Art, Golf Combine as Little Tokyo Open Tees Off

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Nearly 400 golfers, ranging from toddlers to seniors, played miniature golf in the inaugural Little Tokyo Mini Open during the first weekend (April 14-15) of a collaborative effort by several community organizations and local artists.

State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago hailed the event as an example of what is needed in many communities, “a place that families can enjoy together.”

The popup nine-hole course with Little Tokyo’s past, present, and future as the design theme was presented by the Little Tokyo Business Association in partnership with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center and Sustainable Little Tokyo.

Santiago, a former Little Tokyo resident, attended with his family and stayed to try out the uniquely designed course.

The day even included a hole-in-one by three-year-old golfer Vincent (pictured, photo courtesy of Ellen Endo).

Also helping to launch the project were: Thien Ho of the Los Angeles City Cultural Affairs Commission, representing Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Gina Mordeaux, director of state government affairs for the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, which funded the project in association with the national nonprofit KaBoom!

Dan Kwong, who collaborated with Oscar-winning actor/director Chris Tashima in creating his historically themed entry, spoke on behalf of all nine participating artists, including Andrea Aguilar; Lina Cheng; Mario Correa and Zen Sekizawa of Mano Ya; Adina Mori-Holt; Brie Wakeland; and Mei Zhao (pictured below).

Little Tokyo Open: The Art of Miniature Golf concluded April 28 and 29.

Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo (except where noted)

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