create / 2015

EWLA: Creating a network for exchange between artists and the public

EWLA: Creating a network for exchange between artists and the public

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by ExchangeWorks

EWLA, a pilot program of ExchangeWorks, enables artists to pursue their vision and the public to contribute to the arts. EWLA connects artists to individuals and businesses through mutually beneficial exchanges, with an economic, environmental, personal and cultural impact.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • While working countywide, EWLA’s temporary event space will be located in LA’s Downtown Arts District, with the specific location to be determined

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders

How will your proposal improve the following “Create” metrics?

  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Arts establishments per capita
  • Jobs per capita
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”) (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to create.

We value artistic vision and the way artists engage with the world. At this critical time when support for the arts is decreasing and the interest in art is increasing, EWLA builds alliances across disciplines and industries to create a strong support system for LA based artists and arts organizations.

LA is home to one of the largest concentrations of artists in the nation, many who urgently need specific resources to help them create and build sustainable careers. LA is also home to a growing community of art lovers and businesses with resources, such as professional services, equipment and materials, which are useful to artists.

EWLA catalyzes art through the following plan:

RESEARCH: We will identify a minimum of 50 professional artists and 50 resource providers to be featured at our temporary space, with a larger group presented online. Participants include contemporary artists working in all media, who exhibit or perform in galleries and museums. Resource providers include individuals and businesses with a wide range of resources. EWLA recognizes the diversity of LA County and will include minorities, as well as ethnically and economically diverse participants.

OUTREACH: We will reach out to artists, resource providers and the art interested public through information sessions at local art and community centers, as well as through newsletters and social media.

EVENTS: EWLA will host a series of in-person exchange events at our temporary space in LA’s Downtown Arts District. EWLA features a curated exhibition of art and resources, focused on the process of art making. An emcee led exchange event will initiate live exchanges and focused discussions. Demonstrations by artists and resource providers add an educational component, with topics such as recycling in art and interdisciplinary collaborations.

WEBSITE: EW’s collaborative platform allows artists to post their artwork and resource providers to post resources available for exchange. We will streamline online and offline efforts to make exchanges more common and convenient. Participants can register, sign up for alerts, create posts, contact others and book EW Art + Public offers. A feedback system will help foster trust among participants.

REVENUE: Posting and contacting others on the website is free. Revenue will be generated through additional premium services, commissions on EW Art + Public bookings and sponsorship opportunities for LA businesses.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

EWLA will be evaluated by how it meets the following goals and associated metrics:

  • Secure 5,000 registered participants and additional 15,000 website visitors across LA County in 2016, with exponential growth monthly. Site traffic, open / click through rates and number of social shares per post will be tracked through our website.

  • Attract 2,000 visitors to our events. EWLA events are free and coincide with gallery openings in the area. Registration for events will be tracked at the door and online.

  • Facilitate at least 100 exchanges in LA County in 2016. Participants change the status of their posts as they are completed and are encouraged to share stories about exchanges.

  • Based on past EW feedback, exposure from EWLA may result in paid jobs and new clients for both artists and resource providers. We will request specific feedback regarding opportunities that result from EWLA.

  • Revenue from premium services, EW Art + Public and sponsorships are tracked on EW.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research