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How Mercado La Paloma helped empower South LA

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Mercado La Paloma brings together a neighborhood with its unique blend of food, culture, art, and more.

Bringing together a neighborhood is a unique recipe that blends food, culture, art, and more.

One example of that "creative placemaking" is right here in South L.A. just across the 110 from USC -- Mercado La Paloma. It's a two-story building that is a hot spot of activity that bounces with life, all from local entrepreneurs and artists.

RELATED: How the 'creative placemaking' movement is transforming neighborhoods

On the first floor, for example, there's a line of people in front of the food stand Chichen Itza, which food writer Jonathan Gold says is one of the most essential places you need to eat in L.A.

Walk around and there's an exhibit to showcase the art of boycott posters through the decades. You can also get your tattered clothes fixed at Gloria's Alterations. If you're lucky, you might catch a local band performing here, too.

Upstairs there are a range of non-profits like The Children's Collective, which helps low-income families with parenting classes, workshops, and more.

RELATED: KPCC Forum: How Do Spaces Become Places?

Behind this all is Nancy Halpern Ibrahim, executive director of Esperanza Community Housing Corporation which created Mercado La Paloma.

Alex Cohen speaks with Ibrahim and Rudy Espinoza, executive director of LURN, the Leadership for Urban Renewal Network, about the positive economic effects places like this have on the community. 

Where do you see placemaking and public art around Los Angeles? Let KPCC know: snap a pic or tweet us with #LApublicart.

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