The Director of Los Angeles’s Watts Towers Arts Center Campus, Rosie Lee Hooks, got suspended by the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles.
Watts Towers Arts Center Campus houses the work of great Italian craftsman “Simon Rodia” who created 17 sculptural towers within a span of 33 years. The suspension will be in effect for three weeks. The probable cause for suspension is the mural by artist Jacori Perry depicting Charles Mingus, the Jazz musician. According to sources, Hooks has moved with commission without getting required permits. She was the director of the National Landmark since 2010.
Artist Perry was working on a mural piece from last September prior to Drum Festival and Jazz festival at Watts Towers. When the work was in halfway, the director of the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Community Arts Division, Leslie Thomas, ordered to stop the work. Hooks wasn’t informed of the development and came to know about it only a few months later. According to Edward Landler, member of Watts’s community, the suspension is an unjust and shortsighted move. He said that Hook was doing a great job for the past sixteen years. Chioma Agbahiwe, Vice President of Watts Towers Community Action Council, said that it is wrong on the part of DCA to suspend Hook for keeping the mural of Charles Mingus.
The suspension and the unfinished mural will come to the discussion at the Watt Towers Arts Center Interdepartmental Task Force meeting.
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