SCI-Arc Arts District Anchor ProjectLos Angeles, CA
The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) was awarded a major grant from ArtPlace to design and build two new arts venues and to help plan arts programming for a third venue. All three venues are in various stages of being planned and built for the Los Angeles Arts District neighborhood. They are: (1) the Hispanic Steps, an indoor amphitheater designed by Hodgetts+Fung, (2) the Outdoor Pavilion, which will be the largest public arts venue in the Arts District when complete and designed by Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, and (3) a multi-purpose 99-seat theater in One Santa Fe, a mixed-use, transit oriented development designed by Michael Maltzan.
This month, ArtPlace checked in with SCI-Arc Director of Academic Affairs, Hsinming (Ming) Fung, and SCI-Arc Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Bennett, to ask them about how the grant from ArtPlace has transformed SCI-Arc.
ArtPlace: What has been the most rewarding experience SCI-Arc has had during the course of the ArtPlace grant period?
Ming Fung: Our most rewarding experience during the course of the grant period has been extending the discussion of architecture beyond the architecture community. An example of this is SCI-Arc’s exhibition, A Confederacy of Heretics: The Architecture Gallery, Venice, 1979, presented in conjunction with the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Presents, Modern Architecture in L.A. initiative. It has allowed SCI-Arc to go beyond the scope of its usual programming and collaborate with institutions and individuals outside of the architecture field. SCI-Arc’s collaboration with the Getty and eight other venues across Southern California allows us to deepen our community engagement by generating more gallery foot traffic at public discussions, including lectures, symposia and gallery talks. One of SCI-Arc’s ArtPlace-funded venues, The Hispanic Steps, has been used as a reception area and gathering place for post-lecture conversations for the Confederacy of Heretics exhibition.
ArtPlace: What has been the community stakeholders’ reaction to SCI-Arc’s ArtPlace project?
Jamie Bennett: The arts-related community is very aware of our new facility, which is currently under construction. As the structure is not yet “topped out” it will be fun to see our neighbors’ reactions to the scale of the pavilion itself. And because it is sighted at the base of the 4th Street Bridge, it truly welcomes a large number of people from the west to the Arts District. By building new venues and causing us to re-think SCI-Arc’s potential as a community resource, the ArtPlace grant will continue to strengthen SCI-Arc’s role as a resource for creative placemaking in Southern California.