Arts United San Pedro is a recently formed coalition; the founding members of the district include Angels Gate Cultural Center, the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, and Grand Vision Foundation.

The purpose of the Arts United San Pedro- Arts and Cultural District Coalition is to create a framework to combine efforts to promote San Pedro’s authentic cultures, artists; including but not limited to visual, performing, digital artists, culture bearers, galleries, and entertainment venues with a unified approach to advocacy, marketing, and programming.

“Arts United is excited to generate moments for our community to feel a connection to the space they live in, build relationships, and grow together within each artistic activation. We are here to support an equitable and accessible arts ecosystem that truly reflects the diversity and vibrancy of San Pedro and the One Five.” – Gloria Sanchez, Arts United Coalition Coordinator

The coalition has recently expanded to include artist Micheal Stearns, vocalist Windy Barnes Farrell, the San Pedro City Ballet, and Ryan Blaney, Executive Director of the San Pedro Downtown Property Owners Alliance.

The following is a recent press release from Arts United

Arts United San Pedro Logo


MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Eriksen, Chair, Arts United (310) 519-0936

San Pedro’s cultural life just got a boost with the awarding of $34,861 in grants to local visual and performing arts projects.

“We are thrilled to help fund these important projects, which help make San Pedro’s Arts and Cultural District even more vibrant,” said Amy Eriksen, chair of Arts United San Pedro. The group is overseeing $671,000 in state funding to provide grants, marketing and oversight within the district over the next three years.

Formed in 2016, the San Pedro Arts and Cultural District is one of 14 districts designated by the state of California. Others include Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles and Balboa Park in San Diego. A cultural district is a well-defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities. The San Pedro district encompasses the waterfront, (including the USS Iowa); the historic downtown core with its artist studios and the Art Deco Warner Grand Theater; the Frank Gehry-designed Cabrillo Marine Aquarium; and the Angels Gate Cultural Center.

“After seven years of organizing, we are thrilled to finally begin awarding funds in our community,” Eriksen said.

The first round of awards went to:

  • The San Pedro Ballet received $15,000 to renovate and restore the Misty Copeland mural on its building at Pacific Avenue and 13th Street.  Originally painted in 2015 to recognize San Pedro’s superstar ballerina, the mural has faded significantly over time.
  • The San Pedro Skatepark Association will receive $4,250 for screen printing classes and a mural painting activity during its Earth Day Celebration in 2024. The skatepark, tucked under the freeway near Channel and Gaffey, is recognized internationally by the skateboard community for its scrappy DIY roots.
  • Feed and be Fed will receive $3,700 for an Earth Day art show that challenges students to use recycled materials in their art or to use their art to comment on waste reduction. The show, in partnership with the San Pedro Waterfront Arts Association, will take place at the garden located on Sixth Street just above Mesa Street in downtown San Pedro.
  • Laurie Steelink will receive $10,000 for a multimedia installation that acknowledges Indigenous peoples of this area. Her Pacific Avenue exhibition space, Cornelius Projects, will feature assemblages, paintings, photographs and kinetic sculptures with a soundtrack and voice overs.
  • Freedom4U will get $1,911 to teach salsa dancing at Dana Middle School and singing classes at Point Fermin Elementary school.

The grants are meant to provide a boost for each project, with the organizers identifying the remaining one-third of the funding they need to complete their project. The next round of grant applications will be available in the spring.

“(This) gift will help us to improve this iconic San Pedro community landmark, celebrating hometown hero and role model Misty Copeland,” said Cynthia Bradley, artistic director of the San Pedro Ballet. “Discovered through one of our outreach programs herself, Misty now serves as an inspiration to other children from our diverse neighborhood looking to follow their dreams. This mural serves as a reminder to them that anything is possible.”

Art projects available by request.