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    Postcard Size Promotional Piece Showing Child (Toddler Appearing Age) Holding Spray Can Promotes City Hall Sponsored Graffiti "Exhibit" At Long Beach Public Park

    (January 13, 2003) -- A postcard size promotional piece -- one side showing an image of a child (toddler appearing age, without facial concealment) holding a spray can, and the other side with information including a logo of the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine -- is being used to promote a City of Long Beach-sponsored graffiti "exhibit" at MacArthur Park. is for the moment withholding publication of the image pending information on the circumstances under which it was produced.

    Attempts this morning by to reach Mr. Phil Hester, Director of LB's Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Marine for comment have thus far been unsuccessful. has learned the item was available at a January 11 evening reception held at MacArthur Park in connection with the event. was the first LB media outlet to report that the city's Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Marine issued a press release in late December inviting the public to "experience the art of a new generation" in a "mural collaboration and gallery exhibit" featuring "the top 14 women graffiti artists of Southern California."

    The city press release said the Deptartment's Homeland Cultural Center at MacArthur Park "brings non-traditional art forms such as graffiti into the cultural mainstream by encouraging legitimate expression, appropriate applications and respectful content." The postcard never mentions the word "graffiti," using the term "graff" instead. did a follow-up story showing numerous color photos of extensive already drawn on city property in MacArthur Park covered with multi-color images previously drawn on the buildings with the permisson of LB's Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Marine. (To view these images, click Dec. 27


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