The UCLA Hammer Museum on Monday announced Arts ReSTORE LA: Westwood — an initiative aimed at trying to help revitalize Westwood Village by tapping into Los Angeles’ creative community by having local artisans and craftspeople open pop-up shops this November.
Fourteen projects, which include a maker of environmentally friendly skateboards, a variety of furniture, clothing and accessories designers and a letterpress print shop, have been selected to fill some of the empty storefronts throughout the struggling retail area.
In addition to the shopping options, there will be performances at Open Forum, which is an event space organized by the Hammer Student Association in collaboration with a host of other organizations, and dancers and choreographers from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance.
Funding for the project comes from a $100,000 grant the Hammer won in May. The Goldhirsh Foundation awarded the grant as part of its LA2050 project, which asked organizations across the city to find solutions to the region’s toughest challenges. Hammer Director Ann Philbin saw the potential in the Goldhirsch Foundation’s LA2050 grant to make a meaningful impact in Westwood Village’s retail landscape and to help inspire local property owners to imagine a creative future for the Village. Arts ReSTORE LA: Westwood won the Arts & Cultural Vitality grant. The Hammer was one of 10 winners chosen from 279 entrants.
In the Hammer’s proposal, officials wrote that they would use the museum’s incredible network of local talent and expertise in arts and culture to curate the pop-up village. Westwood property owners have donated the space in the vacant spaces as part of the project, which will run from Nov. 1-24. A series of performances curated by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance will be part of Arts ReSTORE LA: Westwood.
“I think people want unique. They want authentic. They want original,” said Andrew Thomas, executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association. “Chains have a place in our restaurant and retail environment, but I think what makes Westwood special is the number of mom-and-pop retailers that we have in our district. The Hammer is really one of the gems of our district. To have their backing on a program that I think would generate a lot of buzz and attention in our district is tremendous.”
Arts ReSTORE LA: Westwood hours will be Thursdays–Saturdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.