On June 2nd 2021, Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve recommendations made by the Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) and the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee to designate 5518 Franklin Avenue—Sister Mary Corita’s Studio—as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM).
We are filled with gratitude for every person and organization that has been on this journey with us, sharing in the faith that the ordinary can indeed be extraordinary.
There remains a long road to walk together in preserving and promoting the legacies of significant women artists like Corita Kent. At the outset of this journey we learned that only 3% of HCMs in Los Angeles are associated with women's heritage. Giving landmark status to Corita’s studio is one critical step in redressing this disparity. However, the work to uphold the legacies of women artists and cultural leaders is ongoing. We applaud CHM, PLUM, and the Los Angeles City Council for paving the way for future conversations focused on equity.
Corita reminds us that hope is not just optimism; hope is hard work. Hope means showing up every day for others. As we turn the corner from this pandemic, we will need spaces like 5518 Franklin more than ever.
We hope that this designation, in all that it symbolizes, will inspire present and future generations to use their talents, time, and tools for the greater collective good and ensure that those ethos are valued and recognized locally and nationally.
We wish to thank all of our partners: every person and organization who worked tirelessly to ensure that Corita’s studio would not be erased from history in exchange for a few parking spaces. To the LA Conservancy, Hollywood Heritage, Immaculate Heart Community, and every individual that signed our “Save Corita’s Studio” letter of support, we thank you. We also extend a very special thank you to preservationist and architectural historian Kathryn Wollan, who has been with us every step of the way. It is thanks to your passion, incredible work and organizing efforts that this building can now become a vital and vibrant site of art, culture, learning, and creativity.
When it is safe to do so, we will celebrate this momentous occasion with a happening that befits this historic designation. There will be flowers, there will be art, there will be joyous rumbles of laughter. Most of all, there will be you.
What next? Corita Art Center is now exploring the future of how this building can be of service to the creative community as a part of the preservation of Corita Kent’s legacy. There are many conversations to have, but we know that you all will be right there with us. If you have not done so already, please sign up for our mailing list.
From all of us at Corita Art Center, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your faith, care, and shared vision along this journey.