Date posted: February 27, 2015

Join us on March 18 for film, food, and a friendly discussion about art & public health!

We were thrilled when our friends at LA Freewaves invited us to be one of the six artist groups participating in Long Live LA, an OUT THE WINDOW video series addressing issues such as mental health, addictions and fitness.

Beyond the excitement of being able to partner with Freewaves again, the invitation was the perfect opportunity for us to get The Truth About Flavor videos out at the local level.

For the last few months, The Truth About Flavor team – students at the Community Health Advocates School (CHAS) at Augustus Hawkins High School, Community Liaisons, The Legacy Foundation, and many others – has worked tirelessly to develop five myth-buster style shorts that humorously confront a very serious issue: the risks and harms of flavored cigars and cigarillos.

Now, it’s time for the videos to premiere!

Freewaves will screen the Long Live LA videos at Mercado La Paloma on Wednesday, March 18th from 7 – 9 p.m. We hope you’ll come by to meet the CHAS students, chat with our Community Liaisons Jocelyn Herrera and Xochilt Sanchez, eat great food, and see the quirky and critical videos that this team of young health advocates and media-makers has worked hard to put together!

Wednesday, March 18th, 7 – 9 p.m.

Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave, LA 90007


Jeepney Watch: Tonight on KCET SoCal Connected @ 8:00pm

Date posted: November 5, 2014

The PWC Jeepney. An orange wonder on wheels.

We’re excited that it’s getting a well-deserved place in the spotlight, courtesy of the awesome folks at KCET’s SoCal Connected. The piece profiles the Pilipino Workers’ Center‘s Jeepney Tours in Historic Filipinotown, which was launched way back in 2009 (!) as part of PDUB Productions, Public Matters’ collaboration with The Pilipino Workers’ Center, UCLA REMAP and HyperCities.

The profile also includes footage from our Hidden HI FI series through Out The Window, a project with our friends at LA Freewaves, UCLA REMAP and Echo Park Film Center.

Check out the Jeepney in all its glory and the wonderful work that has happened and is happening in Historic Filipinotown:  SoCal Connected on KCET, TONIGHT at 8pm!

more about pdub productions     > >

more about out the window     > >

World Food Day

Date posted: October 16, 2014

World Food Day.

What it’s all about: drawing attention to eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, particularly in rural areas.

Public Matters has been doing World Food Day everyday since it started working in healthy food access. We’re taking time today to look back on all the great work that’s happened, and to generate new thinking on how to improve healthy food access and health outcomes in communities across Los Angeles.

To start our brainstorming, we’re re-watching these classics from our collaboration with the South L.A. Healthy Eating Active Community(HEAC) Initiative and students from The Accelerated School (TAS):

THE TRUTH ABOUT FLAVOR: “Guaranteed Fresh” Perspective

Date posted:

Since the middle of September, students in South L.A. at Augustus Hawkins High School’s Community Health Advocates School (CHAS) have been getting a fresh perspective on tobacco.  Specifically, they’ve been exploring issues related to small flavored cigars and cigarillos and are becoming community health advocates and media-makers in the process.

Public Matters, with CHAS, the American Legacy Foundation (Legacy) and Dr. Mignonne Guy, a researcher from Virginia Commonwealth University, are undertaking this pilot project to better understand and influence flavored cigar and cigarillo use in youth/young adult populations in communities like South L.A.  Central to this project is the creation and dissemination of artist- and student-created media.  L.A. Freewaves and Public Matters will join together again to show five short videos on L.A. Metro buses through Freewaves’ Out the Window project, thanks to generous support from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. In addition, the class will work with Public Matters to produce a longer documentary video on the subject that will screen out in the community and to tobacco-control audiences in the City and County of Los Angeles.

In the first five weeks of working with Public Matters, CHAS students have gotten crash courses in filmmaking and media literacy, including incursions into big tobacco history and advertising.  “A-ha” moments and all, these sessions form the base of discussions that draw out the students’ perceptions on the risks and harms of flavored cigars, and that ultimately build their knowledge around tobacco-related health disparities and outcomes.

Simultaneously, the class plunged into filmmaking.  With beads of sweat and the bravery needed to face September’s heat, students took to Augustus Hawkins’ field to shoot the title sequence for their videos (teaser photos above). As they continue to develop their own concepts and community content, we’re excited to see how this new cadre of creative young health advocates will approach the topic of small flavored cigars and cigarillos with a critical perspective.

Public Matters would not be able to implement “The Truth About Flavor” without two members of its Urban Futures Lab, Community Liaisons Jocelyn Herrera and Xochilt Sanchez. This dynamic duo offers essential program support, assisting with teaching, production and post-production, and serving as all-around awesome role models for the CHAS students.


Legacy is the largest non-profit public health organization in the nation devoted specifically to tobacco control. It has a history of producing game-changing public health initiatives – like its award-winning truth® youth smoking prevention campaign – that are proven to reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults.

Augustus Hawkins High School consists of three distinct small schools: 1) Critical Design and Gaming School; 2) Community Health Advocates School; and Responsible Indigenous Social Entrepreneurship School.  It is located in South Los Angeles.

L.A. Freewaves creates public media art events that bring diverse audiences and independent media artists together in dialogue on current issues; promotes innovative and people-centered cultural engagement through project-specific platforms – multiple, scalable, online, at established and nontraditional venues; serves audiences throughout Los Angeles County and beyond with a mixture of local and international media art; and provides free online access to one of the largest digital archives of contemporary media arts.

Mignonne C. Guy, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research has included small to large-scale health services and outcomes research studies involving multiple stakeholders as well as applying the principles and practices of community-engaged research in cancer and chronic disease prevention. Her research agenda centers on three complementary areas of cancer prevention in multi-ethnic and underserved populations: 1) understanding socio-cultural, behavioral, and structural/institutional factors that present barriers to the prevention of cancer, 2) culturally tailored interventions, and 3) improving access to and utilization of health care services by increasing the reach of evidence-based practices through dissemination research. Her work utilizes mixed-methods and often incorporates community-engaged research approaches.

Expanding our Library

Date posted: July 31, 2014

Hidden HI FI Jeepney

Public Matters just added another book to its bookshelf – Todd Presner, David Shepard, and Yoh Kawano’s HyperCities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities.

Not just another urban planning tome from another elite East Coast university (the book is available from Harvard University Press), this book “describes the humanist project of participating and listening that transforms mapping into an ethical undertaking – thick mapping.”

Also, it distinguishes itself by having a section devoted to Public Matters’ youth media and civic engagement project PDUB Productions: Mapping HiFi, in collaboration with The Pilipino Workers Center.

Shameless plug: Read the book. Better yet, buy it.

Or check out our PDUB page to learn more about Public Matters’ adventures in Historic Filipinotown.

SUPER SNACK ATTACK: Saturday, 02.22.14 @ noon-3pm

Date posted: February 19, 2014

Stomach grrrowling at you?

Get on the offense with Super Snack Attack! on Saturday February 22nd from noon to 3pm! In partnership with our friends at de LaB, a fun-filled adventure awaits. Eat your way through a tour of UCLA CPHHD‘s Proyecto MercadoFRESCO stores Ramirez Meat Market and Euclid Market.

Make DIY fruit kebobs at Ramirez Meat Market (3815 Folsom at Rowan, East Los Angeles) at noon, followed by the first-ever cooking demo at Euclid Market (545 Euclid Ave. at 6th St., Boyle Heights) at 2pm! Free food at both locations! Stake your spot here. RSVPs required.

Watch Public Matters + Market Makeovers on KCET Artbound

Date posted: February 14, 2014

Many thanks to the wonderful folks at KCET Artbound for the great piece on Public Matters’ Market Makeovers, which featured work with UCLA CPHHD’s Proyecto MercadoFRESCO on Euclid Market in Boyle Heights. Our Community Liaisons did an amazing job representing the project and communicating the importance of addressing healthy food access in their community.

In case you missed the broadcast (or just want to see it again and again), check out the video at Artbound, along with Jackie Illum’s “Bringing Healthy Alternatives to Boyle Heights” and other great posts about Market Makeovers.

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To see just how much work went into transforming Euclid Market, here are a few blast-from-the-past “BEFORE” PHOTOS:

Here’s a closer look at the INTERIOR + INVENTORY:

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Back to the present, check out some of the new signs greeting customers at Euclid Market. They were in the background of the Artbound video, but they’re so cool, we thought they should get some limelight. They’re part of Proyecto MercadoFRESCO’s social marketing campaign to promote fruits and vegetables, featuring residents of Boyle Heights. Thanks to photographer Gina Osterloh for the beautiful images, Marlene Franco for the fabulous graphic design and all the great community folks who participated in the campaign.

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For those process types: you can see more of our Community Liaisons transforming Euclid Market here and here.

Watch Us on KCET ARTBOUND’S SEASON PREMIERE: Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 9:00pm

Date posted: February 12, 2014

It’s here.

For those of you who voted for us last year, the payoff has arrived. KCET Artbound will be airing a feature on Market Makeovers as part of its Season 4 Premiere. If you didn’t vote, we won’t hold it against you. Do check it out: it’s couch potato time well spent, in support of healthy food access. The story follows our Community Liaisons and the transformation of Euclid Market in Boyle Heights through UCLA CPHHD’s Proyecto MercadoFRESCO.

If you’re not already an avid reader of our Market Makeovers feature on Artbound, catch up before the show.

KCET: Artbound, 12.12.13

Date posted: December 20, 2013

Shirley Ramirez, “Market Makeover: Euclid Market Transformation” 12.12.13

My name is Shirley Ramirez. I’m nineteen years old. I live in the dominant Latin community of East Los Angeles. Currently, I’m a sophomore at East Los Angeles Community College and in the process of transferring out. Once I transfer out, I am planning to study public health due to my experience in working with Public Matters and Proyecto MercadoFRESCO. I started working Public Matters during my junior year of high school in East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy (ELARA). Back then I knew nothing about health. All I knew was that my daily habit of eating my Hot Cheetos smothered in hot, gooey and sticky nacho cheese was probably going to change.

read the full story

Euclid Market Grand Re-Opening

Date posted: December 17, 2013

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Euclid Market transformation a reality, and to all of you who attended the Grand Re-Opening this past weekend. We had a blast and we are thrilled to see a new healthy food retailer in Boyle Heights! The re-opening was a tremendous success and the market looks amazing after many months of hard work and dedication with UCLA CPHHD’s Proyecto MercadoFRESCO (funded by NHLBI) and additional funding support from The Goldhirsh Foundation‘s LA2050 Award.

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