Arts & Cultural Vitality / 2013

Cypress Village Underground Tunnel Art Walk Gallery and Economic Vitality

Cypress Village Underground Tunnel Art Walk Gallery and Economic Vitality

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Antigua Coffee House

My idea is to convert the existing underground tunnel walk way into a flourishing community Art walk gallery for the neighborhood of Cypress Park, Los Angeles. The Tunnel project will be the first time this innovative arts undertaking will make use of the abandoned entity and bring life into this amazing area in the north east of Los Angeles. The Arts and Cultural vitality indicator is the greatest and most innovated idea to reach our city by 2050 and beyond. The ability to reuse empty space and renovate the community essense, along with progress of such. After three years lobbying to our local officials to listen to our proposal I was given the green light to make this event happen every month on our designated art walk night. The plan is to eventually permanently secure the closure of Loreto street, half ways in order to create an astounding cul-de-sac and a public street plaza for the 1,600 children in the area and local residents to enjoy. Our mission is to have the old underground (existing) tunnel be converted into a beautiful full blown Arts Gallery, opened to the public and exhibit local artist within. This (event) idea is the first of its kind in Los Angeles and will also be the pilot program to convert all existing city tunnels into arts spaces in the many different communities around the city and eventually county. We are leading and paving the road for the arts in the Los Angeles and also the same road for economic development via Galleries and artsy Coffee houses and cafes. The project is to attract artist from all walks of life and it is to bring people of all economic classes to either observe, cherish, or contribute to the working artist by acquiring their works at 100 percent commission. We believe in networking and marketing greatness, for the sole reason of progress, community and sustainability by 2050 and beyond. In conclusion, I have spend the last 8 years of my life building, creating and a great sense of passion in my beautiful community of Cypress Park. I believe profoundly in the Arts and its vitality because I'm a product of such, I am a community Artist with a successful coffeehouse dedicated to the sustainable progress of destroying blight and enhancing the neighborhood with amazing murals and art shows. It has been wonderful to come to work and network with many others who believe in a common goal and work hard to make it a reality. Our team strives on a daily basis to make a positive impact and it shows on the faces of our local youth, they love us! Lets give them and ourselves 2050 as a gift to cherish and beyond. Thank you.


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

Best Coffee Roaster 2007 Best Coffeehouse 2012 Economic Development and successful business consulting. High ratings on Yelp Great facebook Page Community involvement and volunteerism A great community role model for the 1,600 school children, who attend the two LAUSD across the street from us. And many more to come in the future…..

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

The non profit L A Works is going to send us roughly about 50 volunteers to renovate, clean, paint and maintain the tunnel. We will also be working with Fine Arts Solutions a for profit business known as the best high end Arts Framing and mounting company in the world. Its an actual honor to be working with them. Palm Communities has agreed to sponsor the events for the next 20 years, maybe we can convince them to add another 20 years to the deal. Attack Marketing, INC has also committed to sponsoring and getting involved with us as a community partner for this historic project. Last but certainly not least, is our local neighborhood council who have approved our beginning seed money for this event to be successful, thank you everyone!

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Our evaluation of success is measured by the current response of community supporters. After the first actually event, we will be able to identify the pros and the cons. Before the end of the year, we will be able to appreciate the success of such project. But as of now, I believe the project is being successful due the buzz we have received from local city officials and the department of cultural affairs. Of course our current mission is to create a non profit in order to maximize our utility, for now we are applying as the For Profit entity. I can only imagine, just like John Lennon and be that dreamer. I created a successful coffeehouse in the neighborhood and it has grown to be the most influential place east of the Los Angeles River. I have a dream and an aspiration that this historic project will take off and influence the rest of the city and the world. My measurement of success is an A+.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

The Cypress Village Underground Tunnel Art walk, will have amny benefits for the great city. It will be the pilot program and example on how to utilize an existing historic relic. The media exposure is arming up with confirmations of local media and some main stream media buzz. This grant will enable us to secure its success rate and to expand the concept into different parts of the city and county as well. The economic resonance will vibrate far beyond 2050, because it will allow our city to flourish in the arts above other cities. We lack green space/ parks and this project will guaranteed we create our own community park in the middle of an asphalt street, formerly used to carry cars. Our city is becoming a bike commuting society and the bike corrals installed on the stretch will allow us to promote the new lifestyle. In fact, we have already reduced crime on the corridor by eliminating blight and bringing in trendy awesome community minded businesses and people to help organize the forth coming event.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

Thirty seven years ago in 2013 a seed was planted in this great beautiful community of Cypress Village along the Arroyo Seco River. It was formerly known as Cypress Park and before that, the Tongva Indians inhabited the area they called home, today it is the epicenter of a sustainable Arts District in the city of Los Angeles. We would love to honor these pioneers today with an amazing collage and dedication ceremony. Friends, everything begins with an idea, then you believe in the idea and viola….its created!