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City Receives Two Prestigious Arts Awards

Post Date:July 13, 2018 5:00 PM

senor plummerThe City of West Hollywood was recently recognized with two prestigious awards from two of the top arts organizations in the nation. One award is from the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Program; the other award is from the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review program.

“The City of West Hollywood has an unwavering commitment to the arts,” said West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran. “Our City’s arts programming elevates the quality of life of our residents, attracts and excites visitors, and helps drive the economic engine of our business community. I’m proud to see the City’s Arts Division recognized on a national level for its extraordinary work!”

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works program has recognized the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division with a $35,000 grant to support the production of Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta, which is a site-specific, interactive theater experience that celebrates, illuminates, and magnifies the life of Eugenio Plummer (also known as “Don Eugenio”) whose family once owned 942 acres in the Los Angeles area. Plummer passed away in 1943 at the age of 92 in a house on Vista Street in what is now Plummer Park in the City of West Hollywood. Programming celebrates the 1942 book Señor Plummer: The Life and Laughter of an Old-Californian by John Preston Buschlen, a former Los Angeles Times staff writer. Told through a patchwork of tall-tales, large-scale puppets, masks, and music, the Rogue Artists Ensemble electrifies Señor Plummer’s whimsical tales of wild duals, pirates, land-grabbing, shark-riding, epic court battles, and, of course, fiestas.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) approved this award as part of more than $80 million in grants in its second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. The NEA’s Art Works program supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts. This is the second time the City has received this award; the previous grant supported the City’s 2015 One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. For more information on projects included in this grant announcement, please visit the NEA website: www.arts.gov/news/2018/national-endowment-arts-announces-grants-support-arts-and-innovation-across-country.

Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review program recognized the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division for its WeHo Arts: The Plan data visualization projects. In works commissioned by the City, three artist/teams created projects in 2017 that utilized a myriad of physical and digital spaces to communicate with community members about the City’s cultural planning process. ArtEverywhere by Maria del Carmen LaMadrid Zamora consisted of a how-to balloon mapping guide and series of aerial photographs that were taken during a one-day workshop with the West Hollywood Teen Center and explored an expanded definition of data visualization by utilizing a 5.5-foot red weather balloon. Dream Cloud by Sean Noyce was a series of graphic artworks composed of word clouds that were scaled proportionately to the number of times a particular word was mentioned in a community outreach survey. The artwork encouraged viewers to immerse themselves in the data cloud, through a series of selfie murals, such as an astronaut, a superhero, or a flying creature. The City of Creative Delights is a series of gifs shared in social media, animated by artist team YoMeryl, which depict a stylized version of West Hollywood as a macrocosm of creative expression, experimentation, and engagement. Within a large-scale tableau, individual characters engage in activities that convey the principles of The Plan — Space, Engagement, Support, Visibility, and Experimentation. To view the data visualization projects, please visit the City’s website www.weho.org/theplan.

Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review program, founded in 2000, recognizes the most compelling public art installed each year. Of the hundreds of submissions received, awards were conferred for just 49 outstanding projects that were identified as the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2017. Through a jury selection process, winners were chosen by a panel of three independent public art experts who based their recommendations on art that creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit. This is the fifth time the City has received this award. Previous projects include: Emperian Passage by Dan Corson (2008); Regard by Rebecca Lowry (2010); West Hollywood Park Murals by Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, and Retna (2011); and 100 Walkers, West Hollywood by Richard Kraft (2015). For more information, please visit the Americans for the Arts website at www.americansforthearts.org/pan.

The City of West Hollywood delivers a broad array of arts programs through its Arts Division including: Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Summer Sounds, Winter Sounds, WeHo Reads, Free Theatre in the Parks, Arts Grants for Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Library Exhibits and Programming, One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, and Urban Art Program (permanent public art). For more information, please visit www.weho.org/arts. Follow the City of West Hollywood’s arts events and updates on social media @WeHoArts.

For additional information, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Manager, Andrew Campbell at (323) 848-6883. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity, and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.

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