Homeland at MacArthur Park in the City of Long Beach is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Everything at Homeland, all the great programs and activities, are free — all are welcomed to participate with no registration or sign up required. If you want to participate in any activity at Homeland, all you have to do is go on the day or evening the class meets.
Homeland at MacArthur Park is a city-operated cultural center. Most of the programs are led by professionals of the arts, and are contractors paid by the city. The facility is opened Monday through Friday 3-10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m.-6 pm. Homeland Cultural Arts Center is a place to explore and pass on traditional and contemporary cultural traditions.
Homeland Culture Center also won the 2008 National Parks and Recreation Society Dorothy R. Mullen Arts and Humanities Award, the highest award in the parks and recreation field.
Open to all ages, people, and groups. Programs are offered year round in urban and traditional arts. Homeland is also a site for poetry readings, theater presentations, performances of dance and music and cultural celebrations.
Mike “Iceman” Rivera is an original break dancer (B-boy) of the 1980s, and he leads the popping, locking, and break dancing class which meets every Monday and Tuesday, from 6-10 p.m. On any given night, his class will have about 50-75 people of all ages break dancing and having a great time. Iceman says that anyone who wants to learn how to break dance is invited to participate.
“Homeland is a global recognized community that promotes and preserves the hip hop cultural. People from all over the world come to Homeland to dance. We’ve had kids from Japan, Canada, Mexico, and even MTV’s American Best Dance Crew winner this year received a lot of their skills, a few years back, from Homeland, they still come through, they haven’t forgotten where they came from,” Iceman says. Iceman has been teaching at Homeland for more than 10 years.
In another room at Homeland is the Hip Hop Class, led by Tiffany “Jimini” Bong, a professional hip hop street dancer and educator trained in diverse styles of locking, whacking, and punking. She also has a BA in theatre dance. The hip hop class meets every Monday evening, 7-9 p.m. Anyone who would like a little exercise and dance to easy moves may participate in this class. The people are friendly, and the music is mostly 1980s R&B.
Homeland Cultural Center has classes seven days a week. Some of the classes that are offered at Homeland include:
- Art of Belly Dancing
- KRUMP Dancing
- Guitar Instruction
- Ballet Folklorico
- Khmer Martial Arts
- African Drumming
- Graf Murals
- Aztec Dance
- Instant Band
- Khmer Music
- Adult and Youth Writing Classes
There is also an after-school program for youths Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m.
Homeland Cultural Center is located at 1321 E. Anaheim Street between Orange Avenue and Gundry Street, next to the Mark Twain Library.
Fun Free Things to Do in March and April in Long Beach
- March 20 and April 3, “Visitors from the Past,” free tours at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach. Tours begin at 1 p.m.
- April 23 at 9 a.m., participate in the Granada Beach clean up at Granada Beach and Ocean Blvd.
- Every first Saturday of the month at El Dorado Nature Center, learn more about California’s native plants and water wise gardening at the “Out of the Wild and into Your Garden” class. The class is free, however there is a $7.00 vehicle parking fee to enter the nature center parking lot.