At Home in the LA Arts District
05 March 2012
Oblong is headquartered in the Arts District of Los Angeles, a live-work neighborhood at the fringe of downtown. The District’s geography is defined by several square blocks of low-slung, semi-industrial warehouse spaces, bordered by the Los Angeles River to the east, the 101 freeway to the north, Seventh Street (Fashion District) to the south, and Alameda Street (Little Tokyo) to the west. You’ll find that most businesses in the Arts District do have a creative bent; from the inventive sausage kitchen at Wurstkuche to the visionary architects at Sci-Arc, to the graffiti-covered walls around Garey & Second, it’s a community that pushes the boundaries. We’re happy to call it home.
Active participation in our community is important to us, so we jumped at the chance to become involved in the new Arts District Mixer series. The Arts District Mixers were started by Joe Magee of the design firm Seso and Janice Walbrink of the design firm Roger to enhance local networking opportunities and to learn more about the neighborhood’s creative businesses inside our respective spaces. The timing was perfect for us, as we were just in the midst of expanding the Oblong “campus” to include space in a building two doors down. It gave us a chance to explain the parade of rolling office chairs to our neighbors.
On Wednesday, June 27, we hosted the third Arts District Mixer at Oblong’s headquarters. Demo systems were fired up to dazzling effect: neighbors were excited to experience first-hand the technology innovations happening in their backyard. Oblong CEO Kwin Kramer said a few welcoming words, and we then had the pleasure of hearing from Inner-City Arts and BloomfestLA.
Jennifer Cohen spoke for Inner-City Arts, which is a local non-profit that provides arts education to kids in Los Angeles. Located right in the heart of downtown’s Skid Row, Inner-City Arts is regarded as one of the most effective providers of these services in the nation. Their second largest annual fundraiser of the year, Summer on 7th, takes place on Saturday, July 21st. Tickets here.
Melissa Richardson Banks spoke for BloomfestLA. She shared a little history lesson on the Arts District neighborhood and on Joel Bloom, its unofficial founding principal. BloomfestLA, an annual festival, is also taking place on Saturday, July 21st with arts, crafts, food trucks and a music stage curated by KCRW’s Chris Douridas.
If you live and/or work in the Arts District and would like get on the mailing list for the next Mixer, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Permission for photo usage granted from Ed Fuentes: edfuentes/viewfromaloft.org