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Two pillars of the Echo Park community—the library and the lake—unite for a lively neighborhood gathering. Hear live music from Amir Kelly, the “self-crowned Blindian,” and listen in to an inspiring reading by Patrisse Cullors, an L.A. artist, organizer, freedom fighter, and co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Chairperson of Reform LA Jails, she is also a performance artist, popular public speaker, and a New York Times bestselling author. For her activism and movement building, Cullors has received many awards including being named by the LA Times as a Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century and the Sydney Peace Prize. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at Prescott College as well as completed an international tour for her new book When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. This year Patrisse teamed up with digital media company blackpills to produce RESIST, a docu-series following her Los Angeles grassroots community’s efforts to stop a $3.5 billion jail expansion plan.

Amir Kelly

Amir Kelly is a Pop/R&B artist from Riverside, California. Incorporating classical Indian melodies and 90’s R&B, he draws from his Black and Indian heritage to deliver both a compelling modern sound and a message that empowers listeners to reclaim their crown.

Futa Toro West African Dance Ensemble

Futa Toro West African Dance Ensemble shares the customs, attire and lifestyle of the people of West Africa. Their performance is a celebration of color, sound, movement and spirit. The group’s leader, Malik Sow, is from Dakar, Senegal, who studied drumming and dance as a young boy and later became the lead drummer—and eventually the Musical Director–for the Ballet d’Afrique Noire. Sow has traveled worldwide and is now a California-based educator as well as in demand for TV/film, having composed music for most notably Stephen Spielberg’s “Amistad.” Recently, he has performed on the Academy Awards and made an appearance on a new Oprah Winfrey Network show.

This program will take place at the Echo Lake Park, at 751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026.

There is a free street parking at Echo Park Lake and surrounding neighborhoods. Please note: give yourself ample time to find street parking as it often takes time to find a free space on the weekends.

Photo Credit: Patrisse Cullors © Dana Washington

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.