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CURRENT:LA Water is Los Angeles’ first citywide Public Art Biennial taking place July 16 through August 14, presented by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Public Art Division.

Every two years, the CURRENT:LA Public Art Biennial will focus on a theme that affects Los Angeles and other global cities in order to inspire civic discourse on the selected issue, using contemporary art as a way to deepen connections between people.

Putting a new spin on the international art biennial, CURRENT:LA will democratize the way people access art by featuring temporary public art projects and public programs at outdoor locations, taking art out of the museum environment and into the neighborhoods of our City.

Art projects and public programs featured in CURRENT:LA have been selected by an independent team of established curators with experience in issues-based public art.

This citywide cultural event is presented by Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), a department that has championed the arts in Los Angeles since 1925.

The first presentation of the CURRENT:LA Public Art Biennial in 2016 is funded by DCA and Bloomberg Philanthropies through its Public Art Challenge initiative.

The CURRENT initiative is also supported with a match from DCA’s Arts Development Fee (ADF) Program and a $50,000 grant from The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.

WATER was chosen for Los Angeles’ inaugural biennial as a platform for the exchange of ideas around our relationship to water as global citizens. The issue of water is relevant and timely for LA. Our challenges are similar to those faced by cities and regions around the world, with increasing local and global demands for water resources to meet human, commercial, and agricultural needs. To foster discussion, CURRENT:LA Water will stage art commissions next to bodies of water, both manmade and natural, including some alongside the Los Angeles River, all across the city.

Temporary outdoor artworks and creative public programming all around the issue of water will be open to the public and free to attend at parks across the City of Los Angeles, giving all direct access to contemporary art. This month-long event aims to connect the over 4 million people in communities throughout Los Angeles to inspire action through art.

Inspired and free this summer? Get involved! DCA has partnered with L.A. Works to help recruit volunteers to support the artist projects and public programs at 15 sites across Los Angeles. We are especially seeking volunteers who live and work in the neighborhoods nearby. Visit the LA Works website to sign up

If your event or exhibit relates to the theme of WATER, and is ongoing or taking place between July 16-August 14, it can be submitted for consideration to be listed on the the CURRENT:LA Calendar of Events.

Submit your event, exhibit, or site to CURRENT:LA Water


The mission of Arid Lands Institute (ALI) at Woodbury University is to train designers and citizens to innovate in response to hydrologic variability brought on by climate change. ALI's vision is a water-smart built environment in the US West serving as a model for drylands globally. ALI's Drylands Design Video Library hosts approximately 100 hours of talks by regional, national, and international leaders in drylands thinking. Divining LA is a collaborative, multi-year initiative designed to seek, reveal, and champion a water-smart future for Los Angeles, and to position LA as a leader in drylands design globally with scientists, engineers, architects, landscape architects, artists, historians, urban designers, and policy advisors to envision an abundant future in drylands and water resilience. Learn More
Founded by Charles Lummis over 100 years ago, the Arroyo Seco Foundation is a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization advocating for an integrated, harmonious approach to watershed and flood management, water conservation, habitat enhancement, and the expansion of recreational opportunities. Historically a cultural center of the Tongva or Kizh, also known as the Gabrielinos, the Arroyo Seco River is a subwatershed of the Los Angeles River Watershed. The Arroyo Seco Foundation's Hahamongna Cooperative Nursery is volunteer-driven and an asset to the Arroyo Seco and Southern California, providing low-cost, regionally-sourced and genetically appropriate native plants for restoration, conservation and park uses. Learn More
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LADWP launched the Landscape Incentive Program in 2009, which involves replacing turf grass with California Friendly plants, mulch, permeable pathways, and drip irrigation for both residential and commercial LADWP customers to save money and, more importantly, save water. Learn More
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LA County Public Works is responsible for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of roads, traffic signals, bridges, airports, sewers, flood control, water supply, water quality, and water conservation facilities. Its diverse operations fall within six core service areas: Transportation, Water Resources, Waste Management, Public Buildings, Development Services, and Emergency Management. Learn More
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North East Trees is a community based, grassroots, environmental non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and the first design build non-profit in Los Angeles. North East Trees implements its mission through five core program areas: Urban Forestry, Parks Design and Build, Watershed Rehabilitation, Youth Environmental Stewardship, and Community Stewardship. Learn More
The One Water LA Plan is the City of Los Angeles's integrated approach for water supply, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management. The new plan builds upon the success of the City's Water IRP (2000-2020) and will set the bar for a more sustainable and resilient way to manage the City's future water needs through a collaborative approach yielding sustainable, long-term water supplies for Los Angeles in addition to greater resiliency to drought conditions and climate change. Preparation of the One Water LA Plan is occurring in two phases, managed by LA Sanitation (LASAN) in partnership with the Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The timeline for completing the final One Water LA Plan is January 2017. Learn More
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The River Project (TRP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to natural resource protection, conservation, and enhancement. Our mission is to encourage responsible planning and management of our lands: working toward living rivers nourished by healthy watersheds for the social, economic, and environmental benefit of our communities. Through outreach, advocacy, scientific research, and hands-on educational programs, we provide Angelenos with the tools to create climate resilient communities. Learn More
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Located on 22 acres of canyon land in the northeast corner of the San Fernando Valley, the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc., established 1960, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the understanding, preservation and use of California native flora. The Foundation preserves the legacy and carries on the work of Theodore Payne, a pioneering Los Angeles nurseryman, horticulturist and conservationist widely considered to be the father of the native plant movement in California. Learn More
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Learn more about some of the environmental and community groups that have been involved in long-range efforts to restore the Los Angeles River. This new comprehensive website is maintained by LARiverWorks, Mayor Eric Garcetti's specialized interdepartmental team for the Los Angeles River, and the Council District 13 Office (Councilmember Mitch O' Farrell, Chair of Arts, Parks and River Committee).