Downtown's six-month-old La Plaza de Cultura y Artes has had a rather troubled beginning, according to the LA Times. The Mexican American cultural center has had just 4,052 paid admissions since its April opening and held only one public event (a Cinco de Mayo festival), judging by its Facebook. Money troubles have driven staff size down to 12, from a high of 28 and La Plaza's former CEO, Miguel Angel Corzo, was let go in August after a look at the books by County Supervisor Gloria Molina's staff revealed mismanagement.
The birth of La Plaza has been pricey and surprisingly morbid. In April, construction stopped after human remains were discovered--a faulty environmental impact report included information about a cemetery near Elysian Park rather than the Downtown site. Construction for the center included a $27 million rehabilitation of two county-owned buildings and a $10.1 million project to add an outdoor garden, walkways, and a covered stage. Some of the construction bills still haven't been paid.
But things might be looking up at La Plaza. Its board has hired a former LACMA COO as a consultant and PepsiCo recently announced a $1 million donation. It'll be handed out over three years and pay for gardening and Mexican health and cooking programs.
· La Plaza is an open and empty space downtown [LA Times]
· Faulty EIR Blamed at Downtown's LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes [Curbed LA]