Euclid Market Grand Re-Opening THIS SATURDAY, December 14, 2014!

Date posted: December 9, 2013

After months of planning and physical transformation, Euclid Market is finally ready to celebrate its Grand Re-Opening as the latest UCLA CPHHD Proyecto MercadoFRESCO store. Come out this Saturday, December 14th from 12-2pm and check out the transformation, buy some produce, enjoy free food samples, and mingle with Boyle Heights residents and community members.

Euclid Market: Transformation Part 2

Date posted: November 13, 2013

Community Liaison Guillermo Avila puts finishing touches on a day’s work.

The Euclid Market physical transformation is moving along smoothly, and the Community Liaisons have started painting the exterior of the market with help from Roosevelt High School students. The interior of the store has been painted a vibrant and warm red, accented by grey columns creating an exciting and vibrant space.

Read the rest of this entry »

KCET: Artbound, 10.16.2013

Date posted: October 28, 2013

Jackie Illum, “Bringing Healthy Food Alternatives to Boyle Heights”, KCET: Artbound, 10.16.2013.

As I walk down Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, the smell of exhaust and greasy, salty, tasty foods overwhelms my nose. The street is shaded yet colorful, cramped yet large — filled with everything from fruit vendors to bacon wrapped hot dog vendors, taquerias, bodegas, and stores selling everything from household items to inexpensive fashion from across the globe. Walking down First Street near Mariachi Plaza, a completely different vibe is felt. It is much sunnier, and while there may be fewer people out and about, more of those people are lingering, relaxing, enjoying their afternoon in the sun. Mariachi Plaza has a rich history in Boyle Heights, and it is a lovely place to people watch. Cars pull over to make event arrangements with mariachis, people enjoy their lunch in the warm sun, and people gather to voice their thoughts. As a relatively new Angeleno, Boyle Heights has become one of my favorite neighborhoods. It has so many interesting layers of history to be uncovered and learned about, so many wonderful people and organizations, and such an air of constant buzz and hope as things are changing for the better. Wall after wall covered in vibrant murals, young folks walking the streets and creating movements to improve the community and neighborhood in which they grew up.

read the full story

Euclid Market: Transformation Part I

Date posted: October 7, 2013

Community Liaisons Alma Reyes + Shirley Ramirez paint shelving for Euclid Market.

Happy Fall, everyone!

The Boyle Heights Market Makeovers have been moving forward all summer, and we are now finally transforming Euclid Market! Just as we did with Sociedad Market, we worked with Nathan Cheng and the Community Liaisons to brainstorm floor plan options, color schemes, and overall store designs. The Community Liaisons started cleaning and painting the shelving in Euclid Market last week. Once all of the shelves are cleaned, painted, and rearranged, we can move forward with interior and then exterior painting.

Read the rest of this entry »

PARK(ing) Day 2013: Boyle Heights Edition

Date posted: September 23, 2013

FRESCO: Greening the food desert one market (and parklet) at a time.

PARK(ing) Day 2013 was an especially exciting day for us at Public Matters. This was our first year participating in the international event to turn a parking space into a park, just for one day. We were able to activate the corner of 4th and Mathews in Boyle Heights while raising awareness about the need for open space in our city. Additionally, the Community Liaisons were able to increase awareness about food justice and the importance of healthy eating. Read the rest of this entry »

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

Date posted: September 14, 2013

Community Liaisons practicing a skit they developed after learning about social marketing strategies from Marie Estrada.

It’s been a busy, fun and productive summer beginning the transformation of two new markets in Boyle Heights as part of our work with the UCLA-USC Center for Population Health + Health Disparities (CPHHD). Thanks to Public Matters receiving an LA2050 award from the Goldhirsh Foundation, thirteen Community Liaisons have moved full circle from high school students in Proyecto MercadoFRESCO classes to paid community leaders and project contributors. During the eleven weeks of summer, the Community Liaisons were guided through a learning process for successful Market Makeovers, which included a lot of work on the ground as well.  They created social marketing strategies, captured and visualized store inventory and layout data for both Boyle Heights markets, and began determining what the inventory of a healthy corner store would be.

Community Liaisons designed a skyline mural representing Boyle Heights, created stencils, and painted the mural inside of Sociedad Market.

Read the rest of this entry »

KCET: Artbound, 09.10.2013

Date posted: September 10, 2013

Brettany Shannon, “Blurry By Design: Public Matters on Social Enterprise”, KCET: Artbound, 09.10.2013

I have twice had the great fortune to work with Public Matters, and both times received an education in their strategic adaptability. The first time was in 2011, when Public Matters was one fourth of the collective producing Out the Window, the first-ever video art intervention by Los Angeles youth and community-based artists on Los Angeles Metro buses for Metro riders. L.A. media arts organization Freewaves coordinated, UCLA’s REMAP (the Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance) developed the technical capacity, and Echo Park Film Center and Public Matters provided the youth-generated content. The videos are tremendous, reflecting on L.A. in uniquely personal, yet distinctly socially minded terms. Public Matters East Los Angeles class’ videos about life in a food desert are particularly powerful. You’ll find the students’ learning through creating, and even their becoming social actors, to be totally tangible — media art’s great capacity for engaging individuals in questions of identity, participation, process, and context brought to brilliant pedagogical bear.

None of this is a mistake.

read the full story

Sociedad Market: Transformation Part 2

Date posted: August 22, 2013

Power washing and old sign removal are the first steps to painting the exterior of a market.

After spending the past few weeks transforming the interior of Sociedad Market, we’ve finally been able to move on to the exterior! If ever there were a team-building task, it is in transforming the exterior of a corner store. The Community Liaisons started by power washing the walls and removing all of the old signage. The walls were then painted a vibrant red hue which really pops on the corner of Whittier and Mott. Read the rest of this entry »

Sociedad Market: Transformation Part 1

Date posted: August 2, 2013

Miri, with her Boyle Heights letters - to be painted in the back of Sociedad Market.

The interior transformation of Sociedad Market is well underway. We started by looking at the existing floor plan and experimenting with new ways of laying out the store with the Community Liaisons and Nathan Cheng. Reanne engaged the Community Liaisons on their creative visions for the interior and exterior of the store to determine the red and gray color scheme and the urban feel of the design.

Some of the themes explored by the Community Liaisons for Sociedad Market.

Read the rest of this entry »

KCET: Artbound, 07.17.2013

Date posted: July 17, 2013

Lilybeth Hernandez, “I Was a Teenage Avocado”, KCET: Artbound, 07.17.2013

SEE THE VIDEO: Lilybeth >>

The transformation to Teenage Avocado was not spontaneous; I didn’t suddenly wake up and find myself a 5′ 7″ anthropomorphic avocado. It was gradual, one that I would say began with Public Matters, Proyecto MercadoFRESCO, and a concept: food deserts.

My first appearance as an avocado was at a neighborhood parade commemorating Mexican Independence Day in East Los Angeles. I grew up attending the parade with my family each year. It’s of particular importance in my community. It’s a tradition. When Public Matters asked me to participate in the parade, I agreed — with some trepidation. I am not overly coordinated or particularly theatrical, but VELA — The Volunteers of East Los Angeles, the local non-profit organization we’d be working with — was close to my heart. That day during the parade, dressed in my avocado costume, I performed and passed out fresh produce while promoting the local farmers’ market, healthy eating, and Proyecto MercadoFRESCO. In retrospect, Mexican Independence Day was the gateway, the jumping point towards being game for just about anything and a big step in my overall character development.

read the full story