From the Department of Cultural Affairs:
Los Angeles – Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced Los Angeles as one of 12 finalist cities in the running to receive up to $1 million each as part of its Public Art Challenge, a new program aimed at supporting temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity, and enrich the vibrancy of cities.
The Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti partnered with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) in drafting the letter of intent for the proposed project called CURRENT: LA River Call to Action on Water Conservation Through Art. The project proposes to establish a Los Angeles Public Art Biennial with an inaugural installation of contemporary art along the Los Angeles River. Working with independent curator Marc Pally, the city would commission five large-scale, multidisciplinary art works, along with smaller commissions and educational programming to support the focus of topics including water conservation, ecology, and drought.
"The Public Art Challenge will provide us an opportunity to harness the current enthusiasm on revitalizing the Los Angeles River," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, who chairs the City's Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and Los Angeles River Committee. “I applaud the Department of Cultural Affairs for their work on this ambitious public art project, which was made possible by a motion I introduced that led to unlocking the Arts Development Fee. The unique neighborhoods that touch the banks of the River will benefit greatly from the work by local artists who are improving the look and feel of five communities along our urban waterway."
The Public Art Challenge grant will cover development, execution, and project related expenditures, but will not fund 100% of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters. At least three winning cities will be selected in May, 2015 to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months.