The Washington Irving branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, located at 4117 W. Washington Blvd., was awarded a 2019 Library Innovation Lab grant from California Humanities for its “Connecting Cultures” project, a series of free library programs promoting empathy and understanding of diverse cultures.
The “Connecting Cultures” programs include an author discussion on Mexican American immigration history, an Ethiopian music and dance performance and an Asian cooking demonstration on Oct. 12, 19 and 23, respectively.
“I thank California Humanities for the award and for the exciting opportunity to highlight the diversity in our community at Washington Irving through the lens of food, dance and history,” said adult librarian Krystal Messer.
The Washington Irving branch was one of 10 public libraries statewide selected for the Library Innovation Lab grant, as well as a nine-month professional development experience and cash grants of up to $5,000. Participating libraries develop innovative programs in response to the needs and circumstances of immigrants to foster more inclusive communities.
“American public libraries have played an important role in welcoming newcomers throughout our history,” said Julie Fry, president and CEO of California Humanities. “We congratulate the 10 grantees whose projects will promote understanding and provide insight into a wide range of topics, issues and experiences.”
The public is invited to “Connecting Cultures” events at the Washington Irving Branch. On Saturday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m., Dr. Francisco Balderrama will discuss his book “A Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s.” Signed copies will be distributed to attendees.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, at 3 p.m., an afternoon of Ethiopian music and dance will be followed by a traditional coffee ceremony.
The Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement will demonstrate healthy alternative ways to enjoy Asian dishes on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. Participants will receive produce to create their own dishes at home.
For information, visit lapl.org/branches/washington-irving or call call (323)734-6303.
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