Every time I participate, uh, you know, it just reminds me like that the Portal actually works, you know? Like it is, it is transportive. It is breaking down like barriers and like time and space in a really fascinating manner. And, it's really a way to you know equalize the conversation in some sense and hear from um the voices that are most directly impacted here in Los Angeles.
- Aparna Bakhle, Los Angeles Curator
The sprawling city of Los Angeles Portal had four locations since arriving in the city in May 2017. The Portal had a brief start at Self Help Graphics & Art fosters the creation and advancement of new art works by Chicana/o and Latinx artists through experimental and innovative printmaking techniques and other visual art forms. From June through mid-September 2017, the Portal was located in the Downtown neighborhood; it was placed on the steps of the LA Law Library, which provides resources to self-represented residents and legal practitioners. Downtown Los Angeles is among the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city, and many of its residents live below the poverty level. Its population increases by nearly 100% during the day as it’s visited by professionals and workers employed by the city and state. The geographic location and institutional affiliation of the Portal invited both neighborhood residents and Law Library visitors, including both low-income residents seeking knowledge of their own cases and legal professionals. The Portal moved mid-September to CSU Dominguez-Hills. As of January 2018 the Portal resided at Mercado La Paloma, a project of Esperanza Community Housing Corporation in the majority-Latino Figueroa Corridor of South LA. Mercado La Paloma is an open market that was created to attract and promote locally-born entrepreneurship and revitalization for a community whose suffered from decades of disinvestment.
The LA Portal captured 512 criminal justice dialogues - 9 at Self Help Graphics, 188 at the LA Law Library, 107 at CSU Dominguez-Hills and 217 at Mercado La Paloma.