Episode 34 – Night on Broadway
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — With an impressive crowd of over 65,000 Downtown LA celebrated a little bit of its past and future during “Night on Broadway” on Saturday night. The event was orchestrated by Councilman Jose Huizar’s office as a way of celebrating the Councilman’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative, a 10-year plan for revitalizing the historic Broadway in Downtown.
With music, dancing, art, and featuring the historic theaters that line Broadway, the celebration lasted well into the night.
One of the main events of the night featured a new sport called chess boxing put on for charity. According to fighter Toby TigerHeart, “This is a round of chess in the ring, and then a round of boxing in the ring, a round of chess in the ring. The idea behind this sport is that you have to be smart and tough.” TigerHeart represented Fortune Gym in the ring on Saturday night against teammate Vito. TigerHeart relished the opportunity to fight in front of the Broadway crowd saying, “The cool thing about an event like this going on for so many years is that you’ve got thousands of people. They can stop and see something that they would never ever see.” The exhibition was curated by the LA chessboxing club.
Also participating that night was Two Bit Circus. According to Nicky Besuden, “Pretty much what we do is bring a bunch of our games out for adults and kids to play. It’s super important for adults to continue playing.” Besuden said there was an amazing response with over 100 people walking by and asking to jump on the horses or participate in some of the more unique games offered by Two Bit Circus. The Lincoln Heights-based company was happy to join the celebration in celebrating their downtown neighbors and the revitalization of Broadway.
One of the artists featured that night was Los Angeles-based Morley. The street artist specializes in bold, typographic posters which he wheat pastes within the urban landscape.
Morley said of the night, “It’s really cool to activate the community and give them a reason to come out. Something to see. Something to get invigorated by. This city is a wonderful place. I think downtown specifically has so much energy and so much culture and so much to appreciate.”
As a testament to the energy of the night, LAPD Captain Oreb said, “We did really well tonight. I look at the difference between this year and last year — we have more events more people, more food. Everybody’s having a great time. It’s a very peaceful event. I love seeing all the families downtown.”
Councilman Jose Huizar celebrated the success of his district’s night. He said, “It shows that there’s a thirst for people to re-explore downtown LA. People want the history. They want the culture. They want to come together as a city. This is what it’s about. It’s about everyone coming together as a city — enjoying the arts, enjoying the multiculturalism. And we have to do more of this.”