Community of artists gather to save El Sereno’s Eastside Café

As the grand city of Los Angeles continues to grow, changes and effects can be seen rippling through the outer edges of the city. Smaller communities such as Boyle Heights, Compton, and El Sereno have been the targets of developers and “gentrifiers” alike. We recently heard the terrible news that the Eastside Cafe’s space was being threatened, as the space may be sold to third parties with no connection to the community.  As we’ve come to know and appreciate the Eastside Cafe and all that it has to offer we knew we had to step in and share this story. Eastside Cafe has provided a safe space to all walks of life and has proven to be a vital space that is much needed in the community. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to share more about this story. Photographer and artist Michael Beserra has been documenting testimonies from some of the artists and teachers involved with the space. If you can take a minute to view the videos and pass this along to anyone else that may be interested in helping save The Eastside Cafe.

Full text below from the Eastside Cafe:

For the last 15 years, The Eastside Café has been an autonomous collective that’s been working towards building self-determination and providing free self-empowerment services. For the last 3 years, we’ve been working towards creating a feasible deal to purchase our building due to gentrification.

This past week we were made aware that there was already a purchase deal in the works for the building.

On Thursday, May4th, at 10am, we confronted that buyer and negotiated a 10-day interruption of a sale. This sale would compromise our occupancy and the wellbeing of our community severely. We have 8 days, Sunday, May 13th, to fundraise $180,000 to get the buyer to back out and began the acquisition process with the donations we’ll be receiving

We the people from Eastside Café, community residents of El Sereno, Artists, Activists, Professors, students, parents, grandparents and so on are here today, to humbly ask you for your financial support to help us purchase the building that sits on the corner of Maycrest and Huntington Dr. in El Sereno, North East Los Angeles. Your contribution will go directly towards the acquisition of the building that will continue to be a thriving space and sanctuary for our rooted communities. The time is now to start buying land for ourselves. Thank you!