Following Sally’s experiences taking Memory Box to the USA thanks to a Cultural Exchange funded by the British Council and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, we will be publishing a series of posts documenting her time over there. Click here to view an introduction to the Cultural Exchange International.
Saturday 14th September – Day 1
The last time I was in California was in 2004, during the election rally that saw George Bush elected into the Oval Office for a second term. I remember it being a surreal experience. America was a very different place and I was fortunate enough to get a very middle class perspective of LA.
Staying with family within a gated community, between Los Angeles and San Diego I was given a whistle stop tour of the wonderful sights LA had to offer, Venice, Malibu, Hollywood. It was a very glossy one sided view. But a wonderful experience none the less.
During this Cultural Exchange Fellowship I’m keen to live like a resident. To see first-hand how the financial crisis has impacted on LA. To find out how it has affected the cultural sector, specifically Los Angeles city library and their public service offer.
I was met at the airport by Kim and Ani. Both library staff working at Los Angeles City Library. Two grinning faces holding my very own ‘Sally Lockey’ sign.
I’ve been emailing Kim for months now, arranging different aspects of my visit. She’s been the driving force behind my visit, accommodating and organising the programme of events I have planned. She has been amazingly helpful and supportive and to top it off also arranged to collect me from the airport and deliver me safely to my temporary home, during my residency.
After a 14 hour journey I cannot express how relieved I was to be met by her smiling face. Ani – Kim’s boss had kindly offered to drive us both, and they both made me feel instantly welcome.
To keep the cost of accommodation low we opted to book an apartment in the downtown area of LA. This would also allow me to be based only a stones throw from the library. After a short drive from LAX we arrived at 5th and Broadway, my temporary home for the next 2 ½ weeks.
P.S. You can view the stories collected during my time in Los Angeles along with many others by downloading the app.