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L.A. LIVE (August 2014 to present): AEG Worldwide‘s L.A. LIVE hired Melissa Richardson Banks and Edgar Varela of @WeAreDTLA to curate and helped its team produce an ongoing series of free community art events designed to attract and engage visitors to their multiplex on nights when their venues were dark, but the nearly 20 restaurants were open. Since 2014, a dozen successful large-scale community events have been produced with support by @WeAreDTLA  in Downtown Los Angeles: Downtown Dark NightsPOPUP MarketplaceRound Up at L.A. LIVE, and Family Day Takeover at L.A. LIVE.

Adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center, the multi-faceted 4-million sq. ft. sports, entertainment and residential district consists of STAPLES Center, Microsoft Theater, Microsoft Square, Club Nokia, Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE, The GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE, and 20 restaurants and bars.

During nights that were historically “dark” (i.e., no other major events happening), L.A. LIVE sought to create special events that attracted locals to come to the venue and enjoy live music, live art, and live performances enticed with inexpensive parking and special offers at participating restaurants. Together with @WeAreDTLA, the results speak for themselves … all in all, the partnership was a great success!

Results (2014-2018 to date)
•  150+ performers and performance groups (over 300 individuals) have been hired by L.A. LIVE based on @WeAreDTLA’s recommendation.
•  60+ musicians and musical acts hired by L.A. LIVE based on @WeAreDTLA’s recommendation.
•  Nearly 60 visual artists and over 60 live performers and performance troupes were hired by L.A. LIVE based on @WeAreDTLA’s recommendation.
•  More than 325 small businesses have participated in the 20 events curated by @WeAreDTLA for L.A. LIVE.
•  Since the inception of the event series in August 2014, at least 15 of the 20 restaurants at LA LIVE have participated in one or more events curated by @WeAreDTLA, enjoying a high increase in sales compared to similar nights during the previous year. Even so, traffic in restaurants doubled, resulting in the equivalent high volume of sales typically acquired when the Los Angeles Lakers or L.A. Kings have game nights.
•  An average of 12,000 people have attended each event (240,000 attendees so far!).
•  The strength of @WeAreDTLA‘s social media influence is proven by the high RSVP rate for invitations to the L.A. LIVE Facebook Events. Out of 43,714 guests invited to attend each event, 25,294 (56%) responded positively that they were coming. Even so, on average, actual attendance was almost SIX TIMES the final RSVP count for each event.

Bloomfest Logo (generic no date)BLOOMFESTLA (2011 & 2012):  For two years together, Melissa Richardson Banks and Edgar Varela of @WeAreDTLA curated, produced, marketed and managed this large-scale community festival in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.


The launch of the partnership between Melissa and Edgar in 2011 resulted in BloomfestLA’s expansion from its original 2008 memorial and as a significantly smaller block party of 800 in 2009 and 2010, commemorating Joel Bloom, a man respected and known for his advocacy and leadership of the Arts District, into a major community festival that attracted over 20,000 attendees that first year of collaboration (and resulting in a very visible way to market local businesses and the urban DTLA neighborhood in his honor), followed by 2012 where attendance hit nearly 40,000. Inspiring action, promoting awareness, and driving dollars into the community were exactly what drove the festival’s namesake Joel Bloom (and others, past and present) to do what was done for years, helping people who live, work, shop, eat, drink, and play in the Arts District neighborhood.

SHATTERED LA ART OPENING & MURAL UNVEILING (March 20, 2014):  Melissa Richardson Banks and Edgar Varela were hired to produce an invitation-only opening for 500 guests on a secret rooftop location in Downtown Los Angeles. Sponsored by Coors Light, the one-night-only art event featured the unveiling of a mural by RISK, a gallery show and live painting by Gregory Siff, and music by KCRW’s Anthony Valadez and ethnomusicologist Marlon Fuentes. Premiering #ShatteredLA #BreakTheIceLA apparel and limited-edition aluminum beer bottles by Coors Light