Arts & Cultural Vitality / 2013
Make ARTmageddon an annual celebration of the arts in Los Angeles! Under the motto "Less Car. More Art.", hundreds of L.A.-based artists and arts organizations united last fall for ARTmageddon, a two-day citywide celebration of the prolific and inspiring art happening all over Los Angeles. At the center of ARTmageddon was a new website which allowed the idea live and be shared digitally (www.ARTmageddonLA.com). It featured 250+ listings for performances, concerts, screenings, literary events, and exhibitions Angelenos could walk, bike and metro. ARTmageddon began as an simple idea inspired by Metro's Carmageddon II, with almost all the previous support being donated time from dedicated volunteers, but it quickly became the largest citywide art party Los Angeles had ever seen. ARTmageddon connects local artists to each other, encouraging collaborating between artists and arts organizations with each other, and with other local businesses such as restaurants, bookstores, and retailers. This central hub also supplies artists and arts organizations with the tools and know how to start going door to door in their own neighborhoods, creating a structure to offer the opportunity for artists to get to know their neighbors face to face. Expansions to enhance ARTmageddon in 2013 include printed materials including a detailed printed map and decals for participating locations. A series of hosted talks and art movies before and during event. Social media contests with instagram. A mobile app creation than can continue to be updated so that the program can live beyond the live event. We would like to create an affiliate program as well for the neighboring cities including Long Beach, Pomona and Claremont and the Orange and Venture counties.
What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?
Our brightest achievement was our central mission at the founding of ARTmageddon, to redefine Carmageddon II as ARTmageddon. And it worked! We brought together hundreds of artists and arts organizations including LA’s major arts organizations, and even the mayor’s office joined in on the action. We were featured in local, national, and international press including USA Today, Newsweek, LA Times, NBC, Huffington Post, and dozens more, including neighborhood and city newspapers and newsletters from most LA District offices. We even noticed on Twitter and Facebook that people outside of Los Angeles (even in China!) were talking about “Less Car. More Art.” and expressing their desire to be in LA for ARTmageddon weekend. enjoying ARTmageddon weekend. Hundreds of thousands of people encountered our simple idea, and many of them took the opportunity to walk, bike and metro to art nearby!
Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.
ARTmageddon was created by artists Diana Wyenn (Beyond the Usual) and Ezra LeBank (Curbside), in partnership with Metro, Department of Cultural Affairs, LA Stage Alliance, ForYourArt, the Los Angeles Downtown Arts District (LADAD) and Experience LA, and in collaboration with thousands of artists and more than 250 arts and cultural partners including LACMA, MOCA, the Fowler, and more! A full list can be found here: http://www.artmageddonla.com/thank-you/
For our next iteration, we will once again partner with these folks, as well as with Team Friday, and work to expand our reach to include even more artists, arts organizations, community partners, and media sponsors.
Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?
Evaluation is key for growth and we definitely understand that. As 2012 was the first year we were able to measure success through artist and institutional participation and media coverage. We are also meeting with key participants and contributors to analyze what was successful last year on the ground level. Although these will continue to be important factors of determining the future success of ARTmageddon, we will be measuring success in three phases. Phase one will include measuring the interactions from all forms of participants including artists, institutions, consumers and media on digital platforms. Phase two will be measuring the call to action by assessing the participation and media coverage during the event.Phase three will be any post event coverage and digital interaction.
Covering the success of ARTmageddon in three phases will allow us to react and change anything necessary to ensure success going forward.
How will your project benefit Los Angeles?
One of the major and critical benefits of ARTmageddon centers on cultivating neighborhoods and their connection to artists. Los Angeles is a city defined by its freeways. And yet, there are dozens of beautiful, culturally and historically rich neighborhoods, that while tourists travel from hundreds and thousands of miles away to experience, we often aren’t even aware of what is waiting only steps from our front door. Here at ARTmageddon, we believe Los Angeles and Art should be defined by its neighborhoods.
A project of this magnitude benefits not only the arts in a direct and literal way but on levels that span across economic and neighborhood development.
And that’s why we shout our rallying cry! “Less Car! More ART!”
What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?
Success would mean making ARTmageddon an annual Los Angeles celebration of local art, bringing together each of Los Angeles’ beautiful neighborhoods. It would spread to every arts organization in Los Angeles, and because a holiday-like atmosphere one weekend a year that spreads through the rest of the year through the connections, collaborations, and awareness raised during ARTmageddon. It would spread to a national “local movement,” where headquarters in every major cultural hub join together for one weekend a year from cities from coast to coast join together in the biggest art party in the world!