Common Field Session
Organized by Michael ParkerCSULB and ALMLA
with Aurora Tang/Center for Land Use Interpretation (LA)

This session engages artists and arts organizers in Los Angeles to discuss their experiences and actions around creating, maintaining, and advocating for economically sustainable spaces for artists in a changing city. What happens when a neighborhood that once embraced and built its identity on artists develops in a way that leads to their displacement? At the same time, this session will also grapple with the role that artists and arts organizations play in gentrification. If economically sustainable spaces for artists can only be created at the expense of existing communities—and above all, poor communities of color—where do artists’ solidarities lie? How can artists resist displacing others as part of a process that—as in the case of ALMLA: Artists’ Loft Museum Los Angeles and 800 Traction in LA’s Arts District—will eventually lead to artists being displaced themselves? Led by artist Michael Parker, co-founder of ALMLA, this program includes speakers Nancy Uyemura of 800 Traction, artist writer Robby Herbst of the Council Street Council, artist and curator Dulce Soledad Ibarra, and Julian Smith-Newman, writer and member of the LA Tenants Union.

REALATED EVENT: Following the Session at 5:00 PM, departing from the JACCC Noguchi Plaza
Eviction Parade

ALMLA: Artists’ Loft Museum Los Angeles celebrates the history of long-time artist-tenants who have been and are currently being displaced and evicted on the east side of Downtown Los Angeles, in an area now branded by real estate developers as the Arts District. We will celebrate, march, banner, float and parade from the Isamu Noguchi courtyard in Little Tokyo to ALMLA and 800 Traction, two of the earliest permitted Artist-in-Residence sites currently challenging their displacement and eviction from the neighborhood that capitalizes on their name. We will depart from JACCC at 5pm, walk down 2nd Street to Alameda Street, and then south to ALMLA at 454 Seaton Street #1. Mounted at ALMLA is a retrospective of the work of 40 artists who have lived or worked there over the past 16 years. The museum is still occupied by long-time artist-tenants, and their five studios will be open for the event. After a brief pitstop at ALMLA, we will parade to 800 Traction for the finale, which includes a group show of young artists who are working with the senior citizen artist-tenants who are being evicted after 20-34 years of living at 800 Traction. 

Join the Eviction Parade!  There will be a float and sign-making workshop on October 29th 12-5pm, at 800 Traction Avenue. Everyone is welcome.  (Contact ALMLA’s co-founders Michael Parker or Alyse Emdur at LoftMuseum@gmail.com to get involved by making a float, costume, or performance.