WeHo Arts: The Plan is a community-based cultural plan for the City of West Hollywood. It is the result of an iterative 18-month process that included contributions from over 1,700 individuals and many groups. The City's Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) guide the work of The Plan. The Plan will guide the City of West Hollywood's arts and culture programs and services over the next 5+ years.
WeHo Arts: The Plan was approved by the West Hollywood City Council on August 21, 2017.
The City is now implementing The Plan. On this page we will provide annual updates on our progress.
If you have questions about WeHo Arts: The Plan, contact Arts Manager, Andrew Campbell, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Plan is structured by its 5 principles and 20 recommendations. These provide a framework to organize, develop, and sustain the work of the City of West Hollywood’s arts and culture programs and efforts in the years to come. To see the 20 recommendations, read the full document or refer to the Quick-Guide.
SPACE: In order to thrive, the arts, in their myriad forms, need to ubiquitous in the built environment, with physical spaces for creation and presentation.
ENGAGEMENT: Art has the capacity to bring people together and create community; in times of transition, the arts should be viewed as a resource and a vehicle for people to understand the City of West Hollywood’s values.
SUPPORT: Artists, cultural producers, curators, arts administrators, creative individuals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses need systems that finance and support their development.
VISIBILITY: Information on the work of WeHo Arts and West Hollywood’s artists and groups should be easily accessible and highly promoted.
EXPERIMENTATION: West Hollywood has the tools to lead the region, and perhaps the nation, in its support for artists and in the presentation of compelling new work; it shouldn’t shy away from taking risks.
During the planning process, the Arts Division and ACAC began responding to the feedback it received by adapting existing means of communication and spearheading new programs and initiatives. Those early efforts highlight the City’s commitment to realizing the goals of The Plan. As of December 2017, the City has made progress in the following areas:
- The City of West Hollywood purchased The Coast Playhouse.
- Long Hall is now being used as an interim gallery for visual arts presentations.
- The Arts Division is increasing its coordination with other City Divisions and Departments on issues such as affordable housing for artists and Arts & Business partnerships.
- ACAC provided artist Valentina Quezada with a Community Grant to lead Senior Studio at Plummer Park, a multi-week studio class for Russian- and English-speaking Seniors.
- Artist Maria del Carmen Lamadrid worked with the Teen Center to lead a participatory DIY balloon-mapping workshop in conjunction with The Plan’s data visualizations.
- The City inaugurated an Artists Roundtable. The Roundtable is a gathering of the arts organizations, individual artists, arts and creative businesses, and community members committed to West Hollywood’s artistic and cultural vitality. It offers a place for information sharing, networking, interactive presentations, and other special programming.
- The West Hollywood Artist Registy launched to better understand WeHo’s professional artist population and provide greater access to the City’s opportunities for artists.
- The WeHo Artist / Arts Opportunities Facebook Group launched to provide resident and non-resident artists with immediate knowledge of local, regional and national opportunities and calls.
- Creative City: WeHo Facebook Group was launched by local residents to better connect local artists and creative souls and provide a platform for folks to share their practices, including events and activities.
- The City is developing an Individual Artist Grant program.
- WeHo Artists & Icons Series
- Increasing the use of physical mailers for programs
- Intra-city Innovation Grant to produce data visualizations to communicate elements of the cultural plan
The City commissioned three (3) artist/team(s) to create unique digital artworks to illustrate the vision for The Plan and its outcomes. Artists were tasked to reference The Plan's Principles + Priorities, text-based qualitative data collected during the cultural planning process. Each commissioned project was required to be designed to function on at least two of the City’s various multi-media platforms (social media, video billboards, WeHo TV, and/or the city website) in the form of an infographic, gif and or video and as a printed take-away.
The City of Creative Delights is an animation by YoMeryl that depicts a stylized version of West Hollywood as a macrocosm of creative expression, experimentation and engagement, and was inspired by the artist Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. Within a large-scale tableau, microcosms of individual characters engage in activities that convey values of the WeHo Arts: The Plan – Space, Engagement, Support, Visibility, and Experimentation.
YoMeryl is a two-person artist team consisting of Animator/Painter Bronwyn Lundberg and Writer/Video Artist Sarah Zucker. In 2015, they created a GIF art series for the CDC’s Pride Tour, which aimed to celebrate local gay culture while promoting HIV Awareness. And, in 2014, they created a GIF Art series to showcase the exhibitions in the Brooklyn Museum, the first museum-commissioned GIFs of their kind.
Dream Cloud, by artist Sean Noyce, is composed of word clouds that are scaled proportionate to the number of times an applicant mentioned a particular word in The Plan’s surveys. The artist notes, “The act of looking up brings to mind positivity, hopefulness, and aspiration for something greater than us. The basis of the project is to convey that lofty goals can become reality if there is a will to pursue them. The visual presence is fun and engaging, encouraging the viewer to immerse themselves in the mural by taking selfies of themselves as astronauts, superheroes or other flying creatures, as represente3d in the transparent silhouettes. The characters celebrate a diverse and harmonious existence, as reflected in the goals of the participants in the survey.” The project is divided into three components: print (art on construction fence banners), digital and temporary sculpture installations. Additional images of the project can be found on the City's flickr site.
Sean Noyce has over 15 years of experience with data visualizations, working with major media clients like TIME, Newsweek, Playboy, and Men’s Health. His work has been selected for recognition by prestigious organizations like The Society of Publication Design, the Society of News Design, the Associated Press, and the Deadline Club. He is also the co-director of Noysky Projects, a gallery/atelier in Hollywood that exhibits LA-based artists on a quarterly basis. Sean is also a resident of West Hollywood.
|Dream Cloud temporary installation on Sunset Blvd. at William S. Hart Park
||Dream Cloud banners on exhibition on Sunset Blvd. at William S. Hart Park
|Dream Cloud temporary installation at the West Hollywood Library
||Dream Cloud banners on exhibition at the West Hollywood Library
|Dream Cloud Instagram Album posted on WeHo Arts [detail]
ArtEverywhere was inspired by a response heard during one of the The Plan Living Room sessions when the community was asked “Where would you like to see public art?” The project consists of a series of aerial photographs manipulated with overlays of quantitative and qualitative data captured through the two-year community engagement process leading up to the final Plan. The photographs were taken during the artist-led one-day, participatory, weather balloon mapping workshop with the West Hollywood Teen Center at the Plummer Park Community Center. The project aims to explore an expanded definition of data visualization by utilizing a performative object, the 5.5-foot red weather balloon, to engage youth in creating an immersive event in West Hollywood. The event reflects upon concepts of democratic cultural production and art in public spaces. Additional images of the ArtEverywhere balloon mapping workshop can be seen on the City of West Hollywood's Flickr page.
Maria del Carmen LaMadrid Zamora is a media designer and tinkerer with 7+ years of experience. Maria earned an MFA from the Art Center College of Design’s Media Design Program. She is passionate about finding intersections between media design and information activism for community-led policy advancement. She uses storytelling techniques as a way to build on the diverse narratives of a place and strengthen community history.
|Teens who participated in the balloon mapping workshop received a how-to illustrated guide on how to replicate the process at home.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Between April 2016 and 2017, ACAC Commissioners, Arts Division staff and interns, The Plan’s Consultant, Amanda Carlson, and Artists Alyse Emdur and Rosten Woo spearheaded various elements of the City’s community-based cultural planning process. They popped up at events, hosted small group discussions and larger conversations, and led activities throughout the city to learn residents’ and visitors’ visions for the future of WeHo Arts and our creative city – big dreams, small tweaks, and everything in between.
The planning process’ goals were to:
- Celebrate the City's distinctive artistic and cultural identities.
- Identify and commemorate West Hollywood's support and advancement of the arts.
- Articulate a shared vision for the future: securing the position of the arts and culture at the heart of our creative city.
With the information aggregated through the different types of interactions, City Staff, ACAC Commissioners and the consultant crafted and finalized The Plan’s Principles and Recommendations over six months of 2017. On August 21, 2017, the West Hollywood City Council approved WeHo Arts: The Plan.
Types of Interactions:
Arts & Culture Pop-ups
Informal chats with Arts Division Staff and Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioners at events and locations around West Hollywood. These “pop-ups” were opportunities for the public to learn quickly about the breadth of WeHo Arts’ programming, take a short cultural plan survey, and get to know the folks behind WeHo Arts. There were 26 Arts & Culture Pop-ups.
Living Room Sessions
These casual and conversation-driven sessions were designed to find out community members’ most elaborate, imaginative, and visionary ideas for our City’s arts future. They were opportunities to share an idea with fellow community members and members of WeHo Arts, and work through just how the City could take an idea and make it a reality.
Some Living Room Sessions had a specific focus. For example, the August 14 session at Plummer Park focused on public art. The conversation took place near Tim Murdoch’s sculpture And The Tree Was Happy, part of WeHo Arts’ Can You Dig It exhibition.
The planning process included two rounds of Living Room Sessions, totaling 17 in all. The second series, five sessions, functioned both as a report out to community members and as a way to prioritize the principles and recommendations.
Art to Us
Art to Us was part of The Plan’s efforts to reach new populations and learn from these individuals through arts-based contributions.
Preceding the implementation of Art to Us, WeHo Arts reviewed and selected qualifications of social practice artists from across Los Angeles before deciding on the artists Alyse Emdur and Rosten Woo. Emdur and Woo worked closely with WeHo Arts and community groups during 2016 to design and experiment with the project. Finalizing a format, Art to Us was designed as a series of workshops that could result in a new approach to making civic art. Emdur and Woo worked closely with students from the West Hollywood Community Day School and residents from the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation.
Art to Us culminated in a one-day immersive art installation in Kings Road Park on March 5, 2017. The project lives on in the form of audio recordings between workshop participants and a booklet documenting excerpts of the interviews and images of the works they created.
LA-based photographer Alyse Emdur searches for deeper connections with her subjects which often results in large format photography, video or drawings. Her book, Prison Landscapes (2013), is a five-year exploration resulting in a collection of 100 photographs of prison inmate’s presenting themselves in front of the idealized landscapes of painted visiting-room backdrops, posing with their visitors and pretending, for a moment, that they are elsewhere. Her work has been exhibited in Printed Matter and the Lambent Foundation in NYC; the University of Texas Visual Arts Center in Austin, TX; the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, PA; the Lab in San Francisco, CA; La Montagne Gallery in Boston, MA; and internationally in Tel Aviv, Israel, London, England, Oslo, Norway, Paris, France and Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
In 2013, Alyse and Rosten worked together on a community engagement project titled Project Willowbrook: Cultivating A Healthy Community through Arts and Culture for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The artists engaged the community by going door to door to resident’s homes where they uncovered sentimental architectural features of the community, whimsical garden décor and a collection of pet tortoises. Rosten facilitated dialogue with the residents and city planners to create a shared platform for civic development. Alyse captured each of the residents with a large format photograph which was published in a book. The project was made possible from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant.
Rosten Woo is an LA-based designer, writer, and educator who creates artistic engagements to help people understand complex systems, re-orient themselves to places, and participate in group decision-making. He is co-founder and former executive director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a New York Based non-profit organization dedicated to using art and design to foster civic participation. His work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, Netherlands Architectural Institute, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and various piers, public housing developments, tugboats, shopping malls, and parks in New York and Los Angeles. He has written on design, politics, and music for such publications as the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, City Limits, and Metropolis Magazine. His first book, “Street Value,” was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2010. He currently teaches art and design at the California Institute of the Arts, Pomona College, and Art Center College of Design.
Commissioner “Office Hours”
During 2016, Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioners supported The Plan by doing “Office Hours” at WeHo Arts events – asking questions of, having conversations with, and connecting to event-goers and members of the broader West Hollywood public.
The Arts Division created both a short, in-person survey and a longer, online survey. Cumulatively, the City received over 730 responses to its surveys. Map of Survey Responses and Survey Locations
On November 4, 2017, the City hosted an event celebrating the launch of The Plan. Photos from the event
Dates and Locations of the Planning Process' Public Interactions:
January 28 Art to Us Workshop 1
February 4 Art to Us Workshop 2
February 11 Art to Us Workshop 3
March 5 Art to Us Event @ Kings Road Park
June 3 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ One City One Pride Day of History, West Hollywood Library & Auto Court
June 5 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ City Council Meeting, Council Chambers
June 12 Living Room Session / Feedback on The Draft @ Council Chambers, 7pm – 8:30pm
June 21 Living Room Session / Feedback on The Draft @ Coast Playhouse, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
June 25 Living Room Session / Feedback on The Draft @ Kings Road Park, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
June 26 Living Room Session / Feedback on The Draft, Plummer Park Community Center 7:00pm-8:30pm, this session was facilitated in both English and Russian.
June 27 Living Room Session / Feedback on The Draft @ Plummer Park Community Center, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
August 21 City Council Meeting @ City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
November 4 The Plan Launch Party @ Plummer Park, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
April 16 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ West Hollywood Kids’ Fair, West Hollywood Park Auditorium
May 15 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Russian Arts & Culture Festival, Plummer Park
June 4 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ One City One Pride Arts Interventions, West Hollywood Park
July 18 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market
July 20 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ CSW/LA Pride Community Forum, West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 6:00pm
August 2 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ National Night Out, Various locations in the City, 5:00pm
August 6 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Santa Monica and Robertson (NW Corner), 9:00am
August 14 Living Room Session – Focus on Public Art, Plummer Park (under And The Tree Was Happy), 10:00am
August 21 Living Room Session – General Conversation on the Arts, William S. Hart Park, 9:30am
August 28 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Puppet Theater on Wheels, Plummer Park Community Center, 10:30am
September 17 Living Room Session – General Conversation on the Arts, Scrumptious Café Bakery, 2:00pm
September 18 Arts and Culture Pop-up @ Engage-A-Lot: West Hollywood's Eastside Neighborhood Festival, corner of Spaulding and Santa Monica, 11:00am - 3:00pm
September 21 Living Room Session with the West Hollywood Teen Center, Plummer Park
September 26 Living Room Session – Focus on Creative Businesses + Professionals, Woven Accents (8674 Melrose Avenue), 5:00pm - 6:30pm
October 1 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Celebrating 5 Years of the West Hollywood Library, West Hollywood Library, 625 North San Vicente Boulevard, 12:00pm - 3:00pm
October 24 Living Room Session – Focus on Writers + the Literary Community, Community Meeting Room, West Hollywood Library (625 N. San Vicente Boulevard), 7:00pm - 8:30pm
October 26 Living Room Session – Focus on LGBTQ Art + Artists, Long Hall, Plummer Park (7377 Santa Monica Boulevard), 7:30pm - 9:00pm
November 12 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ N Robertson Blvd and Beverly Blvd, Corner of Roberston and Beverly, 10:30am - 12:30pm
November 13 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Route 66 Event, Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
November 16 Living Room Session – Focus on the Russian-speaking Community, Plummer Park Community Center - Room 3 (7377 Santa Monica Blvd), 7:00pm - 8:30pm, This session was facilitated in both English and Russian.
November 18 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Santa Monica and N San Vicente, 10:30pm - 12:00am
November 19 Arts & Culture Pop-up @ Santa Monica and N La Peer Drive, 10:30pm - 12:00am
December 14 Living Room Session – Focus on Visual Arts, Los Angeles Art Association, Gallery 825, 6:30pm - 8:00pm