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Friday, June 14, 2024


Kids can get free lunches at Long Beach parks this summer

By Staff ReportsJune 14, 2024

Starting June 17, the Long Beach Parks and Recreation Department will be handing out free lunches on weekdays to anyone 18 and under at almost two dozen local parks and two libraries.

The program, which runs through Aug. 23, is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Meals will consist of well-balanced, nutritious options and will include cold components such as milk, juice, fruits and vegetables,” the parks department said in an announcement. “To participate, eligible youth can simply arrive at a participating location during the designated times, no registration required.”

The meals must be eaten on-site.

Food will be served from 11:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at the following sites:

  • Admiral Kidd Park, 2125 Santa Fe Ave.
  • Bixby Park, 130 Cherry Ave.
  • College Estates Park, 808 Stevely Ave.
  • Coolidge Park, 352 Neece Ave.
  • Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Ave.
  • Lincoln Park, 101 Pacific Ave.
  • MacArthur Park, 1321 Anaheim St.
  • Orizaba Park, 1435 Orizaba Ave.
  • Scherer Park, 4600 Long Beach Blvd.
  • Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st St.
  • Somerset Park, 1500 E. Carson St.
  • Stearns Champions Park, 4520 E. 23rd St.
  • Signal Hill Park, 1780 E. Hill St.

And from noon to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following sites:

  • Burton Chase Park, Market St & Dairy Ave.
  • Cesar Chavez Park, 401 Golden Ave.
  • Drake Park, 951 Maine Ave.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave.
  • McBride Park, 1550 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
  • Pan American Park, 5157 Centralia Ave.
  • Ramona Park, 3301 E. 65th St.
  • Seaside Park, 14th St. & Chestnut Ave.
  • Veterans Park, 101 E. 28th St.
  • Whaley Park, 5620 Atherton St.

And from noon to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday:

  • Bret Hart Library, 1595 W. Willow St.
  • Brewitt Library, 4036 E. Anaheim St.

You can find menus and more information here or by calling 562-570-3524

Long Beach has been participating in the program for 45 years to make sure kids get healthy meals even when they’re not at school.

Meals won’t be served on the June 19 or July 4 holidays.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dramatic Arts

USC offering free tuition to MFA students in dramatic writing, acting programs

By Marissa Wenzke

Students attending the University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts in the department's acting and writing programs will be able to earn their Masters in Fine Arts degrees without paying a penny in tuition.

Beginning in the 2024-25 academic year, the university is slashing all tuition costs for the top-ranked MFA program, which has consistently landed in The Hollywood Reporter's Top 25 Drama Schools in the Nation. Both incoming graduate students and those already enrolled and attending the three-year programs will be able to earn their degrees for free. 

"The decision comes at a pivotal moment for the entertainment industry, as actors and writers navigate tightening competition for opportunities in film and TV," a statement from the university reads. "USC is committed to ensuring that talented individuals from diverse backgrounds have access to a world-class education without financial constraints."

USC said it hopes to "more competitively recruit extraordinarily gifted creatives" by removing any financial barriers that might block such students from attending. The programs are fairly competitive as they comprise just 35 students.

Along with coursework, USC's School of Dramatic Arts also offers students and recent alumni more practical resources and training as they enter the field including coaching services for auditions, production of self-tapes, guidance on headshots and seminars with leading industry professionals

In March, the school opened its new Dramatic Arts Building, a five-story, nearly 40,000-square foot facility that's a renovation of a historic building at the corner of Jefferson and Hoover. It features two new performance venues including a 110-seat theater and a smaller cabaret space as well as vocal practice rooms, rehearsal spaces and an audio design lab.

Actress Connie Britton, known for her roles in Friday Night Lights, Spin City and American Horror Story, is a member of the school's Board of Councilors and applauded the decision to go tuition-free. In a statement from USC, she said it will allow for the telling of "diverse stories from varied backgrounds regardless of financial means."

"We're letting the storytellers and performers of tomorrow know that we believe in them and the power of their dreams," Britton said. 

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams