Northeast Los Angeles Placemaking Competition: Live Projection Painting


Project submitted by Ryan P. Griffin

Project designed for entire NELA area

Project Summary and Scale

Imagine live projection painting on a grand scale, on site in the natural and man-made amphitheaters along the Los Angeles River, to re-interpret the local histories of NELA communities in a new and unique form of public theater.

Why are you committed to this project?

I have been creating live projection paintings along the banks of the Glendale Narrows. I have collaborated with musicians and dance performers as co-creators. By combining these efforts with the agencies invested in the revitalization plan, I hope to bring people together for a unique storytelling experience.

What are the most relevant characteristics of project site and scale?

Through activating existing structures along the river corridor with projected light such as bridges, canal banks, storm drains, Arundo foliage and palm trees, the scale is at once grand and intimate. It is important to create an inclusive, accommodating setting using the natural amphitheater of the existing architecture allowing for a sizable audience with live music and performance to be seamlessly integrated.

Describe how this project will reinforce a sense of place or enhance the built environment.

The built environment and enveloping natural areas is the ephemeral canvas of this project. An extension of the animated human spirit reflected in our surroundings. New and unique forms will be brought to life in projected light dancing about the architecture. An unfolding story in an unfamiliar space. It is the goal of this project to facilitate a dialogue around the idea of place, public and the creative process.


Provide a description of the project's necessary planning activities.

Planning activities include outreach to communities for the promotion of the events, securing necessary permits and/or permissions if applicable, outlining content and storylines for performances, securing a budget and implementing performances.

What is a rough estimate of your project budget?

Resource is needed mainly for rental of large venue projection system. Price ranges from $500 to $1,000 per day rental depending on scale of work. Artist provides professional tech set-up and generator. A successful project will incorporate an artists fee for performers involved.

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How does this project leverage existing resources and efforts?

The goal of this project is to give voice to the local histories and cultures of the NELA community, while bringing people together to gather and reflect on the past, current, and future state of the Los Angeles River and the revitalization efforts. Ultimately, this project will bridge existing efforts of the sponsors' community outreach program in an engaging presentation.

What community need is your project serving?

This project is about bringing people together. Bringing members of the Northeast Los Angeles River communities directly out to the sites along the river. Simple stories will be told through live projected paintings and animations accompanied by music and performance with the aim of provoking a dialogue and awareness around the river revitalization projects currently under way. This project can be implemented throughout the entire Northeast Los Angeles area. Or instead scaled to focus on a specific community.

If your project is realized, what does success look like?

Our waterways are surely a source of physical and spiritual renewal in the semi-arid desert climate of Southern California. A successful project will capture the imagination of the community. Encouraging playfulness, thoughtfulness, interaction, and inspiration. A striking collective dream presented in an unforgettable location.

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