“Fall Friday Nights” kicks off second year of providing safe spaces, family fun, and opportunities for young Angelenos
On September 26th 2016 Mayor Eric Garcetti kicked off Fall Friday Nights, a program to keep eight parks and recreation centers across Los Angeles open late with special activities for young people and families.
Fall Friday Nights is an extension of Summer Night Lights (SNL), a signature Mayor’s Office initiative that just concluded its 9th year. The program provides free activities and food for young people and their families, upwardly-mobile job opportunities for local residents, and a safe place for people of all ages to spend Friday evenings.
“The kind of incredible community-building that we do with Summer Night Lights shouldn’t have to end when the school year starts — and that’s why we started Fall Friday Nights,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This is a national model for providing safe harbor in areas impacted by gang-related crime, and for giving Angelenos in some great neighborhoods access to resources they need and deserve.”
Both the summer and fall programs are run by the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD), and aim to build positive relationships between communities and the police officers assigned to keep them safe. In 2015, 20 of 32 communities surrounding Summer Night Lights sites saw a reduction or no change in gang-related crime.
In 2007, then-Councilmember Garcetti created a program known as At the Park After Dark, in response a tragic shooting near a closed public park. The program was relaunched the following year as Summer Night Lights to keep City parks open late for six weeks during the summer.
The two programs have hosted more than 4.9 million visits from community members — for activities ranging from sports leagues and art workshops, to exercise and healthy cooking classes. In 2015 alone, more than 452,000 meals were served.
Normandie Recreation Center was a new Summer Night Lights site in 2016, hosting an estimated 15,000 visits and serving nearly 14,000 meals.
“Programs like Fall Friday Nights are vital to communities in my district,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “I want to thank Mayor Garcetti for his leadership on this issue and for continuing to provide our constituents with programming beyond the regular work day. It’s programs like these that make a difference in the lives of our families.”
In addition to offering free meals, entertainment, and sports and art activities, the program will highlight resources related to domestic violence prevention, post-secondary education, access to employment, and educational opportunities for teens and young adults.
Fall Friday Nights 2016 will also provide jobs for youth coordinators, program coordinators, and artists at the eight sites. Summer Night Lights 2016 is estimated to have created more than 800 jobs, including 352 positions for Youth Squad members ages 17-24.
Like Summer Night Lights, Fall Friday Nights is an innovative public-private partnership that allows the City to offer programming free of charge for all participants and provides meals, activities, workshops, and access to resources in the communities most in need.
Fall Friday Nights is a program in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles and the GRYD Foundation. Program partners include: the Los Angeles Police Department, Department of Recreation and Parks, Department of Water and Power, L.A. County Department of Public Health, and Los Angeles-area colleges and universities.
Fall Friday Nights will run from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., September 23 – November 10 at the following locations:
• 109th Street Recreation Center
• Mount Carmel Recreation Center
• Normandie Recreation Center
• Sepulveda Recreation Center
• South Park Recreation Center
• Valley Plaza Recreation Center
• Wabash Recreation Center
• Wilmington Recreation Center