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Preserving Cultural Neighborhood Gems

October 15, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

A half-day convening to bring awareness to neighborhood preservation strategies happening across LA.

About this Event

On October 15, LISC LA invites you to join us for a series of panels highlighting preservation strategies being undertaken in some of Los Angeles’ historic cultural communities.

Come learn from practitioners who are actively maintaining and building local community assets to stem the tide of displacement. Through three panel discussions, we will cover business, ownership, and creative placemaking case studies that exemplify community-driven preservation efforts.

Breakfast will be provided.


8:30 AM – Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM – Welcome and Introduction

9:15 AM – If Not Us, Then Who?: Securing Affordability through Community Ownership

Rents are rising for tenants and business owners alike, but that doesn’t mean they have to move. In this discussion, you will hear from organizations that are keeping home, land, and business spaces affordable by putting these assets in community hands.

  • Tom de Simone, Genesis LA, Moderator
  • Isela Gracian, East LA Community Corporation
  • Rudy Espinoza, Inclusive Action
  • Evan Edwards, Project Equity

10:00 AM – Networking Break

10:15 AM – Keeping Mom & Pop on the Block: Tools for Business Preservation

Small businesses are an integral part of the local economy and culture. This panel highlights unique financial tools that help sustain small businesses that may be at risk of displacement.

  • Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, LA LISC, Moderator
  • Bill Watanabe and Lisa Hasegawa, Little Tokyo Impact Fund
  • Tony Barengo, CDC Small Business Finance
  • Andrew McDowell, With Love Café

11:00 AM: Networking Break

11:15 AM – Claiming Our Space: The Role of Creative Placemaking in Preservation

Creative placemaking leverages arts and culture to activate spaces. This panel will explore how culturally specific communities use placemaking as a means to anchor their presence, honor their history, and provide opportunities for economic development.

  • Laura Choi, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Moderator
  • Kristen Gordon, Destination Crenshaw
  • Chancee Martorell, Thai CDC
  • Erika Gee, Chinatown CDC

12:00 – Closing Remarks


Limited free parking is available at the venue and on the street. Attendees are encouraged to carpool or take public transit to the event.