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Los Angeles

Obscura Society LA: Exploring the Bridges of Downtown LA's Arts District

How art, history, and business led to the rebirth of the Downtown LA Arts District along the LA River

Join the Obscura Society LA on a Cartwheel Art living history walking tour featuring DTLA's Art District's past, present, and future.

The east side of downtown Los Angeles by the LA River was once a gritty section of the city filled with disused warehouses, train tracks and manufacturing plants. But in the late 60s, artists and other creatives began taking up residence (often illegally) in these abandoned buildings and turning this long-forgotten part of LA into a place unlike any other in the country. In 1981, the City of Los Angeles passed its "Artist in Residence" ordinance and thereby making this unique revitalization effort legal.

Over the past thirty plus years, the LA Arts District has seen a proliferation of art and community while also being known as one of the most filmed locations in the world, staring in over 800 films a year. DTLA is rapidly becoming one of the hippest, vibrant and most well-known industrial areas in the world.

Our living history walking tour will be hosted by Cindy Schwarzstein, the founder of Cartwheel Art, an Arts District resident, a Los Angeles River Artists and Business (LARABA) Board Member, and a founding member of All City Mural Endeavor. Cindy has designed and led Arts District tours for the Los Angeles branch of the American Planning Association, the LA Art Show, and the Obscura Society LA.

Cindy will take us around the LA River’s industrial warehouse neighborhood offering to us her “insider” knowledge of the art, filming, history and new developments taking place in the community. We also will be joined by special guests, artists, historians, and business owners.

In other words, this isn't just a walking-tour, this is a full-on integration into the culture of the community!

We will begin the tour at Bread Lounge, a contemporary artisanal bakery and cafe where we will be offered a sampling of a few of their freshly baked breads and pastries, baked on-site daily. 

Notes for this adventure:

- This walking tour will take about two hours. We will be covering up to ten city blocks.

- Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, and water are strongly recommended.

- We will meet at 10 AM in the front outside of Bread Lounge. Free samples from a sponsor of the tour! 

- The tour is open to all ages.

- A portion of the proceeds will go to Cartwheel Art and their mission to support the DTLA Art's District.