3rd Annual Lummis Day Festival: June 1, 2008

The 2008 Lummis Day Festival drew 9,000 visitors on Sunday, June 1 to Lummis Home, Sycamore Grove Park and the Autry National Center’s Casa de Adobe for  poetry readings, an art exhibition, music and dance performances, puppet shows and storytelling.  

Crowds packed the area near the performance stages at Sycamore Grove Park to take in music and dance from varying cultural traditions: Music by Jackson Browne, Cava, the Chapin Sisters, the Mariachi Divas, Ann Likes Red. Comedy by Culture Clash. Dance performances by Ballet Coco, Kultura Philippino Arts and the  Cypress Park Folkoric Dancers.  

Although the Festival event is the most visible and best-attended event in the Lummis Day program, the activities of the Lummis Day’s organizing committee, included educational and cultural programs that  begin months before the Festival.  

Lummis Day Library Program: 

The 2008 library poetry program consisted of alternating reading and workshop events on five consecutive Saturdays in April and May.  Authors Lory Bedikian and William Archila presented work from their own published writings, conducting free writing workshops -- giving poetry lovers and library-goers a chance to find their own artistic voices. Finally, at a wrap-up event at the Braun Library of the Southwest Museum, emerging writers shared their work in company with more established poets and other artists. The library program was hosted by a different Northeast L.A. library each week. Participating libraries were the El Sereno, Arroyo Seco, Eagle Rock and Cypress Park branches on the Los Angeles Public Library and the Braun Research Library at the Southwest Museum.  

Lummis Day Teachers Training: 

An educational workshop created for teachers from Los Angeles Unified schools in conjunction with the third annual Lummis Day Festival features a curriculum that includes an immersive workshop in Los Angeles history, lectures from notable artists and historians and  visits to Northeast Los Angeles’ cultural landmarks. 

Designed in cooperation with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the workshop, “Charles Lummis and the Culture of the Arroyo Seco,” emphasizes the geography of the Arroyo Seco  watershed, transportation, the urban wilderness, and the heritage of inhabitants of the Arroyo, characterized by the larger-than-life persona of Charles Lummis, first city editor of the Los Angeles Times, a city librarian, founder of the Southwest Museum, and an early proponent of Native American Rights. The workshop was designed by former Los Angeles Unified teacher and “Lummis Day” organizing committee member Carmela Gomes.  

Lummis Day Festival expansion: 

In an expansion of the Lummis Day Festival activities, an exhibition of work by Northeast L.A. artists was mounted at the Autry National Center’s Casa de Adobe and featured a variety of styles and visual arts media. 

A “family stage” was added to the main Festival area as Sycamore Grove Park, featuring puppets, storytelling and children’s theatre. 

Community booths represented over two dozen community groups and government agencies.