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Civic Art: Four Stories from Los Angeles

Updated: Mar 9, 2019

Cocina Abierta's Victoria Park Cooks project featured in civic art documentary.

Civic Art: Four Stories from South Los Angeles follows the rarely witnessed, intricate process of one of the most mysterious and controversial art forms affecting the public at large. This documentary entertainingly delves into the requisite political journeys navigated by Los Angeles-based artists as they wrestle with myriad social sensitivities, budgetary constraints and technical variables. Attempting to stay true to their art process and aesthetic tendencies, these artists negotiate with the government and the neighborhoods to produce ambitious, permanent, large-scale art projects. With the intent to alleviate graffiti and amplify use of shared public spaces, these projects explore the extensive social power of art within four neighborhoods in South Los Angeles County. Civic Art highlights the vital, complicated and often misunderstood efforts behind artwork made with and for the public that often prompts questions such as: “Why is that there?”, "Who made that?” and “Am I paying for it?” The answers are both surprising and illuminating in this rare peek behind an ever-present bureaucratic curtain within a US democratic culture.

Directed by: Mark Escribano

Produced by: Sara Daleiden

Commissioned by Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Arts Program

Watch the Civic Art trailer below and link to the full documentary here.

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