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Arts and Entertainment

Leimert Park Gets A Rad New Art Space With A Black Panther Exhibit

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An art museum in Westwood might seem worlds away from South Los Angeles, but a new partnership between the Hammer Museum and the Art + Practice Foundation is bridging these two neighborhoods together.

A+P's exhibition space opens their doors on Saturday, featuring new works by CalArts faculty member Charles Gaines in Librettos: Manuel de Falla/Stokely Carmichael, a 12-part work inspired by experimental composer John Cage, Spanish compuser Manuel de Falla, and Black Panther Stokely Carmichael.

Taking over a whole block in Leimert Park is A+P's campus. In addition to an exhibition space, it is home to classrooms, computer labs, studio space, Eso Won bookstore, and the RightWay Foundation, a nonprofit helping foster youth transition into adulthood. "I feel like artists are outsiders for one reason or another, and in many ways foster youth—through no volition of their own—are outsiders. So I thought, well, [from] one outsider group to another, maybe we can create a platform, and maybe we can create a conversation," said A+P co-creator Mark Bradford.

In December, the Hammer Museum announced it would be hooking up with A+P to bring arts programming to the Leimert Park campus through July 2016. "It's a model for how institutions—and artists—can reach out, embrace, and become meaningful to an audience outside of their usual spheres," said Hammer director Ann Philbin in a statement. A+P came together through the collected efforts of Bradford (a South Los Angeles native), philanthropist Eileen Harris Norton, and activist Allan DiCastro.

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The site is close to home for Bradford: his mother once ran a hair salon around the corner. In preparation for the launch of A+P, the three realized what particular group they should focus on. "In doing our research, we realized that in this ZIP Code, there is an epidemic of kids in foster care. So it became important to us to focus our efforts there," DiCastro told the L.A. Times.

Librettos: Manuel de Falla/Stokely Carmichael opens in conjunction with Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989, already on display at the Hammer.

The Art + Practice Foundation is located at 4339 Leimert Boulevard in Leimert Park.

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