The 2019 +LAB Artist Residency is a creative place-keeping residency that will focus on addressing the most recent cycle of displacement that is affecting Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. +LAB is seeking community-engaged artists who will help LTSC successfully advocate for the responsible development of two highly contested parcels of land owned by the City of Los Angeles: First Street North (FSN) and the Mangrove block (Mangrove). While Little Tokyo has been physically and culturally reshaped by several well-documented cycles of displacement, these blocks (which include 5+ acres of developable land) represent an opportunity for the neighborhood to counteract these cycles through the implementation of the community’s vision for this land.
This year’s cohort of four artists will work together with Little Tokyo stakeholders and residents in a three-month immersive residency to create a project or projects based on this theme.
The overarching question for artists to consider is:
- How can creative strategies and artistic interventions positively impact the devastation caused by past and present development that threaten the sustainability of our community:
- Displacement of multi-generational small businesses
- Erasure of the neighborhood’s cultural (and multi-cultural) identity
- Threats to development of affordable and homeless supportive housing
- Displacement of the area’s houseless community
- The LTSC +LAB Artist Residency is a community based, engaged residency, with a generous stipend and project budget. The residency is fully immersive: selected artists will live for three months in the Daimaru Hotel on First Street in Little Tokyo and will be paired with a local arts organization: Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Sustainable Little Tokyo, Visual Communications, or the Japanese American National Museum.
Little Tokyo Service Center seeks artists whose creative practice reflects a desire to work collaboratively or within a community context; reflects an awareness of culture, socio-economic and political paradigms; have a demonstrated interest in subject matter addressing either the history of Japanese American communities or other communities of color; and have experience in other communities facing displacement.
Artists with experience in the ideas and practices of creative placemaking, social practice, public practice, or community-based arts will be the most successful candidates.