Housing authority of the city of los angeles (Hacla)

A Jordan Downs Illumination


In 2016 Cornerstone returned to Watts to work with the community of the Jordan Downs Houses as they prepared for the redevelopment of their neighborhood.

The Jordan Downs Housing Project, originally built during WWII, has been home to Watts families for generations, and is now being completely transformed into a modern urban village.

Over the course of the next two years Cornerstone members met regularly with residents to better understand their concerns about the redevelopment, and to learn the history of Jordan Downs through personal and family narratives. 

Cornerstone immersed itself in the community by conducting  story circles and creative workshops with residents involving recipe-sharing, photography, art and other activities.

The engagement resulted in a performance and installation called A Jordan Downs Illumination that was a celebration and commemoration of the residents’ lives past and present with a vision toward the future, marking a moment of change and transition for a deeply connected community.

Partners included the Boys & Girls Club and the East Side Riders Bicycle Club, College Track Watts and The Jordan Downs Resident Advisory Council, St. John’s Methodist Church, Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Watts Neighborhood Council and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, among others.

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