The Pico-Union Project reveals several layers of Los Angeles’ immigrant religious history, even as it embodies the communities and practices that are shaping the city’s future.
Built in 1909 for a Jewish congregation at the edge of the rapidly growing city, the building became a Welsh Presbyterian church in the 1920s. By 2012, the Presbyterian congregation was no longer able to maintain the site, which was then purchased by Craig Taubman, a Jewish artist and performer. Taubman envisioned the elegant space as a hub for a diverse range of spiritual communities and arts events, as well as a catalyst for local service projects that would engage the Korean, Cuban, Mexican and Central American people who now call the Pico-Union neighborhood home.
The Pico-Union Project has become an incubator for several Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. It also hosts performers who reflect the values of love for neighbors and spiritual openness that Taubman aspires to infuse into all the project’s activities. Those values make the Pico-Union Project a beacon of hope for unity in an often fractious but always forward-looking city.
This video is part of CRCC’s “Reimagining Religion: Stories of Religious Creativity in L.A.” series, part of the Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project. The project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.