Los Angeles, called The Creative Capital of the World, is home to a mind-blowing array of arts and culture spread out across a massive metropolitan area. Incredible artistic experiences can be found any day or night of the week. In addition, LA is home to the world’s film industry, a presence that brings with it an air of possibility and creativity. Each township that makes up LA has its own unique flair, creating diversity and energy in a city of millions. Mountains to the north, beaches to the west, desert to the east, and more to do than can be considered in a lifetime make LA a perfect place to be a tourist.
The relaxed vibe and creative spirit of her residents makes LA the perfect place to recharge and find yourself. The food in LA can’t be beaten, and there is ample night life for those who are night owls. When seeking these opportunities, it’s best to plan, since the city is so huge. If you like nature, you can find hikes and surf in close proximity. The museums and concert halls in LA are world class. A day at the Getty, LACMA, or the Hollywood Bowl, for example, is a day you’ll likely not forget soon. If you’re up for a little travel, the surrounding cities include notable experiences like Disneyland, Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, and the profoundly beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH L.A.
First Congregational Church of Los Angeles was founded in 1867 and is the oldest Protestant church in continuous service in Los Angeles. The present cathedral style building is the church’s fifth home and was completed in 1932. It was designed by Los Angeles architects James E. and David C. Allison in the gothic revival style and built of reinforced concrete. The Sanctuary, with its graceful arches and cruciform shape, was modeled on the worship spaces of the great cathedrals of France and England. The spaciousness, dignity and tranquility of this room is complemented by carved oak pews, doors, organ cases and chancel furniture.
First Congregational Church of Los Angeles has enjoyed a long history of musical excellence. The Great Organs of First Church, with over 18,000 speaking pipes, is one of the largest pipe organs in the world, brought to life each Sunday by Dr. Christoph Bull. While our worship services are steeped in rich church traditions, as our congregation becomes increasingly diverse, so does our music program — spanning European sacred canon, jazz, Americana and gospel, world music, and the occasional tribute to influential secular artists.
The smaller Shatto Chapel is used for the church’s informal worship services, and is popular for weddings and concerts. The dimensions of the Shatto chapel are said to be the same as the Mayflower ship. The pipe organ (The Hildreth Memorial Organ) comes from the previous church building at Ninth and Hope Streets, and was restored and enlarged by the firm of Abbot and Sieker in 1983.
WHERE TO STAY
The city of Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis spanning as much as 45 miles from east to west and 30 miles north to south. Most residents think of LA as a series of smaller towns. First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, where the festival will be held, is located in Koreatown. Koreatown is close enough to downtown to make the robust DTLA (downtown LA) hotel market accessible for N.E.O. participants. There are many gig-economy options (like AirBnB) across the city as well.
The Hotel Normandie is the N.E.O. Festival hotel, and we have a special rate of $169/night with them. It is located in Koreatown a short walk from the church. Participants will be sent information about how to book with the Hotel Normandie after they are accepted into the festival.
A few suggestions to think about when finding the right place for you to stay:
• Mass Transit: LA has a thriving mass transit network of buses and trains. FCCLA is located a short walk from the Wilshire/Vermont train station, so if you stay in in an area near the Metro Red Line or the Purple Line, you’ll have easy access through public transportation. Ride shares are also a popular and inexpensive form of transportation. FCCLA does have on site parking if you have a car.
• Every neighborhood in Los Angeles has its own particular offerings and charm. We recommend staying near the festival location in Koreatown, which is a walkable neighborhood with a variety of restaurants and entertaining nightlife. The closest neighborhoods to FCCLA include Downtown Los Angeles and Silver Lake/Echo Park. Both are only a few minutes drive from FCCLA and have a number of public transportation options.
• Festival participants may want to check out other locations throughout LA that have their own appeal, like Hollywood (the tourism center of LA), Miracle Mile (near LA’s thriving museums), and Santa Monica (the beach!). Please consult the LA Metro website to check transportation options.