Inside SCI-Arc


SCI-Arc Receives Coveted ArtPlace Grant
The Architecture School Will Design and Build Two Arts Venues To Energize and Transform Its Downtown LA Arts District Home

SCI-Arc has been awarded a $400,000 grant from ArtPlace that will go toward the planning, design and construction of two arts venues on its campus in downtown Los Angeles, and planning with the community for a third venue in the community across from campus. This ArtPlace award represents the largest institutional grant received by SCI-Arc to date for its community initiatives.

"The transformative grant from Artplace gives SCI-Arc a unique opportunity to extend its conceptual design voice by building the 'Hispanic Steps' and the new Outdoor Pavilion for our students, faculty, and the surrounding community," says Director Eric Owen Moss. "If architecture, as SCI-Arc has always proclaimed, speaks by building, the Artplace contribution affords us two special construction moments to ratify what we preach."

The first venue to be designed and built by the school is an indoor amphitheater, dubbed the 'Hispanic Steps.' Located in the heart of the SCI-Arc building, the open space with rise-seating will be used for lectures, performances, symposia, film series and community meetings.

Ming Fung, SCI-Arc Director of Academic Affairs, speaks at the press conference announcing the 2012 ArtPlace grantees in Los Angeles (June 12, 2012) - Photo by Bryant Suh/SCI-Arc

The second venue is a multi-purpose 750-seat outdoor pavilion which will become the Arts District’s largest public programming venue. It will provide a welcoming gathering place at the school’s entrance and a much-needed sun-shelter in an urban area lacking in green space.

The third component is helping plan with the community for the One Santa Fe arts center, a 99-seat theatre to be located inside a developer-funded, $160 million mixed-use transit oriented development project adjacent to SCI-Arc, designed by noted architect Michael Maltzan.

SCI-Arc’s projects foster the momentum created by the school’s purchase last year of its historic 1907 building, and engage with the community in planning to attract creative residents and businesses.

ArtPlace received almost 2200 letters of inquiry from organizations seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants in this cycle. Inquiries came from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands. The 47 projects selected nationally—out of which four are located in Los Angeles—each take a unique and locally-focused approach to creative placemaking, from the creation of a Jazz and Heritage Center in New Orleans’ historic Tremés neighborhood to generate vibrancy and economic growth for the local community to ARTSIPELAGO, a comprehensive revitalization strategy that combines a number of unconnected arts and cultural initiatives in Eastport, Maine for greater effect.

"These projects all exemplify the best in creative placemaking," explained ArtPlace’s Carol Coletta. "They demonstrate a deep understanding of how smart investments in art, design and culture as part of a larger portfolio of revitalization strategies can change the trajectory of communities and increase economic opportunities for people."

The full list of 2012 ArtPlace grant recipients can be found at

About SCI-Arc
The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is dedicated to educating architects who will imagine and shape the future. It is an independent, accredited degree-granting institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture. Located in a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, the school is distinguished by its vibrant studio culture and emphasis on process. SCI-Arc’s approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members—most of whom are practicing architects—work together to re-examine assumptions, create, explore and test the limits of architecture. SCI-Arc faculty and leadership have garnered more than 500 national and international design awards and recognitions, including Progressive Architecture awards, American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, AIA Gold Medal awards, the Brunner award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Academy Award in Architecture, and the prestigious Jencks and Pritzker architecture prizes. SCI-Arc is ranked second in design and computer applications in the 2012 America’s Best Architecture Schools survey from DesignIntelligence, and #1 graduate and #2 undergraduate architecture school in Western U.S. SCI-Arc is located at 960 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

About ArtPlace
ArtPlace is a collaboration of twelve of the nation’s leading foundations, eight federal agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, and six financial institutions, to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. Participating foundations include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Robina Foundation and an anonymous donor. Funds committed to ArtPlace are overseen by Nonprofit Finance Fund who serves as investment and grant manager for the collaboration.