Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

Los Angeles, CA


SCI-Arc Receives Coveted Placemaking Grant from ArtPlace

sciarcnews Jul 18 '12 0

The Architecture School Will Design and Build Two Arts Venues To Energize and Transform Its Downtown LA Arts District Home

SCI-Arc has been awarded a $400,000 grant from ArtPlace that will go toward the planning, design and construction of two arts venues on its campus in downtown Los Angeles, and planning with the community for a third venue in the community across from campus. This ArtPlace award represents the largest institutional grant received by SCI-Arc to date for its community initiatives.

“The transformative grant from Artplace gives SCI-Arc a unique opportunity to extend its conceptual design voice by building the “Hispanic Steps” and the new Outdoor Pavilion for our students, faculty, and the surrounding community,” says Director Eric Owen Moss. “If architecture, as SCI-Arc has always proclaimed, speaks by building, the Artplace contribution affords us two special construction moments to ratify what we preach.”

The first venue to be designed and built by the school is an indoor amphitheater, dubbed the “Hispanic Steps.” Located in the heart of the SCI-Arc building, the open space with rise-seating will be used for lectures, performances, symposia, film series and community meetings. The second venue is a multi-purpose 750-seat outdoor pavilion which will become the Arts District’s largest public programming venue. It will provide a welcoming gathering place at the school’s entrance and a much-needed sun-shelter in an urban area lacking in green space.

The third component is helping plan with the community for the One Santa Fe arts center, a 99-seat theatre to be located inside a developer-funded, $160 million mixed-use transit oriented development project adjacent to SCI-Arc, designed by noted architect Michael Maltzan.
SCI-Arc’s projects foster the momentum created by the school’s purchase last year of its historic 1907 building, and engage with the community in planning to attract creative residents and businesses.

ArtPlace received almost 2200 letters of inquiry from organizations seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants in this cycle.  Inquiries came from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands. The 47 projects selected nationally—out of which four are located in Los Angeles—each take a unique and locally-focused approach to creative placemaking, from the creation of a Jazz and Heritage Center in New Orleans’ historic Tremés neighborhood to generate vibrancy and economic growth for the local community to ARTSIPELAGO, a comprehensive revitalization strategy that combines a number of unconnected arts and cultural initiatives in Eastport, Maine for greater effect.

“These projects all exemplify the best in creative placemaking,” explained ArtPlace’s Carol Coletta.  “They demonstrate a deep understanding of how smart investments in art, design and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people.”

The full list of 2012 ArtPlace grant recipients can be found at

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