On the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, you just can’t miss the front side of a 13-foot-tall, 1,500-pound, copper-colored, shiny new Lincoln Penny. The massive sculpture is generating tons of selfies, but it’s the flip side of the coin that has DLBA and local organizations truly excited.
DLBA and several public and private entities have come together to form the Lincoln Park Collaborators Programming Group, which will work to help unlock the potential of Downtown’s historic park that the city invested $19.5 million to renovate. The group plans to supercharge activations in the park by phasing in free, open forums for people to enjoy art and live performances, and participate in health, wellness, and cultural activities.
“DLBA is excited to help activate Lincoln Park and strengthen what is a great community social resource in our urban core,” said Broc Coward, DLBA COO. “We are working to develop programs for the park and encouraging local businesses to offer classes, workshops and services under contract with DLBA that expand activities for residents, families, and visitors.”
One of the first activities is a free KCRW Summer Nights Closing Party on Sunday, September 4. DLBA is a major sponsor of the Labor Day Weekend event in the park that will feature live sets from KCRW’s top women DJs, food, and a beer garden from 2 PM through 10 PM. The event will include a Stand Up art exhibit as part of the Art Renzei festival. It’s all part of an initial six-week programming phase featuring wellness, educational and art workshops, mini-events, and social gatherings like the week-long Art Renzei Sculpture Festival.
“We are excited to host the art festival and concert at our newest Long Beach park. It is indicative of the type of positive activation we want to see more of, that brings families and friends together to enjoy public spaces,” said Brent Dennis, Director, Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine. “We appreciate the collaborative efforts that made this possible and look forward to supporting continued programming and celebrations at the park.”
The programming initiative includes the Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department, Billie Jean King Main Library, Studio One Eleven, City Fabrick, and Long Beach Community Foundation. The project is made possible by The Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund held at the Long Beach Community Foundation.
“The Long Beach Community Foundation (LBCF) is thrilled to have initiated this collaborative effort to make Lincoln Park a thriving and active Downtown space. We are happy to play the role of convener in bringing together community groups who share this vision,” said Marcelle Epley, LBCF President and CEO. “We are grateful for the leadership and support of the Knight Foundation, an LBCF fundholder who is committed to civic engagement and community improvement.”
According to Alan Pullman, Senior Principal at Studio One Eleven, the effort aligns with its mission to create more vibrant cities. “We’ve committed to this project at Lincoln Park because we understand that stewardship of public spaces is a shared responsibility that goes beyond the capacity of many public agencies, especially given today’s challenges,” said Pullman. “We see this project as an incredible opportunity to unlock the potential of this important public space in our city.”
Spanning four acres, Lincoln Park is the oldest in Long Beach. It was established in the 1880s. The park closed in 2016 for the construction of a new Civic Center, including a new City Hall, Port of Long Beach Headquarters and Billie Jean King Main Library, which opened in 2019. The new park opened on February 11.
Susan Jones, Manager, Main Library Services, noted that “for over a hundred years, the Main Library and Lincoln Park shared a deep connection and have worked hand-in-hand to provide spaces for recreation, education, and socialization. We are thrilled to partner on this new project by bringing library programming from the inside out,” she said.
Upcoming Activities in Lincoln Park
- Art Renzei Sculpture Festival August 29 – September 4
- KCRW Summer Nights | KCRW– September 4
- Dog Obedience Classes 3X/week by Bark Bark
- Weekly Bollywood Dance classes held by Isha Patel
- Weekly Zumba classes held by LB Parks and Recreation
- Workshops/Storytimes held on Library Terrace 3x per week by Main Library
- Monthly Picnics in the Park – Music, Food trucks, Lawn Games
- Variety style, family-friendly gatherings such as puppet shows, garden parties, and interactive workshops.
For any business interested in offering classes or services in the park, please reach out to Stephanie Gonzalez, DLBA Placemaking Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The park is open from dawn to 10 PM. It includes a universally accessible playground, dog park with designated small and large dog areas, fitness equipment, synthetic turf sports field, half basketball court, and a skate park.