ARTmageddon Reveals a Changing Los Angeles

Warnings over the traffic nightmare that could result from the closure of the 405 freeway last weekend in L.A. prompted a city-wide celebration of the local, artistic, and walkable treasures of the city.

As Gary Kavanagh writes in LA.Streetsblog, "[t]he fact that a major automobile artery is shut down feels like a holiday, one that locals bars even name mixed drinks after, does say something about a shift occurring in the culture." And this shift was reflected in the city-wide art party, dubbed ARTmageddon, that was organized by local performer and director Diana Wyenn and her collaborators.

"Wyenn and her partner Ezra LeBank teamed up with city agencies, galleries, arts nonprofits, and museums including LACMA and the Hammer Museum, to curate and promote a list of hundreds of the city's art happenings on a searchable map," explains Zak Stone. "We wanted to take this as an opportunity to take some of the hype around Carmageddon and put an artistic spin on it," she says, "and push some of that focus onto celebrating, supporting, and experiencing local art."

"On a weekend when people were less likely to drive far from their neighborhood, the ARTmageddon project encouraged residents to bike, walk, or take public transportation to art events that might usually slip under the radar," says Stone. "Wyenn estimates that thousands of people, including hundreds of artists, participated, and in their own small way, helped decrease congestion on the freeways by opting out of cross-town car trips."

 

Full Story: In L.A., A Freeway’s Closure Prompts A Celebration Of Neighborhood Culture

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