Los Angeles— The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), dedicated to creating an inclusive, green economy by unlocking innovation, transforming markets and enhancing community, today announced the launch of AIR: a first of its kind Artist-in-Residence program at the La Kretz Innovation Campus. The program was made possible in part through a generous $75,000 grant from the Durfee Foundation, a family foundation investing in extraordinary people and programs making a better Los Angeles.
Situated in the heart of DTLA’s Arts District, LACI’s new AIR program will introduce the culturally diverse creative community of Los Angeles to a thriving environment where entrepreneurs, engineers, policymakers and environmental organizations collaborate on making a positive impact. In addition to on-site resident artists, AIR will unite the creative and cleantech communities in the shared aim of addressing global environmental problems and empowering underrepresented communities through outreach and professional development programming.
“As the old axiom goes, art can lead politics,” stated Matt Petersen, President and CEO of LACI. “We are excited to see how artists-in-residence can collaborate with our entrepreneurs to find breakthrough solutions, while finding new ways for LACI to connect with students and residents from disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles.”
Joining the initial resident artist, Debra Scacco, will be two artists selected by a jury of interdisciplinary professionals, including Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Thom Mayne; Director of The Underground Museum and Independent Curator, Megan Steinman; Artist Sherin Guirguis; LACI President and CEO, Matt Petersen; and MOCA Director of Education and Public Programs, Amanda Hunt. The Artist Call for Submissions was announced today and circulated throughout the arts community. Please Click Here to apply.
LACI SVP Ben Stapleton, who was instrumental in the creation of the AIR program, stated, “Art has an incredible way of breaking through barriers to connect with people on complex issues. Our hope is that with this program we can build a portfolio of art focused on climate change to inspire people to take action.”
AIR incubates artists working with ideas of water, sustainability, transportation, energy and related themes. Artists will receive a $10,000 stipend, training and six-month access to the Advanced Prototyping Center (a $10M+ facility including machine shop and wet labs), and the opportunity to work side-by-side with LACI portfolio companies, including scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs working in related fields. Limited edition pieces and a work-in-progress exhibition will showcase how access to research, government, non-profits and start-ups in cleantech are embedded in the artists’ work. The artists will also take part in a culminating panel discussion to reflect, as a group, their learning and experiences over the six-month period.
“AIR humanizes complex environmental problems and shines a light on the vital work being done to address these critical issues,” stated Lead Artist and AIR Program Director, Debra Scacco. “The opportunity for parallel technical and intellectual growth is what makes AIR so special and is the reason our impact will be felt far beyond our Arts District home for years to come.”
AIR has partnered with organizations such as Small Green Door in Commerce to build a collective network of skills and knowledge supporting environmental-based art projects. The program will also feature a series of free Artist Talks and Professional Development Workshops to help local artists create sustainable opportunities for their work.
Throughout the program development, respected professionals from varied disciplines have generously offered their time and knowledge to advise on the development of a truly dynamic program. Included on the AIR Advisory Committee are Pauline Kanako Kamiyama (Deputy Director of Civic Art, Los Angeles County Arts Commission), Tracy Gray (The 22 Fund and LACI Executive-in-Residence) and Art Consultant John Wolf.