film, “Boyle Heights, the land of freeways.”

When: Thursday, August 25, 7pm-10pm

Where: La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main Street, Los Angeles 90012

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Chuck Moffit
Tiberinus coffee table, by Chuck Moffit, combines cast bronze, glass, and patinated steel into a flowery, yet stark design. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

3)   Chuck Moffit: With the Promise of Nectar

Man of steel meets man of flowers. Chuck Moffit, the Mount Baldy-based designer of rugged steel and cast bronze furniture, was inspired by the floral and perfume designs of L.A.’s “flower king” Eric Buterbaugh. Now the influences have fused in five objects that, he says, “straddle the contemporary design and sculpture divide, while invoking the concept of an enchanted meadow — a space of dreams, remembrance, and the birthplace of all fragrance.” This, Moffit’s first solo show, is presented at the Eric Buterbaugh Gallery in collaboration with Blackman Cruz.

When: Friday, August 26 through Sept 11, 2016; gallery hours: 11 am – 6 pm

Where: Eric Buterbaugh Gallery, 8271 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, 90048

Tickets: Free. More information here.

Historic Filipinotown (or “HiFi,” as the locals call it) has become home to a burgeoning community of muralists and street art.

4) Hidden Hi Fi: Art Alleys Celebration

Around four years ago, Jason Ostro, owner of the Gabba Gallery in Historic Filipinotown, kicked off a mural-painting program in the neighborhood’s rundown alleys, intended, he told the L.A. Times, to “‘turn blight into bright.'” Now the “Alley Project” has produced more than 100 murals by more than 80 artists, both local and international, and transformed the neighborhood into an art destination.  Join de LaBGabba Gallery, and Hidden Hi Fi for a tour of this outdoor art gallery and learn how these murals fit in to Hi Fi’s vibrant cultural legacy.

When: Saturday, August 27, noon to 3 pm

Where: Gabba Gallery, 3126 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, 90057

Tickets: Free.  Register here.

Mutual Philanthropy
A set from “Mutual Philanthropy”, by Karen Rizzo. The play takes a humorous yet hazardous look at how wealth and the American Dream beguile and divide. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

5) World Premiere of ‘Mutual Philanthropy’, a play about our city

A dinner that brings together “couples from radically different economic classes with kids in the same school” dramatizes the cultural and economic differences within a Los Angeles neighborhood. ‘Mutual Philanthropy,’ from the Ensemble Theater Group and director Karen Rizzo is set in Mount Washington, just a few miles southeast of the Atwater Village Theatre, where the play will be performed.

When: Sunday, August 28, 3 pm (and 17 more dates thru Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016)

Where: Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Tickets: $28.  Get tickets here.