If you live or work in downtown LA, then you know that for the past decade or so, the area has been undergoing unprecedented growth. Long-empty storefronts and abandoned buildings continue to be replaced by high-end retail stores, pricey condos, towering skyscrapers, and trendy restaurants. Blogs such as laconservancy.org, dtlarising.com, and downtownLA.com exist solely to champion the return of the downtown LA area to the thriving metropolis it was at the turn of the last century.

The Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID), a coalition of property owners on a mission to help the area “achieve its full potential as a great place to live, work, play – and connect,” created the video below featuring Nancy Nigrosh, a Writers’ Program instructor, to highlight the transformation of downtown’s Historic Core. In the video, Nancy takes viewers inside The Orpheum Theatre, built in 1926 and restored in the early 1990’s, and the United Artists Theatre, built in 1927 and recently restored and reopened as the Ace Hotel. Says Nancy, a 5-year resident and ardent advocate of the downtown LA area, “The growth I’ve seen is astounding. It’s such a thrill to be able to look out the window of my home on Broadway and see the beautiful old theatres lit up and glowing.”

UCLA Extension: Part of the Downtown Landscape

Not only is downtown LA a great place to live, work, and play, but now it’s also a great place to learn. In March of 2012, UCLA Extension opened its doors for business at Figueroa Courtyard in downtown’s Bunker Hill district. Since its opening, the Writers’ Program has been offering the same great writing courses and teachers in downtown LA that were previously offered only in Westwood. Now, if you live or work in downtown LA or in any of its many surrounding neighborhoods, it’s possible to get a quality screenwriting and creative writing education without the mind-numbing and stress-inducing crosstown commute.

Sign up for a class today and study writing in a city rich with historic and cinematic culture. You’ll no doubt be happy you did. Says Nancy, “Everybody ends up falling in love with downtown.”

Choose from these Writers’ Program courses in spring and get one step closer to realizing your writing goals:

Writing the First Screenplay I with Kim Krizan

Beginning Writing for the Half-Hour Spec Comedy: Building the Story and the Outline with David Nichols

Introduction to Fiction Writing with Noel Alumit

Intermediate Creative Nonfiction with Alison Singh Gee

Poetry Goes to the Movies: The Poem Noir with Suzanne Lummis

For help deciding which course is right for you, call 310.825.9415 or write to us at writers@uclaextension.edu.

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