By Bill Hendrickson
The Highland Park Heritage Trust is asking for the public’s support at a virtual city hearing on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. At stake is recognition for Highland Park’s role in Chicano art history.
In the 1970s, Figueroa Street in Highland Park was home to two Chicano art centers: Mechicano Art Center and Centro de Arte Público. The centers were havens of creativity where Chicano artists produced works that defined and reflected the era’s movimiento Chicano for social change and cultural recognition.
This week, at the Jan. 21 public hearing, city officials will decide whether to designate the buildings that housed the centers as Historic-Cultural monuments.
The Highland Park Heritage Trust, which has led the drive to gain historic-cultural status for the buildings, says that public support at the hearing, is crucial to the success of the effort.
Details for participating in the hearing, which will be held by conference call and by Zoom, are here and are also given below.
The Highland Park Heritage Trust has pointed out that murals and historic buildings associated with the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s are under threat of demolition or defacement all over L.A. By speaking up at the hearing, you help to ensure that doesn’t happen to the buildings in Highland Park that housed the Mechicano Art Center (which was located at 5337-5341 N. Figueroa St.) and Centro de Arte Público (which was located at 5605-5607 N. Figueroa St.).
Speaking up for monument status for the buildings also acknowledges the contributions to Latino culture and identity by the artists who worked there, including several whose work has resonated beyond Highland Park, Northeast L.A. and the Eastside. Among them: Carlos Almaraz, Guillermo Bejarano, Barbara Carrasco, Sonya Fe and Judithe Hernandez.
To listen in to the hearing or view on Zoom:
DIAL-IN NUMBER: (213) 621-2489 OR (818) 904-9450.
ZOOM LINK: https://planning-lacity-org.zoom.us/j/84908237140
MEETING ID: 849 0823 7140
To offer public comment, you can either access the link located above or call 1 (213) 338-8477 or 1 (669) 900-9128 and use Meeting ID No. 849 0823 7140 and then press #. Press # again when prompted for participant ID. You may use passcode: 545286.
For more information, visit: http://highlandparkheritagetrust.org/