2016 is poised to be a tremendous year for the arts in Los Angeles. With big names like Amar’e Stoudemire and RETNA behind the efforts to engage and inspire kids through art, the future should be filled with creative opportunities for youth across the nation.
Last night, Tuesday January 12th, 2016 NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire and acclaimed contemporary artist and LA Native RETNA joined together for a live art installation for community children at Pan Pacific Park. The two role models worked side-by-side with the children for a night filled with painting and the occasional game of hoops. The park was the perfect backdrop for this philanthropic feat. The Pan Pacific Park, where RETNA spent much of his time growing up, is a 32.18-acre park that opened in 1935. Children in the area gather here to play on their baseball diamond, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, seasonal pool, play area, picnic tables and more. What drew RETNA and Amar’e to this park, other than it’s sentimental value, was it’s programming that aims to integrate creative arts and sports activities within the community. For sports superstar Amar’e and world-renowned artist RETNA, it was the perfect fit.
This event will be the first of many “In The Paint” Series launched by Amar’e Stoudemire through his Melech Collection, a platform he created to provide access between emerging artists and burgeoning art enthusiasts. The Melech Collection seeks to simultaneously educate and introduce mainstream pop culture to emerging artists and the industry of contemporary art. This new series is a direct reflection of Amar’e’s love for art and basketball. “In the Paint” will allow Amar’e to collaborate with leading and emerging artists in local communities throughout the country to create interactive events to expose youth to art in their community.
To kick-off a great start for this philanthropic venture Amar’e and RETNA presented a generous $20,000 check to Pan Pacific Park. It was the largest single donation by an NBA player to date. Amar’e and RETNA’s big-heartedness awarded them certificates of recognition by the City of Los Angeles for their charitable work.
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*Photos by Michael Bezjian / WireImage