L.A. Freewaves

Freewaves creates public media art events that bring diverse audiences and independent media artists together in collaboration and dialogue.


2 Submitted Ideas

  • CREATE ·2014 Grants Challenge

    Out the Window

    Freewaves will spearhead a multicultural, multi-aesthetic, county-wide coalition to bring a little media sunshine to all L.A. Metro buses.

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    OUT THE WINDOW: Videos on LA buses

    PROJECT SUMMARY Out the Window will transform our daily commute. A million Angelenos will wake up and go home not to the drivel of commercial TV but to innovative, informative videos that not only teach them, but also engage them – surround them in art. How? On the bus! Yes, the bus – reversing the popular vision of transit from a drudge to a recharging experience – aiding in our efforts to create a multi-transit Los Angeles, while bringing art (real, experimental art) to people who often feel locked out of the city’s museums and galleries. Art should be, will be everywhere. Out the Window makes that happen. FULL PROPOSAL DESCRIPTION Bus riders, Out the Window’s target audience, are 2/3 Latino, half female, half under age 34 and predominantly low income, a difficult demographic to connect to inexpensively. Reaching this population of 1,000,000 riders per day with transformative health, social, and cultural information during their daily commutes improves the quality of life, increases riders, creates urban dialogue, treats people as people instead a pair of consumer eyeballs. The buses can be our mobile art museums for everyone. Out The Window videos will be: • 1/3 by artists on the full breadth of issues of concern to them • 1/3 about community health such as access to nutritious food, obesity amelioration, and promotion of healthful lifestyles and • 1/3 about other issues, such as environmental, educational and social, produced by LA nonprofit organizations. • A portion of each category will be made by LA youth enrolled in video programs. • also appear on and Freewaves facebook page daily for viewers’ comments and sharing In 2013-14 Out the Window will present 312 videos, (6 per week) each with an open-ended, pointed question in English and Spanish to which viewers may respond via text. The combination of message and feedback loop will be a powerful carrier of vital dialogs by, about and in Los Angeles among the 85% of riders who use cell phones. Out the Window uses Transit TV’s video system on all 2,000 L.A. Metro buses, reaching Los Angeles’s residents with creative and essential messages while providing free culture on the largest art distribution system in the country to the nation’s most populous county. This program is ready to fully established this year. It launched in 2010 with a MacArthur grant; it tested technologies, networks, viewers and programming in 2011. It gathered resources in 2012 and now is ready to take off with all elements in place! IMPACT ON THE ARTS AND CULTURAL VITALITY Socio-politically, the arts increasingly reflect the ever-widening divergence of economic, educational and cultural access facing Los Angeles and the nation. This may be observed in the unfortunate schisms between so-called “high” and “low” culture; and between profit-driven mass culture and artist-initiated personal and community expressions. Freewaves believes there are many good solutions to close the gap. Through its unwavering faith in every person to understand idiosyncratic artistic styles and ideas, Freewaves asserts the human right of every person to access their communities’ artistic expressions. Freewaves’ optimism is firmly based in the statistical analysis of our 540 interviews undertaken during the pilot phase of Out the Window. Specifically, 91% of bus rider respondents indicated they liked art. Half found that art was present on the bus, in some form, while half did not perceive any art on the same buses. Of the respondents, 73% regularly watched the TV programming available on all L.A. Metro buses. The programming tells stories, shares creative impressions and offers critical insights about Los Angeles. See for previous examples of the artists’ videos that reflect a range of subjects and styles including performances in urban public spaces, background information about LA neighborhoods, animated scenarios, ruminations about nature and investigations of other art forms. The next round of videos on the buses will add issues impacting health, such as: availability of affordable, healthful exercise options, regional disparities in health and nutrition services and dangers of lead paint and asbestos. The bus-riding population has profound health needs; many commuters traverse neighborhoods lacking access to nutritious food, parks, and adequate health and wellness resources. Furthermore, because 33% of bus riders lack Internet access, consuming mostly mainstream media, bus riders comprise an expensive demographic for health service providers to reach. Videos will be made by many of L.A.’s media artists, ranging from emerging to established, plus students in the region. After consultation with health and wellness specialists, they will eloquently and entertainingly address specific health issues and point the public towards affordable or cost-free solutions.