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Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge Grantee, City of Los Angeles Announces Roster of Artists for the City’s First Public Art Biennial

All cities in the Foundation’s Public Art Challenge Announce Project Updates in April

Today, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced several artists participating in the city’s first biennial along the Los Angeles River. The biennial seeks to call attention to water and sustainability as well as act as a cultural experience for visitors. The biennial, titled, Current:LA Water was chosen as one of four grantees in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge, which provides funding of up to $1 million for public art and aims to demonstrate the power of culture to advance civic priorities.

“Public art projects change cities for the better, and they can also enhance city governments. By enabling agencies to push boundaries and work with new partners, these projects unite everyone with a shared mission,” said Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO and former New York City First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris. “We are pleased to support the City of Los Angeles and to soon experience the public works these great artists will share through CURRENT:LA.”

Developed by the Department of Cultural Affairs Public Art Division, Current: LA will include works by artists and teams: Refik Anadol + Peggy Weil; Edgar Arceneaux; Josh Callaghan + Daveed Kapoor; Mel Chin; Chris Kallmyer; Candice Lin; Lucky Dragons: Luke Fischbeck + Sarah Rara; Teresa Margolles; Kori Newkirk; Michael Parker; Gala Porras-Kim; Rirkrit Tiravanija; and Kerry Tribe. Over 130 artists submitted proposals.

“Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world, a place where we appreciate how art inspires us to see the world through new eyes,” said Mayor Garcetti. “CURRENT:LA will make Angelenos rethink our relationship with water, and better understand how the L.A. River connects the diverse communities and cultures that make our city great.”

The three other grantees of the Public Art Challenge (Gary, Indiana; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and a joint project by, Albany, Schenectady and Troy, New York) are undertaking projects that address some of the nation’s most pressing civic issues including neighborhood safety and urban revitalization.

Spartanburg, has announced 10 neighborhoods participating in an instillation that will transform open spaces and create more vibrant neighborhoods. Gary, Indiana announced that six individual artists and teams have been selected to submit full proposals for their project, ArtHouse a Social Kitchen which seeks to use public space to spur development of a cultural district and to promote urban revitalization. And in a joint project aimed at addressing vacant housing, three New York cities, Albany, Troy and Schenectady, announced a host of community events including art workshops, local gallery installations, and clinics to enhance opportunities for potential buyers.

To follow the developments of each city and learn more about how cities, artists and communities are coming together through the public art challenge, visit

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182,