2021 Grants Challenge

Access! Outdoor Sculpture in West LA

Outdoor sculpture on view in the Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA, the Beverly Gardens Park, and Century City is free to the public. There are no public guides to these adjacent art installations. Our guide will provide accessible engagement with art for all audiences in various formats: audio & written guides, QR codes, video highlights, & family activities. Access! Outdoor Sculpture in West LA will encourage the public to safely enjoy art in outdoor spaces and serve as a template for additional guides to explore art in other LA neighborhoods.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?


What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

There is public art throughout Los Angeles, most of it is under-utilized. We've identified a cluster of three outdoor sculpture parks in West LA (as a case study) that offers free access to fine art, yet they are rarely visited by people other than by residents in the adjacent neighborhoods. Our goals are manifold: encourage people from neighborhoods across LA to enjoy art in outdoor spaces; develop a guide for all audiences (adults, youth, family) to engage with art in meaningful ways. Guide formats will be designed for various levels of art knowledge and compliant with ADA guidelines. Participants will learn about the art and about the history of West LA's neighborhoods where the outdoor sculpture is found, from Beverly Hills and Century City to the campus of UCLA. We envision this project Access! Outdoor Sculpture in West LA as a pilot that can serve as a model for similar accessible guides to public art found in other LA neighborhoods, for example in downtown LA and South LA.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Art Muse initiated the outdoor sculpture project in January 2021 with the idea of encouraging the public to make better use of outdoor art spaces. In this way we encourage art appreciation in open-air environments during the covid-19 pandemic when restricted admission to museums and other arts institutions is enforced. Our plan is to determine the content and format for the guide over the spring and summer by researching best practices for visitor engagement with public art collections (audio and written guides, QR codes, video highlights, and family activities). We will begin working on the research and organization of the West LA outdoor sculpture guide in the fall by writing content and with design discussions. Art Muse Academy is in communication with the Century City Chamber of Commerce and The Arts Council, the City of Beverly Hills Art & Cultural Events, and the Hammer Museum to ensure the project is endorsed by these organizations. Art Muse Academy has been granted a Getty Marrow 2021 summer intern who will devote 10 weeks to research and contribute to the initial development of the West LA Public Sculpture Guide. We will consult with artists working with the Arts & Disability Program at UCLA as well as organizations focused on specific disabilities: visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, and mobility. If funding is secured, we will schedule monthly weekend get-togethers for community and family groups, starting with pilot programs in the early 2022.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 50

Indirect Impact: 500

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Access! Outdoor Sculpture in West LA will stimulate access to fine art for all Angelenos as well as visitors to our city. Participants will learn about their city's neighborhoods through visits to public art venues, starting with West LA. These visits will be enhanced by informative, engaging guides, offered in a variety of formats in order to offer access to art for all people. In particular, the formats of the guides will be developed to give access to public art for people with disabilities by addressing particular needs such as verbal descriptions and “touch” tours for the visually impaired and identifying particular sculpture that can be easily approached for those participants with mobility disabilities. We will consult with specialists to confirm the sculpture is placed in accordance with ADA guidelines. Ultimately, Access! will celebrate the public arts found in the parks and open spaces of Los Angeles.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Coordination, cooperation, and input. Our first measure of success for this new project is to establish coordinated, open lines of communication with and among the various stakeholders which currently include the Century City Chamber of Commerce, The Arts Council, City of Beverly Hills Art & Cultural Events, and the Hammer Museum. With their input and knowledge of each other's commitment to the project, the final West LA outdoor sculpture access will reflect cooperation within the community as a whole. Another measure of success is to solicit input from a group of consultants-- artists, educators, disability advocates, and specialists-- to inform the design and content of the guide and its formats in order to effectively address special needs for people with disabilities. And finally, we will test the guides with invited focus groups to determine effectiveness and areas for refinement before launching the public Access! Outdoor Sculpture in West LA.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will you impact?​

Public arts and cultural events

Neighborhood council participation

Disability access and inclusion

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to PLAY