From left are Lisa Stevens, Angie Nwandu, Alrick ”Butta” Augustine, Lia Dias, Tanisha Hall, and Don Amiche were on the “Incorporate Your Hustle” panel. (Cora J. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

Black-owned business and resources for people of color were highlighted at Rock the Block 2022, a community gathering held on West 54th Street on July 31. 

Aeriq McNayrn, a fitness trainer also known as Simply 44. (Cora J. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

White Hall Arts Academy (WHAA), a nonprofit performing and visual arts education organization, sponsored the afternoon event along a quarter-mile stretch of the boulevard.  Among the highlights were interactive wellness workshops, informative panel discussions and an entertaining Kids Zone featuring face painting, arts and crafts and musical performances. 

From left are Chandra Hampton, Kelly Herlic and Antoinette Berrios of Body Fresh Studios and Emerald City Nail Bar. (Cora J. Fossett/L.A. Sentinel)

Explaining how the program came together, organizer Tanisha Hall said, “It started with planning a 10- year anniversary celebration for White Hall Arts Academy, but I also wanted to do something to show our appreciation for our community.  

“There are a lot of educational and family services on 54th Street that nobody knows about. So, I wanted to celebrate White Hall, but also bring attention to the great services in our neighborhood.  So, I consider this event as a love letter to our community.” 


Artist Musé performed on the main stage. (Sylvanus Finney)

Hall collaborated with a wide range of agencies to present Rock the Block.  Sponsors included the office of Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Chase Bank, Langdon Park Capital, L.A. Cultural Affairs Department, LAPD and the office of Supervisor Holly Mitchell.  Also partnering with WHAA were Park Mesa Heights Neighborhood Council, Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts, Boom Squad, Destination Crenshaw, TEC Leimert, KJLH-FM, KBLA-AM, The Knowledge Shop, STEM 54, Orthodox LA and Ashanti United Church of Christ. 

Twenty vendors participated in the event and more than 2,000 attended.  Also, visitors enjoyed appearances on the main stage by several artists such as Guordan Banks, DJ OwessCoast, DJ Bad, BOFiya, Chaneé and Musé. In addition, food truck by Realityeatzz Food Truck, Trap Kitchen, Fraiche Signatures and Donut Grown Up provided refreshments for the crowd.  

Community members pose for a photo at Rock the Block 2022. (Sylvanus Finney)

Pleased by the result, Hall said, “I am very happy about the turnout. It was such a joy to see so many people and families having fun. It was really amazing!”