Business Interruption Fund spotlight: Lula Washington Dance Theater

Metro’s Business Interruption Fund was started to assist small businesses that may be impacted by construction of Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX line, the Little Tokyo area along the Regional Connector and Phase I of the Purple Line Extension.

Nearly $1 million in grants have been awarded since the first checks were distributed to qualifying merchants in April. The fund aims to provide assistance so that affected businesses can remain open throughout construction and realize the benefits of the new rail lines once completed. 

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be spotlighting a few of the businesses and their owners that have received assistance from the fund.

Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation

Erwin Washington. (Photo: Gary Leonard/Metro)

Associate director Tamica Miller with co-founders Erwin and Lula Washington. (Photo: Gary Leonard/Metro)

Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1980 by Lula and Erwin Washington to provide a creative outlet for minority dance artists in South Los Angeles. The Foundation seeks to build bridges between people of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds through its professional Dance Company (Lula Washington Dance Theatre), the Dance School, the Youth Dance Ensemble and the Dance Studio.

The Dance foundation relocated to the Crenshaw neighborhood in 2004 after its previous location was lost in a fire. The company also had to vacate its first location because of damage it sustained during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Despite these hardships, the foundation has persevered and is today regarded as one of the top African American modern dance companies in the nation.

“We are overjoyed about this,” co-founder Erwin Washington said about receiving much needed assistance from the Business Interruption Fund. “And it is going to help a lot of kids.”

For more information on the dance foundation, click here.

To learn more about Metro’s Business Improvement Fund or how to apply for a grant, visit the Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corp (PCR).