Farmlab & The South Central Farm -- Revisiting KCET.org and NAC Stories
Last year, KCET.org's "Web Stories" series included Farmlab in a multi-media piece called, "Sustaining L.A." Writer Bill Kelley Jr.'s essay accompanied a slide show and a filmed interview with Lauren Bon.
With Kelley coming to participate in an (unrelated, about Tijuana) Public Salon at Farmlab on March 6, 2009, this seemed like a good time to revisit the KCET work.
As Kelley wrote: "[Farmlab's] genesis should be situated within the very public battle for the preservation of the South Central Farm and the Not-A-Cornfield art project…"
He also wrote that Bon, among others, was a "key player, although unsuccessful in the end, in trying to save the community organized South Central Farm from commercial development."
And that: "Farmlab grew out of these two experiences and has been a year-long attempt to catalyze the different organizations and specialists in the field of environmental sustainability, urban planning, and community activism."
On a related note, author and Occidental professor, Robert Gottlieb, reported in Next American City magazine about at least one small part of the behind-the-scenes organizing and negotiating work that Bon and her teams at Farmlab and the Annenberg Foundation -- where she is a trustee -- were doing:
"A group including the Trust for Public Land and the Annenberg Foundation came up with $16 million to repurchase the property, saying they intended to keep the farm going and create soccer fields.
"Though that amount was triple what Horowitz had been paid three years earlier, Horowitz refused."
See the full KCET.org work here.
Read more here about Farmlab's work to create a monument at the Huntington to the trees, of the trees, and by the trees of the South Central Farm.
And here's a bit about Ag Bin Ramblas, another Farmlab project with direct SCF origins.
Farmlab photo by James Goodnight