1st Edition

Co-Creative Placekeeping in Los Angeles Artists and Communities Working Together

    232 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Co-Creative Placekeeping in Los Angeles is a novel examination of Los Angeles-based socially engaged art (SEA) practitioners’ equitable placekeeping efforts. A new concept, equitable placekeeping describes the inclination of historically marginalized community members to steward their neighborhood’s development, improve local amenities, engage in social and cultural production, and assert a mutual sense of self-definition—and the efforts of SEA artists to aid them.

    Emerging from in-depth interviews with eight Southern California artists and teams, Co-Creative reveals how artists engage community members, sustain relationships, and defy the presumption that residents cannot speak for themselves. Drawing on these artists and theoretical analysis of their praxes, the book explicates equitable community engagement by exploring not just the creative projects but also the underlying phenomena that inspire and sustain them: community, engagement, relationships, and defiance. What further sets this book apart is how it deviates from the conventional who and what of SEA projects to foreground the how and the why that inspire and necessitate collectively creative action.

    Co-Creative is for anyone studying arts-based community development and gentrification, given it complicates and enriches the current conversation about art’s undeniable and increasingly controversial role in neighborhood change. It will also be of interest to researchers and students of urban studies.


    List of figures

    List of maps

    Preface by Roberto Bedoya



    1.     Introduction: Co-Creative Art and Equitable Placekeeping

    2.    Community

                 Principles: Agency, Voice, and Education

                 Artists: LAPD à Ben Caldwell à Public Matters


    3.    Engagement

    Principles: Reflexivity, Communication, Continuity, and Trust

    Artists: Public Matters à Slanguage à Tricia Ward


    4.    Relationships

    Principles: Connections, Reliance, and Co-Production

    Artists: Rosten Woo à Tricia Ward àSarah Daleiden à Fabián Wagmister


    5.    Defiance

    Principles: Subversion, Unity, and Resistance

    Artists: Fabián Wagmister à Sarah Daleiden à Ben Caldwell à LAPD and Rosten Woo


    6.     Conclusion: Co-Creative Art and the Just City




    Brettany Shannon, urban scholar, California State Polytechnic Institute, Pomona; California State University, Northridge; and Woodbury University. Shannon researches the intersection of art, technology, public space, and community participation.

    David C. Sloane, Professor, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California. Sloane studies evolving historical cultural landscapes and environmental inequities regarding mourning/commemoration, food systems, health care, and crime—all elements of our urban life. He is best recognized as a leading expert on the history and contemporary issues in mourning, commemoration, and public space.

    Anne Bray is a hybrid artist and founder/director of the public art organization LA Freewaves. She has instigated a series of projects in which artists and community residents interact and interchange perspectives on their worlds through art.