.Paak’ed Park

Community members filled MacArthur Park for charity event


Brennan Hernandez

Attendees gather at MacArthur Park to listen to live music and uplift the community through donations.

Brennan Hernandez, Community News Reporter

Low-income families from Los Angeles and others were treated to free haircuts, massages, manicures, food and gifts — and the opportunity to hear live music from famous artists like The Game, YBN Cordae, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Kali Uchis and The Free Nationals — at the third annual .Paak House celebration at MacArthur Park on Dec. 14.

Grammy-nominated artist Anderson .Paak’s Brandon Anderson Foundation and Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles teamed up to host the event. Hundreds of area residents attended, donating money to those less fortunate and enjoying live appearances by artists such as hip-hop dance pioneer Thomas Johnson, known as Tommy the Clown.

“Encouraging the youth to be motivated and think positive no matter what you are going through in life, whether it’s coming from single parent homes, low income families, you still got to stay motivated and you’ve got to be encouraged,” Johnson, who was raised in South Central L.A., said in an interview with UT Community News. 

Children at the event could join dance competitions led by Johnson.

“We uplift the space by bringing entertainment to the community as well as resources to connect them with the help they need,” said Levitt Pavilion’s Community Outreach Coordinator Carla Contreras. “Making resources accessible and exposing people to experience live music is uplifting to the space and helps connect communities.”

As part of its mission statement, .Paak’s foundation “seeks to create a “safe-haven” for the next generation, while cultivating alliances with like-minded non-profit organizations to generate a greater impact.”

South LA resident Justin Jackson said the event serves a great cause: “Being able to give back to the community and underprivileged families who are not able to make Christmas gifts, brings back positive light to the community.”

The event teemed with positivity, according to several folks attending.

“The youth are given a better outlook at life and can be something rather than what they see around the corners,” Jackson said.

Thomas said he’s happy to participate in the event, which raised $155,000 last year for families in need.

To Thomas, the event is proof that entertainment is not just a form of recreation but it can make a real difference: “The community can come together and love can be spread [through] great entertainment.”




Community News reporters are enrolled in JOUR 3910 – University Times. They produce stories about under-covered neighborhoods and small cities on the Eastside and South Los Angeles. Please email feedback, corrections and story tips to UTCommunityNews@gmail.com.