How the West Got Funked Up

William Grant Still Arts Center Presents

The 10th Annual African American Composer Series Exhibition and Education Program 


March 10 – June 9, 2018

Live performance // Universe X and The FunkStarrs

Free // All Ages

Los Angeles (February 7, 2018) – “HOW THE WEST GOT FUNKED UP” – March 10-June 9, will exhibit original artwork, magazine articles, concert posters, archival photographs, and a significant discography related to a movement that changed the sound of music in the West Coast of the United States called FUNK.

The materials exhibited will chronicle the influence of FUNK not only in the music and art of Los Angeles, but also as a cultural shift. The curatorial perspective of the exhibition begins with Charles Wrights and The Watts 103rd Street Band and N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton as bookends using the seminal song Express Yourself, both original, then later sampled as anchors. We bring in examples of FUNK, from all over the globe, that led to the P-Funk movement, to California’s own sound of G-Funk to explore the odyssey this music took us through.

The artwork of Overton Loyd, George Clinton, Adah Glenn, Ulysses Jenkins, Houston Conwill, Uhuru Moore, Snake Doctor, AISE Bourne, Norm "Nomzee" Maxwell, Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca, CR8, Oscar Castillo are among a few that will sit along albums and ephemera from collections on loan from our community, including those of, Charles Wright, Tommy Jackson, “Arabian Prince” Nazal, Farid “Fredwreck” Nassar, Robert “Televandalist” Lockerby, Alden Kimbrough, Bobby Staten, Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams, Marco De Santiago, Lonnie Marshall, Rickie Vincent, Scot Brown, Medusa, Carmelita Ramirez Sanchez, Omar Ramirez staff personal albums and photos and more. Exhibition designed and curated by Amitis Motevalli, with the help of our staff and Funky neighborhood.

The focus on FUNK is being presented in conjunction with William Grant Still’s annual African American Composer’s series. Now in its 10th year, the exhibition series celebrates the life and work of African-American composers each spring. Combining community archives and original artwork with free arts education. The William Grant Still Arts Center focuses on teaching music and cultural history to beginning and intermediate students of all ages through practice and playing experience via the works of groundbreaking musical innovators in the tradition of the Arts Center’s namesake, Dr. William Grant Still.

Past African American Composer’s series have included , Nearly Gone Gal: The Rescued Archives of Nellie Lutcher (2017), So What! The Artistry of Miles Davis (2016), Love You Madly – A Portrait of Duke Ellington(2015), I Got My Pride: The Blues Tales of Leadbelly (2014), Arkestry of the Cosmos: The Universe Language of Sun Ra (2013), Deeds Not Words: The Life and Work of Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln (2012), A New Day: Nina Simone (2011), The High Priest of Bop: The Jazz Odyssey of Thelonious Monk (2010) and Charles Mingus: The Passions of a Man (2009)



Exhibition Dates: March 10-June 9, 2018

Talks and events 

March 24  – How the West Got Funked Up
                    Discussion between Rickey Vincent and
                    Scot Brown

April 7    – N.ot W.ithout A.lonzo
                  Presentation, talk and book signing
                  With Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams

April 28  – Femmes Funking it Up
                  Discussion between Medusa and
                  Carmelita Ramirez Sanchez


Gallery Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday, Noon - 5:00 p.m.

Location:           William Grant Still Arts Center
                           2520 South West View Street
                           Los Angeles, CA 90016
Cost:                    Free