As a response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the local arts community, Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) partnered with Macerich to give more than US$650,000 to artists in Los Angeles through the Vibrant Cities Arts Grant. Designed to support individual artists and arts organizations to either recoup lost funds from canceled programs or support ongoing artistic endeavors, the grant recognizes that artists, influencers, and creators are an essential part of the city’s vibrant culture. The funds are directly associated with the One Westside project, a joint venture between the real estate investment company and leading owner, operator, and developer of retail properties, which is converting the former Westside Pavilion mall into Google’s newest Los Angeles campus.

Described by Chris Pearson, Development VP, Planning & Government Affairs, HPP, as a financial lifeline to a wide range of artists, the program’s specific focus is on supporting people of color, female, and LGBTQ+ creators. Additionally, special consideration will be extended to those presenting work on social justice issues, civil rights, and the environment. 

“[Hudson Pacific Properties is committed to creating and cultivating communities that champion diversity and inclusivity and afford the opportunity for everyone to succeed. We have decided to give special consideration to minority groups in order to uplift communities and voices that are often underrepresented. Los Angeles represents a fusion of different cultures and perspectives. We believe that it is critical to support artists and organizations that embody the diversity that makes our city so unique],” he explained.

The partners reached out to LeBasse Projects, an international arts and culture consulting firm, to help manage and promote this community initiative. Specializing in public art programming, cultural placemaking, and urban design, the firm collaborates with artists and clients to develop and execute festivals, performances, immersive activations, and experiential installations. With a nominal budget available, the team carried out a grassroots marketing strategy that included digital, social, newsletter advertising, and word of mouth. In addition to releasing a press release, HHP and Macerich pitched select local artists, groups, organizations, and arts-focused media to generate awareness. With more than 800 applications submitted in ten days, the public response demonstrated the importance and need of such grants and initiatives during the ongoing COVID pandemic.