SCI-Arc Arts District Anchor Project

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Funding Received: 2012
Los Angeles, CA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 30, 2013


The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) was recently awarded a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to create artist housing at a more affordable rent price, a huge success for Los Angeles’s Arts District neighborhood. The project, called the Affordable Artists’ Housing Partnership (AAHP), has the potential to become a replicable model for other 80/20 developments, where 20% of units are designated for low rental rates. AAHP will connect artists specifically to affordable housing. Keeping with ArtPlace’s vision of using the arts as an economic driver, this project has the potential to give artists living in the Arts District a collective economic boost of nearly $1.1 million a year. SCI-Arc is a key partner in the grant and will continue its work with the DCA in supporting this project.

In the spirit of the Arts District’s culture as a haven for outdoor murals and public artworks, and to extend its work in creative placemaking, SCI-Arc recently opened the outdoor component of a two-part indoor/outdoor exhibition. This installation, called Earthwave, was built from drawings by the visionary architect Lebbeus Woods. SCI-Arc was awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for the indoor gallery component of this project, Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype, which will open on campus in fall 2013.

Recent Wins

• Coverage of SCI-Arc’s continued creative placemaking efforts:

• NEA Grant will help artists remain in gentrifying downtown Los Angeles:,0,6423949.story

• A.D. Residents Appointed to 6th Street Bridge Public Arts Advisory Committee:

• Angel City Brewery Brings Craft Beer to LA’s Arts District:


What is the next step for the creative placemaking movement? One possibility is to open the movement to include design and architecture and to incorporate creative placemaking strategies into wider civic initiatives. For this movement to be truly successful, the concept of placemaking needs to extend beyond the arts community and to be fully integrated into the architecture, planning, and management of urban spaces. Collaboration across fields will only help shape cities, communities, and neighborhoods.