About Take Back the Street

Over the years, public space has become scarce. Today more and more people are taking to the streets and other public places to create art and express themselves. Whether these acts are overtly political or not, they make a loud statement that connects a broad spectrum of people, similar to the Occupy movement. This page aims to be a platform to highlight, discuss, support and encourage these artists, their work and its meaning.

The 818 Session and the Trailer Talk projects have united to share ideas about public space as they represent the kind of social art exchanges that the Take Back the Street site explores. With our arts and culture commentaries, we invite you to build and to expand this conversation about an expansive and inclusive art discourse in our “town square”.



The 818 Sessions
The 818 Session is a krump circle that gathers every Wednesday at midnight in a Ralphs Parking lot in North Hollywood. The 818 refers to the area code of North Hollywood.

Trailer Talk
Big conversations from a little trailer. Stories from America’s traveling kitchen table converge as mobile media meets a radio show by inviting civic discourse on our streets. Trailer Talk’s Performance Journalism is a community event, a live performance and a public conversation that takes place in and around a 1965 BeeLine travel trailer.



Sabrina Artel
Sabrina Artel is exploring the re-imagining of public space and the connection between our physical and virtual dialogues with her projects. Since 2003, Sabrina has been driving her red and white 1965 Beeline camper to Main Streets, festivals and events where she parks and sets up lawn chairs in her “front yard,” establishing a co-opted site-specific space. Through loud speakers affixed to the outside of the trailer, she invites people inside for homemade brownies and publicly witnessed conversation. Invited guests and  passers-by sit down with Sabrina at the traveling kitchen table and discuss local issues while their friends and neighbors watch and listen. Sabrina’s background as a theater artist has shaped her hybrid approach to the conversation/ interview and her creation of a new model for journalism. Sabrina’s work seeks to find new strategies for conveying information by locating the art of public practice within New Journalism.  Sabrina is the creator and host of Trailer Talk, a weekly radio show that engages the community through conversations about culture, politics, the arts and the environment. She is  a regular contributor for Alternet.org with Trailer Talk’s Frack Talk Marcellus Shale Water Project and was an arts and culture writer for for a CBS TV Show blog.  She was an NEA Arts Fellow at the the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, in addition to receiving grants from Art Matters, NYSCA and the Park Foundation among others. Trailer Talk gives voice to a community by creating a portable town hall. The project brings diverse and often opposing voices together for the benefit of social engagement. Trailer Talk is mobile media in action.


Gemma Cubero
Gemma Cubero is a bilingual writer, producer, and director with a degree in investigative journalism. She has a passion for storytelling using words, film/video and multimedia. During the 12 years she has been working in documentary film, Gemma Cubero has managed productions from location scouting to interviews in Spain, United States, Mexico, Cuba, Germany and Argentina. In addition to her bilingual writing and production skills, she has exceptional fundraising moxie with expertise in helping filmmakers connect to resources and funding. Her work through her documentary production company Talcual Films on films such as Ella Es El Matador (She Is The Matador) and El Abrazo has been supported by institutions such as PBS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Latino Public Broadcasting, P.O.V., Tribeca Film Institute, IFP Independent Film Week, Pacific Pioneer Fund, the San Francisco Foundation Bay Area Documentary Fund, National Organization of Latino Independent Producers, New York Women in Film and Television, Women Make Movies, the Consulate General of Spain in New York, the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC, the Instituto Cervantes and the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art. She is a member of the European Documentary Network. With an Annenberg Fellow to obtain her M.A. in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) at the University of Southern California, she is investigating documentary as a tool for social change and how “the digital revolution” has impacted documentary filmmaking. Gemma is currently making a film about Sabrina Artel’s Trailer Talk and through the collaboration with coLAb re-inventing ways to strengthen audience engagement.

Jessica Koslow
For the past six months, Jessica has attended a krump circle called the 818 Session that begins around midnight every Wednesday in a parking lot in North Hollywood. What began as something that caught her attention has turned into an intellectual and physical space for exploring social issues. The biggest discovery has been that these dancers are reimagining the use of public space, transforming a site for capital and commerce into a setting for creative expression, emotional release and community building. By merging her work with the Take Back the Street coLAb project, she hopes to expand this conversation to include other places and events with similar goals.


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