Monday, June 11, 2007

Dedication of renovated bandshell at South Park

Los Angeles - A Dedication and Black History Month celebration was held at the newly renovated South Park Bandshell on Saturday, February 10, 2007. Councilwoman Jan Perry (9th District) spearheaded efforts on the $1 million project and served as the event's Mistress of Ceremonies.

The free event included special performances by the Fremont High School marching band, the Manual Arts High School Jazz Band, South Park Senior Line Dancing Group and A Place Called Home Dance Academy.

The celebration also highlighted the work of local community advocates. The honorees included: Lois Medlock (Community Activist), Leslie Drayton (Musician), Adolph "KUSH" Simpson (Artist), Thyonne Gordon (A Place Called Home), Linda Miles (LAUSD Educational Options), Tracy Kelly (Art Share L.A.), Sean Rector and Dohn Norwood (Boys to Men Program).

The 1,800-square-foot Bandshell has undergone seismic upgrades and improvements, including installation of a new roof, framing, deck, electrical infrastructure, decorative screen and exterior finish.

The historic Bandshell is located near Central Avenue in South Los Angeles, the area that is known as "the heart of the West Coast Renaissance of Jazz and Blues". The South Park Bandshell served as a musical stage for local African-American musicians such as Nat King Cole, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Dexter Gordon, Henry Franklin and Ernie Andrews.

The Bandshell also served as a political platform. In 1944 a war bond rally was held on the Bandshell and in 1976 Coretta Scott King attended a Presidential rally for Jimmy Carter.

Funding for the project was provided by Proposition K, a voter approved measure. The Bureau of Engineering (Structural Engineering and Architectural divisions) in the City's Public Works Department designed the improvements, with input from the Department of Recreation and Parks and community members. The General Services Department performed the construction.

The restoration of the South Park Bandshell symbolizes a musical bridge from the past to the present.

Media Contacts:
Jane Kolb: (213)928-9294, or cell, (323)816-6712
Harvey Drut: (213)928-9296, or cell, (323)816-6711

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