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  • CRA/LA’S commitment to public art began over 40 years ago.
  • Over 200 art projects in 21 redevelopment project areas have been completed to date.
  • California Plaza developers met their art requirement by building a $23 million facility for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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 \\Commonspot\internet-site\images\bullet1 Art Projects
Charles Dickson
Symbols of Unity - The Idea of Freedom

Project Area: Watts
Project: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shopping Center
Project Location: 103rd Street and Orandee
Project Type: CRA Initiated


An oversized wedge-shaped pulpit with a sloped surface contains the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech. The viewer is encouraged to stand in the imprint of size 9 1/2 shoeprints (King’s shoe size) in order to read the speech. Concrete reliefs show the torsos and linked arms of Civil Rights marchers. Topping the monument is a hand releasing a humming bird, symbolizing freedom.
Symbols of Unity: The Idea of Freedom

Artist Profile

Charles Dickson is an African-American Los Angeles native who sculpts in a variety of media including wood, stone, and bronze.  Largely self-taught, Dickson is inspired by classical art and the ancient cultures of Africa and Mexico.  The artist incorporates his unique life experiences and surrounding urban environment to create pieces that express different perspectives of the African-American experience.  Charles Dickson has been awarded several public commissions throughout southern California.  Dickson continues to sculpt in his Compton studio where he has created a peaceful environment that is open to the public.