It's safe to say that without a robust education in the arts, many of our city's best and brightest people would have never found success. Even beyond the movie stars, visual artists and musicians that call Los Angeles home, have proven that arts education improves literacy, spatial reasoning, and every other conceivable metric of early success, all of which can be translated simply into a better chance at lifelong success in any field. And while arts education in our school system has too often been a victim of impossible budget choices, programs like DTLA's Inner-City Arts have stepped up, providing free-to-student, professional in-studio arts education to thousands of the city's most disadvantaged children. And on Saturday night, the patrons, professionals and friends of this outstanding organization were able to come together for Summer On 7th, a night of food, drink, dancing, and of course, art.
For one sold-out summer evening, an eclectic and enthusiastic crowd of over 500 gathered at Inner-City Arts' self-described "learning oasis" campus on Skid Row to mingle among the fruits of their donations: an amazing collection of art created by students who, most likely, would have never had a creative outlet otherwise. While DJs 4Tify and Cool Cat from the world-famous Scratch Academy kept the beats moving, guests enjoyed a prodigious spread of generously donated food and drink, from summertime dishes and beer from Library Alehouse and Burger Continental, to hot dogs from Let's Be Frank, ice cream and Prosecco from Trader Joe's, as well as a massive spread of cupcakes, courtesy of Bluebird Café.
For anyone who forgot their dancing shoes, there was ample entertainment on hand as well, with a full market of hand-crafted art and jewelry to browse, a dance performance from Open House, an art installation/photo booth, and even magicians from the movie Magic Men mixing it up with the crowd. As if this wasn't enough to take in, a full evening of mystery gifts and raffles kept everyone engaged and delighted.
But of course, the real star of the show was the artwork from Inner-City Arts' talented students, which as prominently displayed throughout the campus. Created in every conceivable form, with influences and meaning as diverse as the students themselves, the artwork managed to serve as an undeniable confirmation of the value of Inner-City Arts and their work in the community. By the evening's close, which featured a free breathalyzer service and an important message from Don't Die Drunk, it was clear that every single guest had been exposed to, and moved by, the tangible results of their generous donations and efforts. Art education in American public life may still be an uphill battle, but Summer on 7th proved that as long as organizations like Inner-City Arts are around, there's a reason to be optimistic.
If you missed the party, there's another great opportunity to get involved and have fun for a fantastic cause, as their biggest event of the year, the Imagine Gala & Auction, will be happening October 27 at the Beverly Hilton. To find out what you can do as a volunteer or an attendee, we encourage you all to check out the information here.