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Celebrating Culture & Cause

by Deborah Lew / Los Angeles Kings

Founded in 1781, the City of Los Angeles is a history-rich city full of culture and diversity. The Los Angeles Kings; legendary artist, Mister Cartoon; and students from the non-profit organization, Para Los Niños displayed that culture and diversity at Dodger Stadium on January 25, for the Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks.

Expanding on an existing partnership the trio debuted in October, which includes a clothing line and a charitable endeavor, Mister Cartoon enlisted the help of school-aged children from Para Los Niños to create original works of art that were incorporated into the anthem stage at Dodgers Stadium for the Outdoor Game. The work will be auctioned at a later time with all proceeds benefiting Para Los Niños.

The pieces of art focused on a myriad of subjects all relating to Los Angeles, the sport of hockey, and the much-anticipated match-up between the Kings and Ducks.

“The LA Kings are thrilled to partner with Mister Cartoon and Para Los Niños to bring this charitable and creative initiative to this historic event,” said Jonathan Lowe, Vice-President of Marketing for the LA Kings and AEG Sports.

“Mister Cartoon’s status as an icon of Los Angeles art and culture make him the perfect partner to add his creative vision to this game. With the involvement of Para Los Niños, we saw this as the perfect way to celebrate our city and give something back to some of the most special and inspirational children in our community,” added Lowe.

The partnership is exceptionally beneficial to Para Los Niños, which is not only receiving monetary support from the project, but was able to provide a rare opportunity for some of its youth.

“Partnering with Mister Cartoon and the LA Kings on the Stadium Series game is a privilege and an inspiration for our students,” said Para Los Niños president & CEO Martine Singer.

“It’s critical to provide real world experiences for students and expose them to many different careers,” continued Singer. “Creating artwork with Mister Cartoon, exploring professional sports and video production are memories they won’t forget.”

The mission of Para Los Niños is to help children and families succeed in school and life by closing the achievement gap for children living in extreme poverty. The organization serves the children and families of Skid Row, Westlake, Pico Union, East LA, Watts and Compton through their charter schools, early education centers, and community-based programs.

Cartoon grew up in Los Angeles, realized his artistic talent during early childhood, and received his first paying art job at the age of twelve. In order to gain practice and recognition for his murals, he volunteered to paint houses that had been vandalized by graffiti in his neighborhood.

Since his rise to fame, Cartoon has tattooed the bodies of Kobe Bryant, Dr. Dre, Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent, Eminem, Travis Barker, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé Knowles, and Snoop Dogg, just to name a few. His art and designs have also been tapped by various other major brands.

“An outdoor ice hockey game, with the LA Kings and the Ducks, taking place at Dodger Stadium - I couldn't have painted a sports fantasy better than what this NHL Stadium series game is shaping up to be,” said Cartoon.

“It's an honor to be asked by the NHL and our partner, the LA Kings, to be involved in this event, working with the community and the kids at Para Los Niños. Bringing together our heritage of sports, art and community in such a historic place is an acknowledgment of the pride we have in our culture here in Los Angeles."

In October, members of the LA Kings organization, Cartoon, and his staff gathered at Para Los Niños Charter Middle School in Los Angeles where Cartoon enlisted the help of 10 students to finish an LA Kings-inspired mural. For over an hour Cartoon shared elements of his life and his work with the kids, before asking them to contribute strategically to the mural he had already started and incorporating each of their initials into the painting. That piece is also being auctioned off for the charity.

“Para Los Niños is a fantastic organization that’s here to help children. I always find it very important to connect giving whenever I do a major collaboration. We had to pick someone that we felt was our future. All these youngsters here in downtown LA by the STAPLES Center, it’s just natural that we did it with them,” said Cartoon, who was born at California Hospital not far from the school.

When Cartoon was asked to collaborate on a line of LA Kings merchandise, which includes t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, he certainly didn’t suffer from a lack of inspiration.

“I got inspired by the 80s hip hop. I really tried to go back to the NWA/DOC time when everyone was rocking hockey jerseys and Kings hats,” described Cartoon. “That’s the time I was in high school. It was a really important time for hip hop and for me creatively.”

With the Stadium Series, this collaboration between the three quintessential Los Angeles entities had a unique stage that highlighted not only the culture within the city, but also the effort put forth in giving back to the area’s youth – two things that are becoming synonymous with Los Angeles Kings hockey.

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The Kings Communications Department on Twitter: @LAKingsPR

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