Writing Workshops Los Angeles Presents

Spring/Summer 2010 Creative Nonfiction Workshop: Memoir and Personal Essay

Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
June 1, 2010 to July 20, 2010 (8 meetings)

In this mixed-level course, we will read and discuss published narrative nonfiction as a means to investigate questions of truth and storytelling, and where the two intersect. There will be in-class exercises that address specific craft issues such as scene and voice, among others, and every student will have the opportunity to workshop at least one piece of nonfiction writing in a serious environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class.

This course will take place in the instructor’s home in Echo Park, where beer, wine and sparkling water—and the occasional delicious snack—will be served.

Enrollment limit: 8 students
Course fee: $360 (Payment plans available!)

If you’re interested in signing up, email writingworkshopsla@gmail.com

For more information about Writing Workshops Los Angeles, go to: www.writingworkshopsla.com

About the Instructor:
Carolyn Kellogg, who writes about books for the Los Angeles Times, holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught at the University of Pittsburgh and in UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program. Her work is regularly read online and in print at the Los Angeles Times and other venues, and can be heard on NPR. She was a judge of the 2010 Story Prize, the Library of Congress’s Letters to Literature Contest, USC’s Wonderland Prize and the Morning News Tournament of Books. Work by Ms. Kellogg is upcoming in Black Clock and a Red Hen Press anthology about California.

Echo Park residents Anna Wilson and Rob Doran are directing a play called Tragic Dinner Theatre on Sunday May 23 in Highland Park as a fundraiser for workspace, an art studio in Highland Park.

The play description is as follows:

Tragic Dinner Theatre, directed by Anna Wilson, combines the aesthetics of ancient Greek theater, Commedia Dell’Arte, tableau vivant, magic lantern shows and Carnival to bring to life a modern interpretation of Ovid’s Tereus.

The story explores the darkest pockets of human nature when the thread of three characters’ fates become brutally entangled by lechery, violence and revenge. The tragedy escalates until the sheer excess of passion sparks a transfiguration that turns each into a different, symbolic, bird. Tragic Dinner Theatre will use masked actors, low-key lighting, and a disembodied narrative voice to heighten the melodramatic elements of Tereus.

Join us for an afternoon of food and entertainment including a lavish banquet, set before the stage, offering fruit, olives, cheeses, and pastries that could have been served at a party in ancient Greece. Tragic Dinner Theatre is a fundraiser to support artists projects, ever-expanding programming, and to cover public relations and operational expenses at workspace.

Support your local artists and check out this really awesome event:
May 23, 2010
Doors open at 2:30 pm
At The American Legion in Highland Park
227 North Ave. 55, Los Angeles CA 90042
Ticket cost prior to event: $20 minimum donation to workspace. Click here to buy tickets.
At the Door: $25 cash only

If you are unable to attend the event, workspace always accepts/is in need of donations.

For more information, visit the Tragic Dinner Theatre website or email at info@workspace2601.com

The Echo Park DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) is a free support group for people who are diagnosed with or think they have depression or bipolar disorders. Meetings are held every Sunday from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Echo Park Recreation Center at 1632 Bellevue Ave.

Here is what they have to say:

Are you looking for a safe, non-judgmental place where you can share with others who are experiencing depression and bipolar disorder? We are the Echo Park DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance), a group of people living with mood disorders. We believe that the best way to cope with these illnesses is to connect with others who understand, and who care. If you’re looking for an environment of mutual support, please join us!

For more information, please visit the website or call Laura at (818) 209-8442.

A proposal by the Mayor’s Chief Administrative Officer is on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 26, and will, if approved, eliminate the $1 per year lease subsidies for nonprofit organizations in city-owned buildings. Community organizations all across Los Angeles will be affected if approved by the City Council, just one of many disappointing cuts in light of the city’s fiscal crisis.

Here in Echo Park, the Central City Action Committee is particularly concerned about this program. The organization has taken up residence at the old fire station on the corner of Edgware and Bellevue for the last 10 years. Should the $1 per year subsidies be cut, there is growing concern over the future of the CCAC as all its grant money goes to graffiti removal, and youth jobs and programs in Echo Park and surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, CCAC director MaryAnne Hayashi is concerned that there have been no studies to help determine the negative impact on the communities that this proposal will have.

The CCAC is an important organization in Echo Park (and other neighborhoods of course) not only because of the graffiti removal, but also because of the youth programs it offers to the community. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, the CCAC was honored at Dodger Stadium with a “2010 Good Neighbor Award” baseball bat, The Eastsider LA reported, for its contributions to the youth community.

We need to support organizations like the CCAC and tell the city to support our important non-profits. The original vote was supposed to take place on Wednesday, May 19, but was pushed back another week even though the cut is supposed to take effect on July 1 (which doesn’t give the CCAC much time to prepare). Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Call or email your City Council rep, click here for a list of phone numbers. Tell them to oppose the proposal.
  • Attend the meeting and give public testimony in opposition to the proposal. The meeting is on Wednesday, May 26 at City Hall, Room 340,  200 North Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (for times, keep an eye out for the meeting agenda, but will probably occur between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm).
  • Arts For LA is another non-profit that is campaigning against this proposal. They have provide some detailed information and great suggestions on how to write your letters and word your phone calls to get the point across. Click here.

To follow what’s going on with this issue, you can actually subscribe via RSS feed and get updates when something happens. You can click here or go to the City Clerk website and search for file number 08-2762.

Earlier this month, the City of Los Angeles ordered 439 medical marijuana dispensaries to close by June 7, and it looks like all of those facilities in Echo Park are amongst those. According to the LA Times, the following Echo Park dispensaries may disappear in the next couple of weeks:

Divine Healing, A Nonprofit Corporation: 2501 W. Sunset Bl
Green Mile Medical Herbs: 2501 Sunset Bl, #D
Holistic Care Collective: 1302 W. Sunset Bl 90026
Innovative Health Care Collective Inc.: 3515 Sunset Bl
Natural Choice Healing Center Inc.: 2811 W. Sunset Blvd.
Sunset Discount Providers: 1498 Sunset Bl
Sunset Organic Center: 2210 Sunset Bl
Temple Herbal Collective: 2530 Temple St
The Alternate Root: 1547 Sunset Bl
West Coast Collective Inc.: 1284 W. Sunset Bl

(Click here for the PDF source of the above addresses)

LA Times map dispensaries closing down

Read the full LA Times article here, and check out the full interactive map here (there seem to be a couple of discrepancies with some addresses, so pay close attention).

Saturday May 22

8am – 12pm.

Echo Park Lake


presented by St. Vincent Medical Center in Downtown Los Angeles

St. Vincent Medical Center, in conjunction with the Aetna Foundation, will host a community walk to encourage healthy exercise and raise awareness among community leaders about obesity, a major public health threat to our multicultural communities. This event initiates the hospital’s comprehensive Community Obesity Prevention Program.

Help us and Walk to “Stop Obesity” among our communities. This is an special event that will take place at Echo Park Lake.

Registration will be from 7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M. If anyone would like to sign up ahead of the walk the number to call is 213-484-7765. Download sign up sheet here. Email PedroRamirez@dochs.org for more info.

LA Flea Market rendering at Dodger Stadium

The L.A. Flea Market is coming to Dodger Stadium on July 18, 2010, and will take place every third Sunday of the month when there’s not a Dodger game.

A few community members had expressed concern over yet more street traffic throughout the neighborhood. Noel Pallais sent out a community-wide notification at the end of April, and wrote about how the flea market is to be handled:

Read more

Wednesday, May 19th

2pm – 5pm

Community Room

Edendale Library

2011 Sunset Blvd.

Free parking in rear parking lot

Cash only

We have had over 1000 newly donated non-fiction books this week, mostly hardcover with dust jackets.These were donated by a local book dealer who has gone out of business, and is just a small part of the collection. The rest will be sold over the coming weeks. You will find these on our center tables starting at ten cents (.10). This is not a misprint. We must clear out our inventory. We have over 5,000 books in total, many rare, old, out of print, signed first editions and collectible.

We have nowhere to store all these books, so we’re just clearing them out. These are donated books, not library books. All our proceeds go to library programs and books, and in light of looming budget cuts this year we need your support more than ever.

Please call Sheila Anthony at 323-868-1243 if you have any questions.

If you’re buying in large quantity, please bring your own boxes.

LA City Council has voted to increase parking fines by $5. The change won’t take place for a few months.

  • Failure to Deposit a Coin into the Meter/Overtime Use of the Meter: $55
  • Street Cleaning: $65
  • Parking in a No Stopping Zone: $85
  • Parking in an Anti-Gridlock Zone: $155
  • White or Yellow Loading Zone Violations: $50
  • Over 18″ from the Curb: $50
  • Parking in a Front Yard: $55 ($80 and $130 for 2nd and 3rd violations within one year).

This info comes to us via LAist. Read their article here.

I notice the price of paying online has also been upped from one dollar to two. You can pay a ticket online here.

On the bright side, local parking lot rates aren’t following suit. See our recent blog post.

HOMO CENTRIC – A May Old Time!

Thursday, May 20

A literary evening /reading for the GBLT set; this month featuring a lesbian comic, a former priest & everyone in-between. Yes, really. In-between. See, the funny lady goes 1st, the formerly frocked fellow is last & 3 other equally talented writers are between them (it’s an alphabet thing)-Like a big homo-Oreo! Be a smart cookie & join us. – Stories Email Blast

Stories Books and Café
1716 Sunset Blvd

Keep reading to learn about more upcoming events at Stories.

Read more

For Monday, May 17th through Sunday, May 23rd

The Like, Jail Weddings, Gestapo Khazi, Starfucker at The Echo (free every Monday)
New Music Monday feat. Zach Steel, Ilo Mar, Mike Kitcher, Sleepwalkers Local at Echo Curio
Syndrome WPW, Psychic Handbook, Back to the Future the Ride, Foreign Cinema at Pehrspace

60-Watt Kid, VOICEsVOICEs, Pizza!, Tan Dollar at The Echo
Dos, Tsigoti, Married In Berdichev, French Quarter, Whitman at Echo Curio

Horse Feathers, Dawn Landes, Liz Pappademas at Bootleg Theater

Rats perform live soundtracks at Echo Curio
Live percussion and DJs at the Echo (see our post)

Shadow Shadow Shade, Red Cortez at Bootleg Theater
Francis and The Lights, Teen Inc at The Echo
Heard Of Elephants presents Woah Hunx, Christmas Island, Tijuana Panthers at Echo Curio
Wow and Flutter, Timonium, The Lights From Here at Pehrspace

The Babies, Heavy Hawaii at Echo Curio
Odelia, By Sunlight, Future Ghost, The break ups at Pehrspace

Silver Lake Jubilee 2010 feat. The Living Sisters, The Entrance Band, Nico Stai, Olin & the Moon, Big Whup, Tijuana Panthers, My Pet Saddle, The Black Apples, Spain, Eulogies, KILLSONIC, Mississippi Man, Dirt Bird, The Health Club, The Growlers and many more at Myra Avenue (the corner of Hoover and Santa Monica to Fountain Avenue) Not in Echo Park but close!

Bonfire Madigan, Dubus, Patsy, The I’s at Bootleg Theater
Grand Ole Echo presents Groovy Rednecks, The Cheatin’ Kind, Robert Black at The Echo (free, 5pm)
Part Time Punks feat. Geneva Jacuzzi, Soft Metals at The Echo

Silver Lake Jubilee 2010 feat. The Like, Foreign Born, Division Day, Voxhaul Broadcast, Dios, Wet & Reckless, Seasons, Downtown/Union, Timonium, Moses Campbell, Family of the Year, Tenlons Fort, Social Stufies, So Many Wizards, Useless Keys at Myra Avenue (the corner of Hoover and Santa Monica to Fountain Avenue) Not in Echo Park but close!

Thanks to LAist

Downbeat Café
1202 N. Alvarado Street
(213) 483-3955

Monday – Friday: 7:00 am -9:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:00 am -10:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Menu and prices subject to change.

Read more

Many Echo Park residents are not aware of the existence of the Edendale Library Friends Society (ELFS) which is why I decided to take a pen and a pad to their weekly meeting the other day and find out more about them. I was amazed by how much they have done over the past few years to support both the Edendale Library and the Echo Park community.

The ELFS were founded in 2004 by Joelle and Judy when the Edendale branch of the LAPL opened. Since then, they’ve put an estimated $13,000 per year into the Edendale Library in the form of books, periodicals, DVDs, equipment and supplies and special programs. A lot of the library’s resources would not exist without their efforts. They get money from memberships, the Elysian Park Neighborhood Council and their weekly used book sales.

The weekly used book sale happens at the Edendale Library every Wednesday from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The ELFS also help to run classes at the library for kids and adults. They are currently planning a mixer to be held sometime in the middle of June, in the hopes of getting individuals and local business owners to join. Their goal is not to raise money for themselves but to raise money for library and awareness of the kind of resources it offers.

Go to their Facebook page to learn more about them and their upcoming events. We’ve included some photos below of their postcard/letter writing campaign to save L.A.’s libraries from reduced hours and budget cuts.

Read more

Styles Upon Styles Los Angeles
Hosted by Crazy Legs of the world famous Rocksteady Crew & Onecypher.com

Thursday, May 20th

at The Echo

The night begins with a private screening of “Bouncing Cats”– an inspiring story of one man’s attempt to create better lives for Ugandan children by transcending the power of hip-hop.

*All proceeds from the screening will go straight to Breakdance Project Uganda.

RSVP: bouncingcats.la@gmail.com

Music Provided by:
Crazy Legs – Rock Steady Crew
Ervin Arana – Rock Steady Crew
Dj Dennis Infante – Onecypher.com

Melena Francis Valdes – Music credits include: Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Julio Iglesias, Papo Conga…
Eric Seats – Tour drummer for Patti Labelle & Lalah Hathaway
Timbali Cornwell – Tour credits – Maxwell & Album credits: Wayman Tisdale.

*SPECIAL PERFORMANCE by The World Famous Rock Steady Crew

Produced by:
Shelley Oto, Crazy Legs and Dennis Infante

RSVP Email: stylesuponstyles.la@gmail.com

7:30pm (live percussion set starts at 10pm)

$5 with RSVP, $10 without


Set your alarm early tomorrow morning (Saturday, May 15) and help fellow community members clean up the neglected Lucretia Stairway (h/t Eastsider LA), located on Lucretia Avenue between Delta and Grafton (click here for map). Bring your coffee, some supplies and meet at 8:00 am on the corner of Grafton and Lucretia.