In 2007, then-Council Member Eric Garcetti learned of a tragic shooting near a closed public park. The response was the first Summer Night Lights, a program that continues today, driving community engagement by offering programming during the evening hours in 32 parks across Los Angeles.
Supported almost equally by both public resources and private dollars, Summer Night Lights consists of organized programming ranging from the arts to athletics, community learning, and social gatherings at parks across the city. In 2014, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles helped arrange donations of $1.7 million that resulted in an expansion of Summer Night Lights to serve 900,000 people. In 2015, donations funded Full Friday Nights in eight parks, a pilot initiative to extend the program’s success through the end of the year.