A trip to downtown Los Angeles will make you feel as if you’ve taken a vacation in Mexico, Japan, and China. Over the years, immigrants and locals, especially artists, alike have flocked to the downtown Los Angeles area, transforming it into a business, arts, and entertainment hub. The area continues to attract tourists and locals through its entertainment arenas, art galleries, and many more. Visitors to the area who want a taste of Asian-American art can venture to Little Tokyo Los Angeles Union Center for the Arts.
Found at the north western end of the Little Tokyo Historic District, the Union Center is famous for housing three prominent art organizations: the East-West Players, Visual Communications, and LA Artcore. The present-day Union Center building was once known as Union Church and served as the home base of a Japanese American Christian Congregation. Construction of the building was completed in 1923, but the structure suffered damage during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The building underwent a $3.5 million renovation and was subsequently renamed as the Union Center for Arts.
Part of the reason why the Asian culture continues to flourish in the area is due to the endeavors of several organizations dedicated to preserving and promoting the unique mix of Asian American culture. The country’s premiere Asian American theater, the East-West players, continue to enjoy immense popularity and support from their Asian and non-Asian audiences who troop to the Union Center to watch their performances. Another prominent media arts organization dedicated to a similar advocacy is Visual Communications or simply known as VC.
The group promotes their ideals through productions and exhibits that are housed in the Union Center. Finally there’s the LA Artcore, an art institution known adventurous endeavors in the realm of art and promotes the diverse culture of the city through artworks that are exhibited in the Gallery Union Center.