Category Archives: Music

Make Music in the Election Year!

Make Music in the Election Year!

Another year has passed and so many important issues are on the political table. Many of you are in the midst of election preparations for your Neighborhood Council, filling vacant regional seats on your boards, attracting volunteers who will contribute time and expertise toward community goals.

It almost seems frivolous to talk about music. Except, Make Music Day is about a great deal more.

Make Music Day is about what’s around you. “Music festival” these days call to mind something where you travel to a remote location, pay hundreds of dollars, and take in music on huge stage by huge stars. Make Music Day (MMD) refocuses the idea of a festival by giving everyone a more active, direct role. Make Music Day happens everywhere, for an entire day, on the longest day of the year. (Summer Solstice June 21st). There’s no limit on who can play, what they play, or where they play it. The ultimate goal is to have total participation, because playing music together is an incredible social force. There is no way to solidify a community like having people play and listen to music together.


Make Music Day works best when it’s organized from the ground up & stays DIY. It’s possible, as the festival organizer, to put together the festival yourself, programming and producing every concert centrally. If producing concerts is something you already do, this may even be fairly easy. However, programming the music for an entire community is ultimately not your job as the administrator. Your job is to awaken the musical activity around you and let the artists and the venues do the rest.

This will likely best be accomplished with a few events of your own devising and a lot of events that you’ll help facilitate, but not directly run. Opening programming up to everyone will teach you a lot about where you live – you’ll have the chance to learn about spaces you never knew were interested in hosting music, bands you didn’t know about, even entire scenes you didn’t know about.


Your first year is just a starting point, don’t feel like you need to do it all! This concept of a music festival that’s free, outdoors, not centrally organized, and open to everyone is something that takes time to sink in for a lot of people. Think about making your first year the pilot year. Find like-minded venues and artists who really get the idea, and make sure to direct people’s attention to those events. Make sure you get good documentation, so that in Year Two, the basics of MMD are apparent. First year communities have had great successes while staging 150 concerts, but they’ve also had great successes with 20 concerts that really set the stage for something that will grow down the road.

Stay tuned for more on “how to” engage your community in Make Music Day.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell presented MMLA Board members with a Resolution June 19th, 2015

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell presented MMLA Board members with a Resolution June 19th, 2015

Off The Wall Grafitti Fundraiser @ Macleod Brewery – This Saturday – 5:00 to 10:00 pm.


Off The Wall Grafitti Fundraiser

Off The Wall Grafitti (OTWG) are having their first fundraiser in support of their efforts to beautify Van Nuys!

OTWG applied for the Great Streets general funds through the City of LA  Arts Activation program and promise to re-imagine Van Nuys viscerally while working with the youth in the area who might otherwise be tagging the streets – getting them Off The Wall!

Please come to Macleod Brewery and support them this Saturday.

Rain or shine!!

Night on Broadway, Today @ 5:00 pm!

Night on Broadway Today @ 5:00 pm!

Councilmember José Huizar invites you, your family and friends to “Night on Broadway” this Saturday, January 30!

After the 35,000 person success of our first #NightOnBroadway event last year, we’re excited to bring this fun, energetic event back to DTLA. From acrobats to comedians, recording artists to avant-garde gamers, Night on Broadway will feature live entertainment in seven of Broadway’s glorious historic theatres and an outdoor festival stage.

A multi-block, arts-focused street festival will feature hundreds of artists and activities, including pop-up galleries, a street art competition, a mural garden, an interactive kids zone, a Ferris wheel crowning Broadway and much more – you will not want to miss it!

Night on Broadway celebrates the 8th anniversary of Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative. Through Bringing Back Broadway, this historic street has been making quite a comeback and we’re excited to share that with you – and Angelenos from all over the city.

Night on Broadway occurs this Saturday Jan. 30 between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Broadway between 3rd and Olympic in DTLA. It is free, for all ages, and will occur rain or shine.

There will be so much going on at Night on Broadway that no two people will have the same experience. See the whole roster of entertainment, artists and activities now and plan your night at or download the mobile app.

We hope to see you there!



I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? If this petition gets 99,999 signatures by October 01, 2015, the White House will review it and respond!

We the People allows anyone to create and sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues. If a petition gets enough support, the Obama Administration will issue an official response.

You can view and sign the petition here:

Here’s some more information about this petition:

Designate June 21st as Make Music Day

Make Music Day celebrates a national commitment to making music and the importance of access to music education for all. Recognizing the benefits and importance of music making as an essential form of creative expression and expressing support for designating the Summer Solstice, June 21, as Make Music Day.

This petition is on behalf of the Make Music Alliance a non-profit organization, our partners of professional, amateur and student musicians, composers, schools, instrument manufacturers, music publishers, community organizations, municipalities, and a range of other institutions and individuals. Make Music Day celebrates music education and recreational music making by creating free out-door performances for the public across the country annually on June 21st.

Please help to promote this petition by doing the following:

Email: Please promote to your family and friends and anyone who cares about music

Facebook: Please post this to your Facebook page letting everyone know that you signed the petition on Ask them to please it as well

Twitter: Please Tweet about this petition. Here’s a sample Tweet you can use:

I just signed a petition on the White House Petitions site, We the People. Will you sign it?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

We can do this!

Make Music LA Today!

Make Music LA Today!

Preparations for Make Music LA are underway in Santa Monica, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, South LA, Downtown, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Universal City!

Sunday, June 21st is also Father’s Day, and a perfect opportunity to be outside with family and friends enjoying a summer concert.

Neighborhood Councils in Santa Monica have taken over 8 parks to present Make Music LA performances.  Regional libraries such as Central Library Downtown, North Hollywood, and Arroyo Seco will share music all day with their constituents.

The Colburn School Ensembles will be at Trade Tech for a Sunday afternoon performance for Grads and their families.  Amazing bands will perform from the cultural Mariachi Lindas to reggae, rock, sca, jazz, country, punk, and world music and Silver Lake’s Amy Clarke.  The energetic and fun Sposato Brothers Band, Stonefeather and The Arielle Deem Band,. Along with recording artists such as Barbara Morrison and Eloise Laws, are a part of Make Music Day events across the City.

Additionally, three Mass Appeal events will take place this year. Two in Santa Monica: the Tom Nolan Band will once again be leading the Harmonica Mass Appeal event at Virgina Avenue Park at 5:00PM. New this year is Brit Rodriguez leading a Ukulele Mass Appeal at the Rose Garden in Palisades Park, and Tony White and Friends will celebrate the Saxophone at the Beverly Canon Gardens at 3:00PM.

The Make Music LA website offers an opportunity to print out the schedule for each venue. If you wanted to know the schedule so that you can prepare your day of concert going, go to the Make Music LA home page and use the map to find the location(s) of your choice. Once open, please click on the highlighted name of the location to download an informational flyer.

Make Music Day 2016

We will start preparing for Make Music LA 2016 (our 5th anniversary) as soon as the last note is played a week from Sunday. This will be your opportunity to help create music in your neighborhood. If you would like to see what is going on in other parts of the country, please take a look at Make Music Day for a complete list of cities and performances on Sunday, June 21.

On behalf of the members of the Board of Directors of Make Music LA we wish all Dads a very Happy Father’s Day!  We would also like to ask you to bring music into your communities on June 21st and any day you come together with neighbors, friends, and visitors.

MMLA Diversity and Inclusion

MMLAMMLA Diversity and Inclusion

Make Music LA was invited to present a diverse program of music and dance by Common Wealth Partners managers of the iconic City National Plaza in Downtown, Los Angeles in honor of “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”.

The title is long but this day represents raising awareness of the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.

City National Plaza came alive with the sound of Brazilian Samba, presented by Samba and More, the lyrical sounds and dances of India presented by the Haseen Dance Company and the joyful drums and dance from Thiane Diouf West African Griot Drum and Dance Ensemble.

MMLA Diversity and Inclusion

Los Angeles is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world with stakeholders speaking more than 100 languages. How many languages are spoken in your neighborhood and the regions of your Neighborhood Council?

Do you have stakeholders that just might feel what you do at your Neighborhood Council does not include them?

Do you want to increase your outreach opportunities?

Make Music LA can help you do just that…music is the universal language.

Your communities hold the keys to our future. The education children receive is your business. Just because you may not know them or will never meet them, how they spend their time today will eventually effect all our tomorrows.

Sharing our diversity with each other our history, music, food and interests will help us solve major problems. It sounds simple and it is…truly that simple.

Make Music LA asks you to extend a hand, share ideas and make music in your communities with your stakeholders.

Learn more about Make Music LA by visiting the following websites:

Join in Make Music Day 2015

Join in Make Music Day 2015

Make Music Day affirms the importance of music and its role in building and bridging communities through making music together. It is a celebration of the musician that’s in all of us, and in that spirit, musicians of all ages and levels of ability will gather to play together. This year’s festivities will be truly global, taking place in more an 800 cities across 110 countries.

Make Music LA is an opportunity for music stores and community organizers to work together, hosting newsworthy events such as Mass Appeal (massive projects for a single type of instrument), musical instrument petting zoos, open mics, or anything they can imagine. It’s also an opportunity for amateur musicians to collaborate and take the stage and for professional musicians to meet new people in their communities. Music has the power to build and bridge communities, as well as to heal, connect, and inspire. So tap your feet, grab your instrument, and gather your community to make 2015 Make Music Day the biggest celebration of music ever!

“Make Music Day encourages a different perspective on music making,” says Make Music Alliance Executive Director Aaron Friedman who spearheaded efforts to bring Make Music Day to the US in 2007. “Our country is teeming with musicians of all different genres and levels. Bringing them together to celebrate music is a powerful way to enrich our communities and motivate others to make music a part of their daily lives.”

Each city organizes their events independently, often as a-collaboration, between community groups, music stores, government agencies, and civic leaders. Each event incorporates local flavors and cultures into the music making. In 2014, 3,187 free concerts were organized for Make Music Day. The movement has now spread to dozens of states and cities across the country. Please view Make Music Day cities at:

Create Your Own Make Music Day Event

It’s easy to do! Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Contact Make Music LA – –
  • Start spreading the news about Make Music LA to local musicians
  • Form drums circles.
  • Contact a local music store and talk up Make Music LA.
  • Remember all concerts are free and open to the public.
  • The focus is on involving as many musicians, at all levels and ages as possible
  • Concerts can take place anywhere: porches, garages, storefronts, gardens, and parks.
  • Contact local school music departments, post flyers on bulletin boards

Excerpts from: from March/April 2015Make music LA

Friends of the Los Angeles River’s FROG SPOT Opens May 23

Friends of the Los Angeles River’s second season of Frog Spot along the L.A. River in Frogtown kicks off May 23. Open admission free to the public Saturdays 8 am – 8 pm and Sundays 8 am – 6 pm, this venue is a great way to catch up with friends and relax along the Los Angeles river.

Frog Spot will feature:

  • Saturdays 5 to 8 pm Live music in an open-air lounge
  • Saturdays and Sundays 9 am Morning yoga sessions
  • Bean bag toss and bocce ball
  • Guided tours of a natural section of the L.A. River
  • Premium snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine

For more information, visit or call 323 223-0585. Frog Spot is located at 2825 Benedict St Los Angeles, CA 90039

Neighborhood Councils Sway City Council Decision in Greek Theatre Debate

Neighborhood Councils Sway City Council Decision in Greek Theatre Debate

At January’s overflowing Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River Committee meeting, the Committee heard from the Department of Recreation & Parks, the two companies putting forth proposals, as well as from community members expressing their opinions on the issue of who is offering the best proposal for operating the historic Greek Theatre in Griffith Park. The motion was moved forward to the full City Council, and this week, the City Council meeting was also filled with supporters of both Nederlander/AEG and Live Nation, gathered to express their support for one of the two proposals.

While Live Nation’s proposal to operate the venue was selected as preferable by the Recreation & Parks Commission, multiple community groups and Neighborhood Councils lobbied against the decision, gathering thousands of petition signatures and filing Community Impact Statements to support a new selection process that includes more weight placed on community input.

The passionate community activism on this issue and the insistence by community leaders including the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates that the current evaluation process was not inclusive enough prompted the Councilmembers to vote 11-3 against the Rec & Parks Commission’s recommendation. The decision now goes back to Recreation & Parks, where the Commission can choose to uphold its previous decision, change its decision, or restart the process.

The level of impact of community efforts demonstrates the power of effective organizing and the strength in numbers that comes with cooperation and coordination between multiple organizations. Through efforts like this, Neighborhood Councils and Alliances are flexing their muscles and proving their relevance and influence at City Hall.

For the full LA Times coverage of the story, click here.

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