On Tuesday, July 2nd, artworxLA organized a Peer Group event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for Los Angeles County Art Commission (LACAC, newly announced as the LA County Department of Arts and Culture) interns to further explore the theme “Arts and Social Justice: Art in Community.”
Albert Valdez, Holly Gillette, and Maria Ramos of LACMA’s Education Department spoke to our interns about their passion for bringing LACMA programming directly into LA communities. LACMA and artworxLA Teaching Artist Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca led our group on a tour which focused on social change, illustrated in part by the literal changes that LACMA will be undergoing over the next few years as they begin major renovations on the grounds.
The day culminated in a Transformulation workshop, where interns were challenged to respond to the prompt, “What improvements do you want to see in your city?” Highlights from our event included the following intern responses:
Lauren Lee from PEN America Los Angeles proposed an outdoor coop space inspired by the idea of “Let the Environment Be.”
Verena Hecht from International Documentary wanted to see Metro integrate more art more consistently into the exterior and interior of its vehicles -- spaces that currently appear to be only available to advertisers with large budgets.
Daniel Martinez from Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural discussed issues regarding incarcerated individuals and the negative connotations of the phrase “We are all immigrants.” Daniel aimed to challenge this negativity with a marketing print campaign that would visibly support immigrant families in LA.
Monica Judith Juarez from LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes suggested expanding existing initiatives within Changeist to increase civic engagement among youth, an idea that Gustavo advised she further develop into a personal pitch.
Ariana Cooper from the Skirball Cultural Center was concerned about the lack of outdoor spaces in LA County as a whole, so she suggested creating more community spaces for people of all ages: public gardens, outdoor event spaces, etc.
Brendan Thompson from KCETLink was inspired by his personal reflections on gentrification and shared that he wants to open an art space that could serve multiple functions, such as a resource center and library.
Therese Oshiro from Hollywood HEART FKA Camp Pacific Heartland hoped to address community wellness by increasing community gardens and art-making at these gardens, inspired by the programs of EnrichLA.
Katie Lam Xing from Young Storytellers developed an idea to create more multipurpose spaces in Chinatown to create space for basketball events, theaters, stages, and arts education programming.
Caroline Duffy from artworxLA recommended having pop-up art exhibits, stores, and installations at key areas around L.A.
Jennifer Santiago from Los Angeles Opera Company planned an accessible center that would feature free and amplified programming for multiple generations, particularly engaging undocumented seniors so they can develop a sense of community.
Sarah Hofmann from artworxLA proposed the creation of affordable housing units using metal shipping containers as the base material.
Thank you to Albert, Holly, Maria, and Gustavo for hosting our wonderful visit to LACMA!