Making LA is our NEA-funded programming series that’s focused on highlighting transformative work by designers and architects that improves our city.
From Fall 2013 to Fall 2014, de LaB hosted a programming series entitled Making LA, made possible by an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Making LA consisted of one free program each month that invites attendees to discover Los Angeles designers and artists who are creating transformative work that improves our city.
We divided our programming into four challenge areas facing the city: Transportation, Water, Density, and Community. Working with local writers and photographers, we told stories about each event to the experience with a wider audience.
- September 28: Echo Park Lake Restoration Tour, Echo Park with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, project engineer Jim Rasmus of Black & Veatch and project landscape architect Josh Segal of AECOM. Story by James Brasuell, photographs by Monica Nouwens.
- November 9: 28th Street Apartments Tour, South LA with Julie Eizenberg and Paul Miller of Koning Eizenberg and Vanessa Luna, Clifford Beers. Story by Sandi Hemmerlein, photographs by Elizabeth Daniels.
- January 15: Deborah Sussman Loves Los Angeles, Hollywood with Deborah Sussman and Paul Prejza and curators Catherine Gudis, Barbara Bestor, Thomas Kracauer, and Shannon Starkey. Story by Carren Jao, photographs by Laure Joliet.
- February 22: Market Makeovers, Boyle Heights with Public Matters and Ramirez Meat Market and Euclid Market. Story by Jessica Ritz, photographs by Marcia Prentice.
- April 10: Wildflowering LA in Montecito Heights with artist Fritz Haeg of Wildflowering L.A. Story by Emily Ho, photographs by Gregory Han.
- April 26: Potrero Heights Park Community Center Tour in Montebello with Michael Lehrer. Story by Kristopher Fortin, photographs by Tara Wujick.
- July 26: Bethlehem Baptist Church in South LA with Brendan Ravenhill. Story by Neal Broverman, photographs by Lara Everly.
- August 14: Nature Gardens Tour at the Natural History Museum in Expo Park with Mia Lehrer + Associates. Story by Caroline Chamberlain, photographs by Luke Gibson.
- October 9: Broadway Dress Rehearsal Walking Tour in Downtown LA with Melendrez and People St. Story by Nate Berg, photographs by Rubin Diaz.
- October 19: Wilshire Boulevard Temple Tour in Koreatown with Brenda Levin. Story by Dan Crane, photographs by Amy Tierney.
On Friday November 7, 2014, the one-day Making LA conference brought together 200 creative leaders from across Los Angeles at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens to share best practices and investigate new ways to make their burgeoning civic, architectural or design projects a reality.
In 2015, we received our second NEA grant to fund the second phase of the project entitled Making LA: Connect, Flourish, Thrive, Prosper, continuing to focus on the issues of Transportation, Water, Density and Community. This time, though, our goal is to bring designer- and artist-driven solutions to those issues to life.
The series includes a year of twelve targeted programs, which will double as working groups for designers, architects and artists who are developing solutions in the four challenge areas. Then in spring 2016, after a year of detailed exploration of these themes, groups will make public proposals for real-world projects at the Making LA Challenge, a fast-pitch, Shark Tank-style event.
In this way, we hope to turn the original Making LA programming and conference into a long-term call-to-action, and turn in-person inspiration into four real-world solutions for the city.