Dear Editor – Makerspace Launch a Success

Light-bulb-0003-300x198The USVAA Ft. MacArthur Makerspace Launch and Fundraiser was a huge success and we couldn’t have done it without the extraordinary support of our friends and colleagues at Angels Gate Cultural Center along with your individual support and donations.

We admit — even with an incredible venue and a view of the San Pedro Harbor to our front — it did get a little chilly starting out Saturday evening. Fortunately, Navy veteran Lisa Garisto’s extraordinary rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” combined with introductory remarks by Amy Eriksen, the Executive Director of Angels Gate and Army veteran Joe Gardner’s poetry quickly warmed our hearts and got us fired up for the evening.

Things got even hotter after we moved the second half of the program into the Angels Gate main gallery space. We were awed by the outstanding poetry and performances of three of LA’s best poets, Mike Sonksen, Armond Kinard and our very own, John DiFusco. (Air Force veteran Lorna Duyn was unable to perform due to an extended national advertising campaign photo shoot for a major corporation.)

As if the evening performances weren’t enough, we went outside to cool off and to witness one of the most incredible sunsets of the year, and yes, the photo above was taken by USVAA’s Event Manager Parisa Morid just as the sun dropped past the horizon. The sunset was definitely worth the wait and served to confirmed what we’ve felt for a while now: Fort MacArthur and the atmosphere created by Angels Gate Cultural Center make for a tremendously inspirational place to create art and establish USVAA’s veteran-led Makerspace.

Now that we’ve successfully launched the Makerspace at Ft. MacArthur, it’s time to take a quick break and enjoy the 4th of July Holiday. We wish everyone a wonderful and safe independence Day and please, as always, keep our military personnel serving around the world in your thoughts.

When we return from the holiday it’ll be time to get back to work preparing for the second half of 2015. We will continue our stellar line-up of The Last Sunday: An Evening of Poetry and Art shows on the last Sunday night of each month — led as always by Joe Gardner, Roberto Carlos Zea and their incredible team of poets, artists and hard working volunteers.

We look forward to seeing all of you soon, and again, thank you for your continued support of our programs at both Ft. MacArthur and our Culver City location.


Keith Jeffreys

Executive Director,


The Actors' Gang

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