U.P., Inc. - A BRIEF HISTORY
U.P., Inc. was formed as a community-based, public benefit corporation, in the wake of the 1992 L.A. riots / civil unrest. Hundreds of volunteers from all parts of the city joined forces to form this umbrella agency to address many of the critical needs and problems facing the Los Angeles community. One of U.P.'s primary missions was, and remains, to unify, revitalize, and inspire the many diverse segments of our city through the arts, especially the youth.
U.P.'s first major project was to engage over one thousand elementary school children, guided by volunteer artists and former graffiti taggers, to paint some two linear miles of flower murals over burnedout and graffiti covered walls. Youngsters from the west side mingled with inner-city kids in a delightful demonstration of hope replacing despair. U.P. received many expressions of appreciation and letters of commendation from school teachers and administrators, members of the City Council, the Mayor's Office, the Cultural Affairs Dept., members of the L.A. Police Dept., and others, as well as very favorable coverage from the media.
In September, 1994, U.P. opened the Spring Street Gallery in downtown Los Angeles as a place to exhibit all forms of visual art; to serve as an art education center, and as a place to bring together the exciting cultural and ethnic diversity that makes Los Angeles the dynamic city it is.
In the latter part of 1994, U.P. was selected by the City Council as one of five non-profit arts organizations to administer and provide innovative and needed arts programs in city owned community centers in undeserved areas of Los Angeles. As a member of the ARTPARTNERS Program. "U.P. was contracted to partner with the Cultural Affairs Dept., to provide services which severe budget cuts prevented the city from funding. U.P., in turn, formed a partnership with three other arts organizations: Grupo de Teatro SINERGIA, The Korean Classical Music & Dance Co.; and Stage of the Arts, to form the UNITY ARTS CENTER Consortium, housed at the William Reagh, L.A. Photography Center. It is here, with its 99 seat theater, large exhibit area, and fully equipped dark rooms, that U.P. presents free arts programming to school-age youth from the local community-an area adjacent to McArter Park, and residents from City Housing Projects.
Other activities include Bi-lingual theater presentations, multi-cultural festivals, dance, music and drama workshops, art exhibits and special events and celebrations.