Fairfax

Business in Fairfax District Attempting to Turn Destruction Into Hope

People are stopping on La Brea Avenue near Melrose Avenue and taking pictures, and some, like 9-year-old Bailee, are adding their own messages.

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They are messages of hope, frustration and calls to action.

“There’s so many ways you can protest and so many ways you can fight for what you believe is right and this is one of the ways," Emma De Beuckelaer, a 16-year-old, said. "Art is very powerful and this is an example of that.”

Emma is spearheading an art project, on the boarded up windows of her mother’s business, Voila Creative Studio.

“There’s so much sadness and hurt and rage,” Katrien Van Der Schueren, a business owner, said.

Van Der Schueren's business is one of many in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District damaged by looters over the weekend. Even with her business in shambles Sunday morning, Van Der Schueren was determined to turn the destruction into something positive for the young people in LA.

“They see everything all day long," Van Der Schueren said. "They watch everything online, and they don't have a place to express themselves."

That’s why her daughter is gathering messages from her fellow teenagers and painting them on the boarded up windows of her mother’s business.

Emma added, “Generations before us have failed enormously, and it’s going to be our generation that’s going to make the change."

People are stopping on La Brea Avenue near Melrose Avenue and taking pictures, and some, like 9-year-old Bailee, are adding their own messages.

“I wanted her to get both sides and see what’s going on so she can walk away with a more positive light and the changes that need to be made in America,” said Diane Waller, Bailee’s mother.

Waller says she sees this as a teachable moment for Bailee.

Said Waller, “It does send a great message, that the common core is we’re trying to change things, make it positive.”

Other parents are grateful for this outlet for youth expression.

“We’re heartbroken for the pain that’s going on in our country,” said David Thompson, a parent.

That pain is also reflected here, but this project is seen as one step toward positive change.

“To give them an opportunity to make the world better and our part is to show them we’re behind them,” Van Der Schueren said.

The business owner says the messages will stay up as long as there is a demand for justice and a need for hope.

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