>> On Wednesday, June 22nd, close to three dozen artists and supporters of Self-Help Graphics held an emergency noon-time protest and picket line in front of Self-Help to call for the immediate re-opening of the much beloved East L.A. community arts center. The institution’s Board of Directors closed the center on June 7th, igniting the controversy (see details on my blog). Artists are angry over the mysterious closing because it denies everyone access to the country’s premiere Chicano arts institution. Up and coming artists and printmakers, as well as established professional artists came out to participate in the lively demonstration. Because of the closure, SHG’s vital community workshops in the arts are on hold, as are all exhibits and festivals. Its printmaking studio is shut down, its website is not being updated, and the staff and public remains locked out. Self-Help’s gift shop is of course locked up tight and therefore making no sales, frustrating many artists who have no access to their merchandise left on consignment.
I will be speaking about the crisis at Self-Help Graphics on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, L.A.’s listener sponsored radio station. I was invited by Sonali Kolhatkar, host of the Uprising morning show, to discuss SHG’s predicament and the community response to its shutdown. My appearance on Uprising will be broadcast on Friday, June 22nd, at around 8:15 am. Ms. Kolhatkar had read my blog post "Self-Help Graphics Finished?" (found on my web log), and wanted to help inform radio listeners about the crisis.
An online message board has been set up where people can discuss ways to resolve the crisis. It’s simple to join and everyone is encouraged to participate. Sign up at:
Artists and supporters of Self-Help will be holding an impromptu meeting to strategize, clarify positions, and to prepare for the mass public meeting coming up on June 28th. The Artist’s meeting and planning session will take place on Saturday, June 25th, at 3:00 pm., at the East LA Civic Center at Mednik and 3rd. Come and meet fellow concerned artists at the Civic Center’s amphitheater on the lake. The big push of course is for the Tuesday, June 28th., mass community meeting at Ave. 50 Studios in Highland Park. Scheduled to take place at 7 pm, it is there that artists and their supporters, community members and activists will really get a chance to make their voices heard. Everyone is invited to this important meeting, where members of the SHG Board of Directors will be present. Circle the date on your calendar, and be sure to attend. If you’re unable to do so, you’ll be able to read my report on the proceedings on my web log.