Leimert Park’s World Stage fights eviction

The World Stage in Leimert Park -- co-founded by poet Kamau Daàood and legendary jazz drummer Billy Higgins -- faces an uncertain future.

The World Stage, co-founded by poet Kamau Daàood and legendary jazz drummer Billy Higgins, faces an uncertain future. | Brianna Sacks

Founded in 1989, The World Stage has become the cornerstone for Leimert Park, L.A.’s historic hub for African-American arts and culture.

The World Stage’s jam sessions, jazz performances, youth groups and writing workshop have been a model for countless other nonprofit literary arts groups around Southern California and the nation, according to KCET. It has also churned out some of the nation’s most famous jazz musicians and poets over its 25 years.

Last May, Leimert Park found out that its two-year fight for a metro stop on the incoming Crenshaw/LAX line would become a reality.

Shortly after, the World Stage’s owners and their neighbors learned that the building had been sold and eviction notices were handed out to the stage and many other businesses.

To hear the sounds of Leimert Park and the music of World Stage, as well as commentary from locals about the neighborhood’s future, click play on an audio story from Annenberg Radio News:

The new, faceless landlord has caused a lot of uncertainty, not just for the future of the performance center,  but the identity of the neighborhood as a whole.

Supporters argue that the Stage’s impending eviction would be a “colossal devastation” to the neighborhood, and the city, since non-profit community arts centers have become scarce.

The future of the Stage, and the neighborhood, is still unfolding as more politicians and activists are pouring their opinions and resources into the cause. The investors, however, remain mum and still unknown.


Click to discover more from Leimert Park’s third renaissance.


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