#SelfiesforAll: Creating Public Art Together
Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI)
We will create small-scale public murals, or “selfie spots,” in 3 neighborhoods - the Byzantine-Latino Quarter, Watts, and El Sereno - to attract locals and visitors and serve as cultural place-making icons. Each art piece will be designed and executed by local artists with community volunteers of all ages, and will celebrate the multigenerational bonds and unique local culture of its neighborhood. The selfie spots will bring new visitors and economic activity to each neighborhood, and connect friends and family of all ages to play and share.
Please describe the mission of your organization.
LANI revitalizes neighborhoods by engaging people and building vibrant public spaces. We work with residents, businesses, community groups, and local leaders to create walkable, green, safe neighborhoods with access to healthy lifestyles, open spaces, public transit, and economic opportunities.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- South LA
In what stage of innovation is this project?Pilot project or new program
What is the need you’re responding to?
The project’s three communities each have a unique culture to celebrate and share, as well as economic, social, and public image challenges to address, particularly as communities that may be unfairly stereotyped as dangerous, unattractive, or without a rich cultural life.
This project will strengthen local intergenerational ties and stimulate or strengthen relationships between age-specific groups, such as senior centers, after-school programs, youth groups, and civic or business groups, among others. It will create community enhancing public art, which is proven to have a variety of civic and economic benefits (see #12 below). And, it will attract visitors to the three neighborhoods, where they will be likely to explore other community touchpoints and contribute to the local economy. Visitors will share on social media via a posted selfie in front of the murals, thereby reinforcing a positive image of the neighborhoods, encouraging other visitors, and improving perceptions.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
LANI’s work empowers local stakeholders by engaging them in planning improvements designed to enhance public safety and health, spur economic development, foster local pride, and improve communal quality of life. This project is important to us because it provides an opportunity to advance all these goals in each of the project neighborhoods. It also gives us the chance to deepen our relationships in these neighborhoods so we can continue to partner with stakeholders on other improvements going forward.
We are uniquely suited to accomplish this project because LANI understands that community members are the experts on the needs, desires, challenges, and highlights of their own neighborhoods. We have earned a national reputation as a skilled, reliable project manager of publicly funded improvements, playing a critical role in the revitalization of Los Angeles communities. LANI places equity as a core value in our projects, which helps us create trust and shepherd projects to success.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
Public murals build social and economic equity and engage people of all ages in a creative civic project. Murals create a sense of place and result in increased foot traffic while adding vibrancy, culture, and a perception of safety. Recent years have seen a rise in “selfie spots” - small scale murals that serve as backdrops for personal photography meant to be shared online - which have been effective in drawing visitors to new neighborhoods. A selfie spot mural that includes multigenerational togetherness in its theme will provide local people of all ages with creative opportunities as each mural is designed and painted, and once completed, as families and friends gather there to snap photos and share a fun, timely cultural experience.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Our vision is that in each of the neighborhoods, community members of all ages collaborate with artists to design selfie spot murals that celebrate local culture, create opportunity for intergenerational play, attract visitors, and raise each community’s public profile. Specific metrics for success include:
- Local artists enthusiastic about executing the project with community input are recruited.
- Community-based organizations (CBOs), businesses, local officials, and residents help to secure locations for the murals, as well as give input on design, solicit donations of materials, and commit to the murals’ upkeep for at least 24 months.
- Community groups provide access to and communication with target participant demographics to design and create the murals (ie, preschools, afterschool programs, senior centers, service groups, business groups, arts collectives, neighborhood councils).
- Participants in the project represent all age demographics of the neighborhoods, and the project stimulates ongoing collaboration between agencies that serve various age demographics.
- Completed selfie spot murals celebrate the character of each neighborhood, promote local intergenerational ties, and serve as anchors for placemaking.
- A public celebration to unveil the murals is held in each neighborhood.
- Selfie spot murals attract new visitors to their location, creating positive economic and public relations impact.
- Selfie spot murals are shared and identified on social media by locals and non-locals.
Which of the play metrics will your submission impact?
- Parks with intergenerational play opportunities
- Open streets gatherings
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
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