Tammi Mac holds the certificate presented by Councilwoman Heather Hutt. (Lila Brown/L.A. Sentinel)

Councilwoman Heather Hutt opened the doors of the former Baldwin Hill Crenshaw Plaza Macy’s on Feb. 17, for an empowering and impactful afternoon specifically designed for the women of Los Angeles.

Affectionally labeled “The Love Hutt,” a space that was once an anchor department store was transformed into a lively event experience that offered a complimentary platform for personal growth, meaningful connections, and celebrating the vital role women play in shaping our communities.

Guests were gifted with a single pink or red long-stemmed rose upon entering the venue space and greeted with a red carpet like experience complete with a photographer on hand to capture arrivals. Once inside, the festivities kicked off with mid-day yoga followed with a performance by Hwarang Youth Foundation’s Nanta Drum Team.

The Kids Village offered a variety of activities for children.

There was even a sound bath immersing guests to “bathe” in the sounds and vibrations produced by different instruments such as crystal bowls and percussion thus allowing a therapeutic and meditative experience.

Also bringing a stronger sense of purpose to the event, various women of the Council District 10 community were awarded the prestigious PowHERful Award. This honor recognized women who embody strength, dedication, and leadership, paving the way for others in the community. Among the esteemed recipients were actress, producer and KJLH host Tammi Mac and Dia De Los Muertos partner and local business owner (Persona the Shop) Jasmine Maldonado.

The directional sign lists the activities that visitors could engage in.

“As we stand here surrounded by so many powerful women who contribute to the vibrant tapestry of our district through dedicated service and inspiring leadership, let us remember that these awards are not just a recognition, but a call to action,” said Hutt as she addressed the audience during the PowHERful Award Presentation.

“We’re all called to embrace our potential, lift our voices and use our strength to make a difference.”

“It’s not often we see the people who represent us in our spaces,” said Mac as she thanked Hutt upon being honored. “When I say she has an agenda to make the 10th District the best district, she is clearly on a mission.

“Many working women go underpaid for contributions to the job with a man in the same position. Many educated women are also underrated in their knowledge of their expertise and are undervalued in every aspect of the world. We go unseen and we go unheard. So, it’s rare when we are celebrated by others,” she continued as she went on to shine a light on civil rights activist Claudette Colvin who refused to give up her seat on a bus months before Rosa Parks’ more famous protest.

Guests enjoyed the Paint N’ Sip session.

“I encourage all of you women here today to keep mothering, keep learning, keep leading, keep volunteering, keep shouting, keep protesting, keep dreaming because what I have discovered is that even when nobody sees you, everybody is watching.”

Kendra Lester, 59, of Orange County was wowed by the celebration of local women. “It was such an amazing, empowering, heartfelt and beautiful event that made me feel like I was at a family reunion. Each and every one at the event felt like my sister. Great job Councilwoman Heather Hutt, you truly know how to show your love to the community,” said Lester, who grew up in area off Florence and Crenshaw.

The Kids Village offered a variety of activities for children.

“I still visit the community to support local businesses. I have family in Baldwin Hills and Watts. My father’s business was in the Crenshaw shopping center next to Boulevard Café, but he passed away in 2003. I ran into a few of his clients, which brought tears to our eyes.”

The overall sentiment of the occasion exemplified reciprocity for the diverse range of women who pour into their respective communities through advocacy while providing a safe space to make time for self-love and care. Many of the visitors in attendance took the opportunity to network with other women, share experiences and learn from outstanding individuals who make a difference in their own unique way.

Throughout the day, those who joined enjoyed a wide spread of food and catering in addition to special treats and tasty fruit beverages that kept the atmosphere uplifting and good energy flowing. Many women also spent time exploring their creativity through a dedicated art space to illustrate and paint with watercolors adjacent to a vendor marketplace on site for those who wanted to shop.

As the event continued, audience members had the privilege of listening to executive women as they shared their journeys of self-discovery while taking on leadership roles. Panelists included Maldonado, Susan Minato, co-president, Unite Here Local 11; Bamby Salcedo, Translatin@ Coalition; Kellie Todd-Griffin, founder of California Black Women’s Collective; and Krystyl Wright, LCSW, business owner of LOT XI.

Upon the conclusion of the event, guests were treated to gift bags full of freebies and promotional memorabilia as tokens of appreciation to those who joined Hutt for a day full of love and appreciation.