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From Watts Riot Ashes: Bright Hopes, Heartaches

May 10, 1992|DAVID COLKER and MARC LACEY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Scores of programs, private and government-funded, were begun after the Watts riots. Some are listed below: Name: Brotherhood Crusade Purpose: A fund-raiser for black organizations and an advocate for community causes Status: Started in 1968 and still exists Name: Green Power Foundation Purpose: Entrepreneurial group started by a group of black professionals Status: Formed numerous companies, including a baseball bat manufacturer that failed. A furniture company still exists Name: Inner City Cultural Center Purpose: To produce plays by authors and groups from a variety of cultural backgrounds Status: The original director of the group, C. Bernard Jackson, still oversees its operation. Last year, it moved into the Ivar Theater in Hollywood Name: Interracial Council on Business Opportunity Purpose: Encouraged large companies to team up with small struggling businessmen Status: Lasted from the late 1960s to the early 1970s Name: Job Power Purpose: Started by Westminster Neighborhood Assn. with $1-million federal grant. Designed to teach janitorial work, house cleaning, painting and yardwork Status: Defunct Name: Mafundi Institute Purpose: To build self-esteem through the arts. It housed theater companies and several other performing groups Status: Active from 1967 until about 1975 Name: Management Council Purpose: Umbrella group to coordinate economic revitalization efforts Status: Defunct Name: Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center Purpose: To provide health care to the minority community in a comprehensive, 480-bed teaching hospital Status: Opened in 1972 and still exists Name: Neighborhood Good Guys Club Purpose: A private club started by auto body shop owner Stan Myles to give a dime a week to "good guys." Grew to 80 members Status: Defunct Name: Operation Bootstrap Purpose: Led race relations seminars and started the Shindana Toy Factory to produce black dolls Status: Lasted from 1965 to the mid 1970s Name: Studio Watts Workshop Purpose: Held classes in visual arts, dance, drama, writing and music Status: Became the Watts Community Housing Corp., which operates a subsidized 144-unit complex. The group occasionally has art exhibitions in the gallery, but no longer sponsors classes Name: Watts Amusement Center Purpose: A brainchild of the late UCLA engineering professor Morris Asimow, it was envisioned as a seven-acre complex mostly devoted to toy cars Status: Never built Name: Watts Community Symphony Orchestra Purpose: The 60-member orchestra gave about four concerts a year in the late 1960s and early 1970s Status: Inactive Name: Watts Health Center Purpose: Organized by the Watts Health Foundation, it opened in 1967 and provides medical services, job training and health classes Status: Survived financial troubles in the mid-1980s and treats thousands of cases annually Name: Watts Labor Community Action Committee Purpose: A union-backed organization that develops low-income housing, provides job training and offers other community services Status: Still active although some of its buildings were burned during the recent riots Name: Watts Movie Theater Purpose: Backed mostly by movie industry businesses and individuals, it showed first-run movies at low prices Status: Active 1966 until about 1970 Name: Watts Skill Center Purpose: Vocational job-training center created with $2.8-million federal grant by Los Angeles Unified School District Status: Still exists as the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center Name: Watts Summer Festival Purpose: Originally begun in 1966 as a memorial to the 34 lives lost in the riot. The festival, which included concerts and a parade, was an annual event into the mid-1980s, when it was canceled on several occasions because of financial troubles and the threat of gang violence Status: The festival was revived in 1990 and was held last year Name: Watts 13 Foundation Purpose: Sponsored poetry readings Status: Inactive Name: Watts Towers Art Center Purpose: Started before the riots, but with funds generated afterward it was able to construct a building. It offers a variety of arts classes and workshops Status: Operated by the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Name: Watts Writers Workshop Purpose: Screenwriter/novelist Budd Schulberg rented a house in Watts in 1965 and began coaching writers. His was one of the most famous of post-Watts projects and it featured appearances by several well-known performers for readings. A few of the writers in the workshop were published and sold scripts Status: The workshop dwindled in size after Schulberg moved to the East Coast and his successor, Harry Dolan, died. A small group of the writers still occasionally meets Name: Youth People of Watts Inc. Purpose: Put teen-agers to work doing yardwork and painting over graffiti Status: Now run by Robert Saucedo, who graduated from the program

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