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create / 2016

Maiden LA, a county-wide network of LA-based 'happenings' in August 2017

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Maiden LA

Maiden LA is an inclusive and expansive county-wide survey of art happenings that in encouraging the use of alternative spaces, considers the city as a platform for generative discourse and exchange.

Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?


Please describe your project proposal.

After a successful pilot program, for the 2nd iteration, Maiden LA will put out an open call to LA-based artists to host an event during the month of August 2017. In expanding outreach and participation, Maiden LA will continue to connect artists and collectives while representing LA County as a vibrant and extensive art community.

Which of the create metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Arts establishments
  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Minority- and women-owned firms
  • Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating
  • Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions

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

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • Gateway Cities
  • Antelope Valley
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to create?

Maiden LA, an annual county-wide network of ‘happenings’ throughout the month of August, is a way to assemble and connect Los Angeles artists, curators, performers, collectives, organizations, etc., to host open studios, group shows, or self-initiated projects in both traditional and unconventional spaces, making LA the best place to CREATE.

Maiden LA, both a playful anagram and homophone of the Hammer Museum’s ‘Made in LA’, broadens the scope of what it means to be an artist in Los Angeles and how to find and engage with a community in such a vast city. Maiden LA is different from other biennials in that it is a community-driven, egalitarian event, aiming to dissolve hierarchies. The artists involved hold the reigns in an effort to expand upon rather than undermine the institutional dictates. Because Maiden LA’s application process is 100% inclusive, it provides a rare forum where established institutions, like the Getty, are on the same plane as an unrepresented artist working out of their garage. Los Angeles is broadly acknowledged, especially as of late, as a current artistic hub, with a recent influx of galleries and artists moving here, as well as a flood of media coverage. In addition to the publicized aspects of the LA art world, there are also so many artists that no one gets to see or know about. By encouraging the use of alternative spaces to showcase one’s work, unrepresented artists can open up their spaces and share their work to the greater community under the Maiden LA umbrella.

Regarding the LA2050 metrics:

Arts establishments: Through exposure, community engagement, and networking we hope to bring artists and arts establishments together to foster new relationships. We plan to invite emerging and established art spaces to attend open studios and vice versa. The 2016 iteration of Maiden LA saw collaborative efforts between artists and art establishments, with organizations adding to or creating new programs. This is certainly a measured success! New professional relationships will continue to emerge as a result of Maiden LA.

Employment in the creative industries: With over 300 events it is inevitable that many of the organizations involved will have a need for additional staff and/or volunteers.

Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating: By turning Maiden LA into a household name, we hope to contribute to the rich texture of this city, providing incentive for graduates to stay and thrive here. We will offer 25 need-based artist stipends to help launch individual projects.

Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions: We plan to reach out to local higher education institutions, in hopes that our ongoing program will aid in their recruitment and retention rates. Our last event included involvement with Pomona College and number of recent UCLA graduates, among others.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Success for Maiden LA is defined and measured by the public’s engagement and participation. We were thrilled to have had 160 participants in the first iteration of Maiden LA, and were amazed by the range of events that materialized, from artists hosting web-based projects, including a biennial that only exists on Instagram and a blog that addressed an artist’s permanent ban from the US, to a collection of Noah Purifoy works at Tara’s Hall, a survey of works by 80s L.A. punk rock scene artist Mary Woronov at the Lodge, a Post-It installation at an artist-run children’s museum in San Gabriel Valley, and a talk with Jackie Winsor at Hauser Wirth and Schimmel.

Success for the 2017 iteration of Maiden LA will involve greater artist participation, events well-attended by the community, more social media followers and engagement, more newsletter subscribers, a wider promotional campaign, and greater press exposure.

We foresee 300 participants in Maiden LA 2017, with more artists and their respective communities being connected and represented. We plan to send out a feedback survey to all participants in order to glean various pertinent information, such as how they heard about the project, how many guests attended, and if they attended any other Maiden LA events.

Success will also be defined by how many projects continue beyond the scope of Maiden LA. We will of course stay in dialog with the participants and our followers in an effort to keep Maiden LA a success.

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

  • Money
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support