Arts & Cultural Vitality / 2013
Human Resources L.A. Artist Residency Program!
Human Resources L.A. Artist Residency Program would create Los Angeles' first centrally focused artist residency to hosts L.A. based artists and actively work to support their surrounding communities. Although there are several Artist residencies currently in place that support international artist in L.A. there is yet to be a program that serves L.A. locally. By hosting 6 artists in the coming year Human Resources L.A. (HRLA) would act as a frame for a diverse set of vital yet under supported artist practices already occurring in Los Angeles. Each artist would be given studio space, a stipend and be asked to contribute to a public program that engages the city of Los Angeles. The residency would promote exchange between these co-occurring artist practices as well as foster educational and community impact; contextualizing the work in a non-commercial environment in order to bring global attention to the city of Los Angels as an international arena for culture and the arts. Our goal in supporting our residents would be to create an exceptional environment in which to further personal practices while engaging them in HRLA’s existing community and beyond. Community outreach will be activated by facilitating exhibition, performance, publication and symposium inside our existing Chinatown gallery space and institutional frame as well as activating our partners – including major institutions, galleries and fellow artist-run spaces. Part of our effort would be to extend geographical bridges between the artist communities established on the west side of L.A. in the last 25 years – Santa Monica, Venice beach, Culver City – and the new migrations east – Chinatown artist run space already in close collaboration with HRLA including K-Chung Radio, Ooga Booga, Machine Projects in Echo Park, Night Gallery.
What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?
HRLA was a collaborator and grant receiver of Getty Museum for PST festival 2012, We have collaborated with REDCAT Gallery, UC Riverside, CalArts, LAND, Machine Projects on cooperative programs. Human Resources is a team of creative individuals, whose mission is to broaden public engagement with contemporary and conceptual art. Our organization emphasizes underexposed modes of expression and interdisciplinary arts practices that do not fit easily within existing institutionalized structures.
Human Resources was identified by the Los Angeles Weekly in 2012 as one of the city’s “most dynamic arts venues.” We foster active public appreciation of performative, participatory and multi-disciplinary art practices by encouraging maximum community access. Events are free or very low cost. Members of our broad community generate exhibitions, performances and readings - artists who attend our events are encouraged to bring proposals to directing members. Our programming procedures encourage direct conversation with artists, musicians and writers in order to educate our audiences about our mission. These conversations also shape our understanding of the needs of artists working in non-commercial and experimental paradigms.
Human Resources serves as an important point of convergence for diverse and sometimes disparate art communities. We offer regular platforms for conversation and idea-sharing in order to promote the sustainability of non-traditional art forms. We nurture the kinds of artistic intelligence produced by working closely with different artistic communities - such as that of experimental music and performance art. We have also collaborated with other art spaces and events, including Pacific Standard Time, Silvershed’s Collective show, fundraisers and events for Les Figues Press and Darin Klein’s Box of Books, and the Chinatown Perform!Now! Festival. We continue to provide a substantial venue for large events, installations, video screenings, music performance, performance art and hybrid events in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles.
Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.
18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica is a non-profit 25 year-old artist residency program that hosts over 30 international artists annually and 20 mid and long term local artist residents. 18th Street Arts Center would act as our mentor through consultation, collaborative exchanges and joint staffing. We would look to 18th Street and Santa Monica City’s support of this institution as a model to build from.
Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?
We will hold extensive interviews with each artist in residence at the end of their stay and create documents that evaluate their experience. We will collect data addressing the impact of events, exhibitions and publications - all programs currently implemented by Human Resources L.A.’s existing infrastructure - that will be available platforms for Artists in Residence to engage. Current systems of collecting data addressing viewership, visitors, community impact, marketing, education and outreach will be applied towards the residency at the end of the grant cycle and complied into a responsive document of accountability.
How will your project benefit Los Angeles?
While Los Angels is designated a thriving global art market it is now just approaching designation as a global arts city. Recently initiated endeavors including PST 2012, the first L.A. Biennial at Hammer Museum and upcoming PST 2017 are placing Los Angeles as a powerful center for culture and the arts on the international stage. A artist residency, which surprisingly Los Angeles does not yet have, would act as an important platform to support generation of high caliber artist works, discourse and exchange. This residency could grow to support a cross section of arts institutions within Los Angeles and artists working within them through concerted participation.
Through our participation with 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, Southern California’s largest artist residency program, we would hope to create public art works that tie together the larger geographical landscape of Los Angeles. In December 2015 the L.A. City Metro is scheduled to open it’s Bergamont Station and 17th Street Stations completing a long awaited thoroughfare connecting central Los Angeles to the west side. 18th Street is an early partner with Metro to select public arts commissions designated for these new transit sites. Meanwhile, HRLA is only blocks away form the existing Chinatown station. Both institutions would like to partner to implement a public arts program in collaborated effort with Metro in the future. Our focus would be to engage the ridership of Metro and support artists’ projects that address the unique geographical web that is Los Angeles.
These geographical bridges would parallel generational bridges and serve to elaborate upon the rich history of 18th Street Arts Center and it’s support of an older generation of west side artists by creating platforms for exchange between the two residencies. Both 18th Street and HRLA have existing exhibition venues and publication presidents that can support the public extension of work produced from these exchanges.
The core immediate audience and community for Human Resources are artists and art appreciators living on the east side of Los Angeles. This community is diverse in terms of age, race, gender and socio-economic status with community members ranging from the early-20s to their mid-60s. The Artist residency program would allow us to continue to grow this community and extend it further out into the public sphere.
What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?
HRLA has a dream of Los Angeles in 2050 as a global arts city, a pioneer and center for innovative cross-pollination of creative thought. Artist residencies provide environments for artist to flourish not only in their private practice but also in unexpected conversation with the larger community. Artist residencies become active breeding grounds for experimental practices, educational outreach and exchange. Any established global arts city must competitively foster a vital artist residency program that facilitates the production and practice of crucial working artists first locally and then beyond as it promote its cultural production abroad. HRLA Artist Residency Program would work towards creating supported space for creative thinking, action and education with the mission to prove that art, creativity, critical discourse and cooperation promotes a higher quality of life and engaging of mind for all members of a society.