Historic Union Station is the hub of all live performances and screenings presented by Metro Art Presents. The Historic Union Station is located at 800 N Alameda Street in Downtown LA, where the red, purple, and gold lines intersect, and where Amtrak takes off to cities all over the nation. The space of Union Station is a gander in itself. Opened in May 1939, it imbues the Art Deco charm of LA at its most elegant, not foregoing the pinch of kitsch that makes LA what it is. Partially designed by John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson, the building integrates Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne influences.
Passengers of LA Metro can attend Metro Art Presents events as a plan or can have the joy of stumbling upon one during a quotidian commute. During Mardi-Gras, for example, the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band, a six-piece Los Angeles-based band, spirited through Union Station inspiring metro riders to join their march and enjoy a surprise slice of unsolicited and heartfelt fun.
According to their website, ‘…Metro Art Presents showcases free arts and cultural programs at historic Union Station. The diverse, all ages programming is designed to creatively activate the landmark station, engage the Los Angeles community and attract new riders.’
Attracting new riders is an important pursuit. Citizens are paying for an increase in lines that could ostensibly create a more sustainable and travel-easy LA. Metro Art Presents, however, is much more than a bid to attract new riders; it is a part of the texture and fabric of Los Angeles, an inspired city that exudes creativity. Metro Art Presents facilitates art in the everyday lives of Angelenos. As riders come from all walks of the city and life, diverse city dwellers can be connected by that common experience.