MONA Launches Community Beacons

The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) announced the launch of Community Beacons, a digital guide that highlights signage in LA County that has been preserved in place. This project is grant funded through The National Trust for Historic Preservation and will be available on the Bloomberg Connects app. MONA will host several in-person events to celebrate this launch, including exclusive access to historic locations, historical talks and meet and greets with business owners and neon preservationists. On April 12 from 6:45-8 p.m., journey on the historic past with “Shining a Light on New Chinatown” with Celeste Hong, Paul Greenstien and Dydia DeLyser. Cost is $30 per person.

On April 27 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. there is a walking tour with MONA and the Echo Park Historical Society. Cost is $25 per person.

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MONA’s Community Beacons digital guide features historic photographs, video and audio to highlight the historical signage that The Museum of Neon Art has helped to preserve or advocate for across LA County. The launch of this guide features five sites.

“It is exciting to use technology to create a guide that expands access to parts of our collective community legacy. When the signs we are featuring were installed they were the height of technology, and one of the most efficient ways to communicate. Now thanks to the work of a community of volunteers, advocates, and preservationists we can find a new way to celebrate these glittering beacons to Los Angeles,” said MONA Executive Director Corrie Siegel.

“Signs in situ teach us about the history of communities and represent the endurance of cultural history through changing communities. Having signs work, let alone stand, is no small feat. Through these five signs we celebrate collaboration, we celebrate the craft, we celebrate light and life,” said MONA researcher and educator Maya Abee, who managed the Community Beacons project. 

MONA has preserved signage from Southern California since 1981. Its collection is on view at its Glendale Museum and Universal City Walk. In addition to preserving signage in its collection, the museum has been actively involved in protecting, advocating for and relighting signs in the Los Angeles County landscape. MONA has worked in collaboration with the Dept. of Cultural Affairs, preservationists, business owners and civic officials to keep historic signage in place. MONA has helped to keep over 500 signs in the LA Landscape illuminated since the 1990s.