Black History Month: Do You Know?… Belmar, Santa Monica?

Morning News

Gayle Anderson has information about the outdoor NEW exhibition that features a monumental new artwork, A Resurrection in Four Stanzas, and interpretative story panels which are an outgrowth of the book Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era. These and other features are part of the Belmar History + Art Project that reconstructs and commemorates the history of the Historic Belmar Park area and other South Santa Monica Beach neighborhoods that were home to a thriving African American community until they were displaced in the 1950s.

Keeping this history alive is a goal of the Belmar History + Art project and the Santa Monica Black Lives Association, the nonprofit organization founded by Black community leaders spearheading the creation of the Black Agenda. There are several events for the public to learn more about this history. Take a look at the upcoming information below.

Monday, February 15th @ 7:30pm

#ProjectBlackSpace: In Pursuit of Justice & Joy Photos of Early Santa Monica African American Communities

Live Stream Slide Show on YouTube

A Belmar History + Art event
Monday Feb 15, 7:30-9pm PST Live stream on YouTube, and archived thereafter.

View this slideshow of photographs of early African American communities in Santa Monica and student artwork from April Banks’ virtual residency at Sam Francis Gallery, featuring photographs compiled for the Belmar History + Art project.

The Site:
Now closed, the Civic Auditorium was one of the major city developments that displaced the former community of Belmar (1900s-1950s) through eminent domain. By projecting on the facade, I aim to shine a light on this hidden history.

The Project:
Belmar History + Art (BH+A) is a project of the City of Santa Monica, commissioned through its Percent for Art Program and made possible by Santa Monica Cultural Affairs and the City of Santa Monica’s Public Works Department. A commemoration and celebration of the African American neighborhoods of the Belmar neighborhood and surrounding areas, and their contributions to the city’s history and cultural heritage, BH+A includes a permanent exhibition with historical interpretive panels and a sculptural artwork, and an education program. The project was inspired in part by a mandate of the California Coastal Commission to ‘integrate the principles of environmental justice, equality, and social equity.’

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Free Online! 

Historian Alison Rose Jefferson

Social Practice Artist April Banks

Belmar History + Art Project

Tuesday, February 16th @ 6pm

RSVP @ eventbrite.com

SantaMonica.gov/blog/blackhistorymonth2021

Historic Belmar Park: Preserving History through Stories and Art  

When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 6 p.m. 

 Join historian Alison Rose Jefferson and social practice artist April Banks for a discussion about the Belmar History + Art Project, including the outdoor exhibition that will soon encircle the new park, Historic Belmar Park. The outdoor exhibition features a monumental new artwork, A Resurrection in Four Stanzas, and interpretative story panels which are an outgrowth of the book “Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era.” These and other features of the Belmar History + Art Project commemorate the history of the Historic Belmar Park area and other South Santa Monica Beach neighborhoods that were home to a thriving African American community until they were displaced in the 1950s. Keeping this history alive is a goal of the Belmar History + Art project and the Santa Monica Black Lives Association, the nonprofit organization founded by Black community leaders spearheading the creation of the Black Agenda. 

RSVP: eventbrite.com/e/preserving-the-history-of-historic-belmar-park-through-art-interpretation-tickets-129219714645 

More Information: santamonica.gov/arts/belmar 

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This segment aired on the KTLA 5 Morning News on February 9, 2021.

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